Lynn Westmoreland eyes a federal shutdown

David Weigel over at Slate just posted the following from Ralph Reed’s gathering in Washington:

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) addressed the Faith & Freedom Conference with a hook you’re hearing more and more often. He reminded the crowd that after Republicans won Congress in 1994, they forced a fight over the budget with President Clinton.


U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Coweta County. Bob Andres,

“The government shut down,” said Westmoreland — and the crowd started cheering. “That’s what I wanted to hear! A good clap for that!”

According to Westmoreland, if they won a House majority Republicans were going to be “ready to hold the line and get those courageous men and woman” in the new class to stand fast and shut down the government. How would they avoid a repeat of 1995/1996, when the public turned against the shutdown and the GOP buckled?

“We want you with us,” said Westmoreland. “We gotta have you there. Because they’re going to come and say, ‘Daddy can’t go to the VA, the national parks are closed’ … we need to make sure you’re going to be with us.” offers a more concise but less colorful account:

A prominent Republican congressman raised the specter Friday of a government shutdown if the GOP wins control of the House.

Speaking to hundreds of activists gathered at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington for the Faith and Freedom Conference, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) urged the audience to stand with House Republicans when they go toe-to-toe with President Barack Obama.

Westmoreland said his caucus – presuming it takes control of the House come November – aims to pass spending bills that Obama is likely to veto. He predicted Republicans would not be able to override such a veto, creating a standoff that could cause Congress to grind to a halt.

“If the government shuts down, we want you with us,” he said.

The congressman recalled a similar shutdown that took place in 1995, when Newt Gingrich – also a speaker at the conference – was serving as House speaker. A future standstill could temporarily close national parks or delay payments from the government, Westmoreland speculated.

“We have put Band-Aids on some things that need to be cleaned out,” he said. “That is going to take some pain. There’s going to have to be some pain for us to do some things that we’ve got to do to right the ship.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

199 comments Add your comment


September 10th, 2010
1:11 pm

I hope that Mr. Westmoreland and all of his Republican colleagues remember the result of that government shut down. President Clinton’s poll numbers went through the roof! President Obama could only hope for such an occurrence. It does those IN government no good to campaign against government–they become their own worst enemy. Of course, with politicians, give them enough rope and they’ll hang themselves.

Fake Conservative

September 10th, 2010
1:30 pm

I am so tired of this nonsense. Instead of shutting down the Gov’t why don’t we avoid that and actually work together. If the only thing in your plan is to say no then don’t run. This is the problem we have with only a two party system. The Tea Partiers sold out and joined the ranks of the Repubs when they had a chance at something special, despite some good ideas, you’ve only become a part of the problem not the solution. Can we just have some Americans that will do whats right not toe the party line no matter how much it hurts Americans?

Please realize that nothing would have changed if McCain had won. We’d still be facing High Unemployment and tax cuts for businesses that take jobs overseas. There is no winner in this scenario regardless of who wins or not if no one is willing to work together. Repubs say Obama is reaching yet they’ve said NO emphatically everytime he’s asked them. How can a political system work if no one is willing to budge. Vote them all out and start fresh. McConnell, Boehner, Pelosi, Reed what have any of you done besides tan too much and play too much golf. You cry about the Stimulus to the National Media yet back at home you praise it saying it saved jobs and great for shocel ready projects. Can we please have some common sense or is it really true that everyone has a price?


September 10th, 2010
1:32 pm

If things don’t go your way, fling yourself to the ground and throw a tantrum in a transparent attempt to halt everything.

I’m not surprised Republicans are stealing this tactic from toddlers.

Fake Conservative

September 10th, 2010
1:35 pm

that was supposed to be Republicans say Obama isn’t reaching out and he needs to come back to the Center. The Dems could have forced through a ton of legislation without Republican input at all but he didn’t. (oh and if anyone complains about the healthcare legislation thats was in play for almost a year so its hard to ram somehitng down people’s throats when you have 12 months to go over it. Also over 400 amendments were added that were brought forth by Republicans that they still voted no to.) He waited and listened to them come with ideas only to have them say no to their own ideas. Dems are just as bad and are spineless. Now has he done a great job? No but it hasn’t been that bad. We’re goign through a rough cycle that happens every 20-30 years. When you derepulate big business, the financial industry then allow for anyone to get a home you’re going to have issues. This was a problem created by the left and right. I want to see all the politicians come back to the Center.

Fake Conservative

September 10th, 2010
1:36 pm

My typing sucks. I therefore apologize.


September 10th, 2010
1:37 pm

Government is the structure for the regulation of human affairs. Shutting down government is a nihilistic act which, if taken to it’s logical outcome, invites anarchy and disrespect for all laws. Thanks Newt. The current Republican party owes you it’s gratitude for showing the way towards chaos and legitimizing societal meltdown.

George P. Burdell

September 10th, 2010
1:38 pm

As I recall, this moment represented the nadir of Speaker Gingrich. He bliinked, Clinton won the showdown.

