As a government shutdown looms, President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), and House Speaker John Boehner (R) are locked in ongoing discussions over an appropriations bill that would keep the government running. However, even as Obama has offered three-quarters of what Republicans are demanding, Boehner has thus far refused to budge.
The reason for Boehner’s intransigence is increasingly clear: as Republicans and Democratic lawmakers negotiate, Boehner is giving the Tea Party veto-power. Sen. Chuck Schumer detailed this point while discussing the ongoing negotiations on Good Morning America this week, noting that “The tea party just continues to pull Speaker Boehner further back and back and back. They’re the people who say they don’t want compromise. They’re the people who say they relish a shutdown.” Still, Boehner and other Republican leaders have asserted that Democrats are the only ones who want to see a government shutdown. (A ThinkProgress compilation video shows otherwise.)
Earlier today, ThinkProgress attended a Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity rally in Washington, D.C. to investigate whether or not Tea Partiers were calling for a government shutdown. Indeed, as chants of “Shut it down! Shut it down!” and dozens of signs showed, Tea Partiers eagerly told Republican leaders that they were in no mood to compromise. ThinkProgress spoke with a number of Tea Partiers at the rally about their thoughts on a potential shutdown: