McConnell warns that government shutdowns are “a loser for Republicans.”

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Tuesday that shutdowns were a political liability for his party as Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to keep the government open.

At his weekly press conference Tuesday afternoon, McConnell, R-Ky., made it very clear that he is “not a fan of government shutdowns.”

“I’ve seen a few of them over the years. They never brought about political change and were always politically a loser for the Republicans,” he said.

McConnell’s comments come as Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans struggle to pass a short-term funding bill that would keep the government running through Oct. 31 despite opposition from hardline conservatives. But even if this funding measure manages to clear the House, it is laden with conservative policy provisions that will make it dead when it arrives in the Senate.

With less than two weeks left to act, a shutdown at the end of the month is looking increasingly likely.

Asked about the House bill to keep the government funded for another month, McConnell said he supports “what the speaker is trying to accomplish because he’s trying to avoid a government shutdown.”

“So we demand the speaker and hope we move forward,” he added.

McConnell declined to predict what the House would do.

“What I think is critically important to the American people is that the government doesn’t shut down. …But I can’t predict exactly how this will turn out. We will see what the House of Representatives does and act accordingly,” he said.

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