Sick of Republicans

September 10th, 2010
1:49 pm

Westmoreland is guilty of hypocricy among other things. I am so sick of these self righteous Republicans that I could throw spaghetti on all of them. :) You, Mr. Westmoreland, are a disgrace to your family, your State and most of all to every individual that ever cast a vote for you. We have Ralph Reed – the money hungry slob; Gingrich – who has never ever publicly apologized for the things he has done and the way he treated his two ex wives and this third one – honey watch your back cause you could be next in the line of exes once you get by the “spring chicken” stage in your life; we have Sadie Fields who trashes her own child; we have Palin who is only in it for the money and not because she is a true patriot; and the list goes on and on and on. Two kinds of Republicans – millionaires and suckers who believe in them.

Truth Speaker

September 10th, 2010
2:06 pm

Well, fortunately for the country, John Boehner is not Newt Gingrich nor is he Lynn Westmoreland. I know people have a difficult time separating republicans from one another (because they are all rich, middle aged white men that walk lock-step with one another…even if a cliff is in their way), but Boehner does have a long history of working with Democrats to achieve consensus. He supported TARP and the ARRA…though his position prompted him to vote against it in the end or face a vote of no confidence.

Ohio is not Georgia. Georgia republicans are all the same thanks to loyalty statements that are eerily similar to those required by the National Socialist Party of Germany circa 1930. In GA you must hate gay people, you must hate non-christians, you must hate people that would like to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy, you must hate people of different opinions. Ohio, like the rest of the country, is a state that believes in tolerance and some level of deliberation.

While I believe it will be a travesty to see a GOP majority in the House (which is still not certain), they will not have a majority of the Senate. Their agenda can only go so far with the upper house and the Presidency against them. We can not afford another year of Bush-Reagan Republicanism. It has proved disastrous. These people call themselves deficit hawks, but never has the deficit risen higher than under their administrations. They call themselves pro-business because they have interest in American workers. They say they love America, but they have shown nothing but contempt for Americans. They say they are pro-Constitution, but they do not even want to allow Muslims to practice their faith.

Sick of Republicans is exactly right. There are two types of Republicans, the wealthy and the ignorant.

Matt D.

September 10th, 2010
2:43 pm

Truth Speaker: I thought that Democrats were also required to sign a loyalty oath? Is that not correct?


September 10th, 2010
2:44 pm

That’s just great.

What the representative didn’t mention is that we lost the services for the time they shutdown the government but when Newt’s side caved they ended up paying all of those government workers for not working. Just what we need to be doing!

Aquagirl’s point reminds me of tenured professor’s throwing a tantrum and writing a stern letter to the college president when the faculty senate is not properly advised on the budget.

Problem with society is that corporal punishment is allowed for miscreant children and/or politicians. Next time they bellow about unruly children ruining educational opportunities for others I hope someone is there to force them to look in the mirror…

Real Athens

September 10th, 2010
2:53 pm

Lynn you S.O.B. the National Park Service lost most of it’s funding during the last administration and you damn, well know it.

The same administration started two wars and cut VA spending, you liar. Anybody rmemebr the Walter Reed Hospital mess.

Don’t piss on my head and tell me it’s raining. You couldn’t lie straight in bed.

Dems don't have to sign Loyalty Oath

September 10th, 2010
3:00 pm

State law says that political parties may require the oath. The GOP chooses to do so, but the Democrats do not. Yet another way in which the Republicans are way behind the times.


September 10th, 2010
3:19 pm

I hope that if the government is SHUT DOWN, they are not paid during that time period. They are not elected to DO NOTHING and should NOT be PAID to DO NOTHING.

I can see Russia from my house

September 10th, 2010
3:28 pm

Can Lynnie recite the Ten Commandments?

Hard Worker

September 10th, 2010
3:34 pm

I am a federal government employee. Believe me, I work VERY hard at my job. I have been working multiple positions for over a year now due to short staffing because of budget restraints. I currently put in 10-11 hours a day. I work through my lunch break, which I don’t get compensated for. I rarely get overtime pay. I get comp time instead, of which I take a couple of hours here and there off. Not every federal employee is lazy (yes, I know there are some because I have/do work with them). If the government was shut down without pay, then it would have a very hard effect those of us who do work very hard and take our jobs seriously. I’m not in a high grade pay job, so believe me, I am struggling like the rest of the country. I have lost my home due to foreclosure, even though I had a 30 year fixed mortgage and made my payments (thanks Countrywide!). A government shutdown would cause choas in more ways there is to count. People on social security would not get their pay, nor would those drawing military retirement or unemployment.

Think long and hard before supporting something like this is all I’m saying. People tend to look too much at only the surface of things and not deeper and at all the possibilities and possible consequences.


September 10th, 2010
3:34 pm

Lynn’s problem is that at a very young age he realized that he has a girl’s name. That, and a woeful lack of intelligence, have messed him up royally.


September 10th, 2010
3:38 pm

LOL…Obama is on bended knee right now hoping for this. Revisionist history has Mr. Westmoreland thinking the Repubs won that battle…Mr. Clinton’s poll numbers went into the stratosphere after that and Newt HAD to back down.

The Dems are licking their chops at this possibility. What better way to demonstrate what they have been saying all along…

Im just saying . . .

