Republicans tried so very hard to use the threat of a government shutdown and a default on the debt to extract concessions on Obamacare. Their failure to do so was final on Tuesday night, as House Republicans failed to rally around their own government funding bill, leaving the Senate to step in with a plan that is even less favorable for the House GOP. "With the House failing to pass its bill, whatever leverage we had in the Senate just vanished," an anonymous Republican Senate aide told the Washington Examiner's Byron York. "As soon as the House bill failed, we kind of lost all leverage." As Congress prepares to vote on the Senate plan, Republicans are working their way through what happened on cable television. They're going through the familiar stages many of us have felt after a catastrophe: denial, rage, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Some members of Congress have progressed further than others. Here's what they've said:
Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador: When asked if the shutdown was worth it on Wednesday, Labrador responded, "Any time you try to stand up for the American people, it's worth it," the Washington Examiner's Charlie Spiering reports.
Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp: Huelskamp said the Obamacare fight might not be totally lost on Wednesday. It's possible Obama, the "community organizer-in-chief"," will delay the individual mandate on his own, Huelskamp said, as Slate's Dave Weigel tweets. Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon agrees.
Texas Rep. Steve Stockman: Stockman got his hands on 435 copies of a World Net Daily book titled, Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama From Office. He's going to give a copy to all his colleagues. "Enforcing the Constitution and preserving limitations on executive authority aren't just mainstream, they're the law," he told World Net Daily on Wednesday.
New York Rep. Peter King: "I’ve said all along, this is madness. It was madness to follow Ted Cruz. It was absolute madness to say we want to shut down the government, to defund Obamacare. It never made sense..." King said on CNN on Wednesday night.
Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt: "The only reason why the Democrats don’t look terrible is we look even worse," Blunt said on Tuesday.
"I'm not sure Ted Cruz is even dumb enough to delay this to point where we go over cliff. But he may prove me wrong," a Republican Senate aide told CNBC's John Harwood on Wednesday.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham: Graham said OK, maybe the GOP went too far — but couldn't Obama have helped them out a little? "We won't be the last political party to overplay our hand," Graham told reporters on Tuesday. "It might happen one day on the Democratic side. And if it did, would Republicans, for the good of the country, kinda give a little? We really did go too far. We screwed up. But their response is making things worse, not better."
Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy: “The Republican caucus sometimes can be unreasonable," Duffy said on MSNBC on Wednesday morning. “But look how far we want to move. We said we want to defund [Obamacare]. Now we want to delay it. Now we’re just going to ask for some very simple tweaks and reforms. If you actually called out your liberal guests and said, 'Why won't you join for Obamacare? If it’s good for Americans, why isn’t it good for you?'"
Utah Rep. Chris Stewart: "There’s a lot of people who feel like they want to have some principle that they can go back to their constituents and say, we fought for this, and we ended up getting something else at least," Stewart told MSNBC on Tuesday.
Michigan Rep. Bill Huizenga: "People have been OK with where we’ve been as long as we can show some forward progress. If it’s all for naught, it can be pretty frustrating," Huizenga told MSNBC.
Graham, again: "This package is a joke compared to what we could have gotten if we had a more reasonable approach," Graham tells The Washington Post on Wednesday. "For the party, this is a moment of self evaluation, we are going to assess how we got here."
South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney: "We lost," Mulvaney tells Yahoo's Chris Moody on Wednesday.
Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock: "It's time for government to work," Schock said on MSNBC on Wednesday morning. As The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza points out, Schock was one of the 80 Republicans who signed an August 21 letter by Rep. Mark Meadows demanding Republican leaders threaten to shut down the government unless Obamacare was defunded.
Kentucky Rep. Tom Massie: "We have less leverage on the next CR and the next debt limit than we did right now," Massie said Wednesday.
Arizona Sen. John McCain: "It’s very, very serious," McCain tells The New York Times. "Republicans have to understand we have lost this battle, as I predicted weeks ago, that we would not be able to win because we were demanding something that was not achievable."
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake: "Having exhausted all alternatives, today looks to be the day we do the right thing and end the shutdown," Flake tweeted on Wednesday.
And, surprisingly, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz: "There’s nothing to be gained from delaying this vote one day or two days," Cruz said on Wednesday.