In a speech last night, Newt Gingrich promised an enthusiastic crowd a return to the head days of Winter 1995:
Here’s my promise: … When we win control of the House and Senate this fall, Stage One of the end of Obamaism will be a new Republican Congress in January that simply refuses to fund any of the radical efforts. […]
Once upon a time, I used to be Speaker of the House and I actually understand the legislative process. And the truth is, under our Constitution, the Congress doesn’t have to pass the money. If EPA gets not budget, it can’t enforce cap-and-trade. […]
So Stage One of Obamaism being gone is to simply win this fall and not fund it for two years. Stage Two is…to ensure Obama joins Jimmy Carter in the tradition of one-party presidents (sic). And, that in that context, that we be prepared to commit that a Republican President and a Republican Congress in February and March of 2013 will repeal every radical bill passed by this machine.
“In other words, shut down the government.” For approximately three weeks in the winter of 1995, Gingrich orchestrated a shutdown of the entire federal government by refusing to fund its operations, either by passing a budget or a continuing resolution. CNN reported at the time, “The current shutdown began at midnight Friday, when Congress did not extend a temporary spending measure put in place after the last closure.”
Newt’s budget showdown with President Clinton caused the former Speaker significant political damage. His personal disapproval ratings reached a high of 65 percent. Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) criticized Gingrich’s handling of the shutdown, saying he “made the mistake of his life.” It’s a mistake that Gingrich appears willing to make again.