September 10th, 2010
3:44 pm

I remember the furlough. Although we were shut down, we did get paid for the days we did not work. Nothing is accomplished by shutting down the government. If you want to . . . thats fine. I need some extra days off without using my personal leave. I’m just saying . . . .

The previous comment is correct. They all should work together or we should start over from the kit to the kaboodle. Vote them all out!!!! We should have a government that for the people not their egos and personal gain.


September 10th, 2010
3:44 pm

How does one lose their home without loss of job or income?


September 10th, 2010
3:49 pm

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result – hard to see how shutting down the government is a talking point the more rational members of the GOP will be embracing this fall

If Westmoreland actually believes this nonsense he is an even bigger fool than he has appeared to be through his previous insightful observations


September 10th, 2010
3:57 pm

Westmoreland is a prime example of what is wrong with D.C. Instead of trying to work things out the re-puke-i-cans just want to stompl their feet and act like babies. Go ahead a-hole, shut down the government…then we can fire you a$$ and put in someone who cares about the voters and not their big money contributors.


September 10th, 2010
4:03 pm

One more irresponsible statement from a Georgia elected official. Low IQ


September 10th, 2010
4:04 pm

“Daddy can’t go to the VA”.

Wow. What a true Patriot Mr. Westmoreland is!

Slime. Pure slime.

If there’s ANYONE in our country who deserves federal government benefits it is our nation’s war veterans. And Rep. Westmoreland is in favor of sending them to war but doesn’t want to take care of them.

What a truly sickening individual.

Road Scholar

September 10th, 2010
4:06 pm

Boehmer is white? With that persistent tan I thought that he was…

Westmoreland is and always has been an idiot!


September 10th, 2010
4:07 pm

Also from the Politico story: “Westmoreland promised that a new version of the Contract With America is on its way.”

Is he doubling down on stupid?


September 10th, 2010
4:07 pm

HARD WORKER, glad to see you working so hard that at 3:34 on a weekday you could take the time to peruse the ajc, read this article and formulate a response. Idiot.


September 10th, 2010
4:13 pm

Lynn’s family was pictured in the AJC celebrating his election with clinched fist salutes a la Tommie Davis, he’s a middle aged guy from rural Georgia who never knew that the use of “uppity” was more than just a minor negative word when it is used in conjunction with criticism of a Black person. I could go on and on but Lynn is a good politician but not a good Represeentative and really not very intelligent.

No degree

September 10th, 2010
4:17 pm

This is another one of those Republicans who doesn’t have a degree, right? No wonder education matters so little to him.

WE have lost our way

September 10th, 2010
4:27 pm

Party this,Party that. I’m sick and tired of every politician putting their party ahead of our country. Mr. Westmoreland you have just lost my vote.Oh I forget nobody is running against you.Stuck with you until another election. I believe both parties have destroyed this country.


September 10th, 2010
4:28 pm

Why do we keep putting these Ultra Right Wingnuts in Congress? How about some moderates that have their voters best interests in mind. This is no time to be shutting down the government. Unbelievable that people actually vote for people like this Westmoreland guy.

Question Man

September 10th, 2010
4:30 pm

Doesn’t it seem that Lynn Westmoreland is on a jihad? Is he out to get innocent Americans?

History will teach us if we listen

September 10th, 2010
4:30 pm

Well, Lynn has finally reached perfection in my book! He is the complete idiot. Somebody please call Wikipedia with a site and photograph. Moe of the 3 Stooges put it best, “What a Maroon!”


September 10th, 2010
4:32 pm

Government is the enemy. The less government the better.


September 10th, 2010
4:33 pm

I really wish those idiots in Washington (Oblunder, Pelnazi, Greid, etc.) would have done nothing. Great job demhypocrites. You managed to break the bank with the garbage you passed. Oblunder has handed the gov’t to corporate america and health insurance. At least under the Republicans I had a much better financial situation instead of what I have now which is nothing. Least we forget by blaming Bush you idiots, it was Clinton that wanted everyone to own a house and gave away america to the lending insititutions and look what that got us. Did you know that that Oblunder’s transparency crap just took a major hit when the US dropped from 1st to 4th in the world rankings because of LACK OF TRANSPARENCY AND GOVERNMENT DEBT. Yeah, great job demhypocrites. Way to lose everything we once had in a very short period of time. Why are the headlines saying that health insurance is costing more? Thank Oblunder who gave ot to insurance companies instead of working to save jobs. I wish he would do nothing. At least then Carter would go down as the worst prez in history.


September 10th, 2010
4:34 pm

The answers to Question Man’s questions are obvious. Lynn Westmoreland is working for a terrorist organization!


September 10th, 2010
4:39 pm

Let’s see, “hundreds” at a Faith and Freedom conference, helmed by Two-Face Reed, are happy about a potential government shutdown. Are there not enough mosques and unburnt korans around to keep their attention?

On the other hand, I wish there had been no Bush Bailouts nor Obama Stimulus so the whole thing could have simply imploded 2 years ago. Then we would clearly see the gulf between the haves and the have-nots and a real class and race war would have truly started. But the govt, banks and insurance companies have no interest in such a war because they would lose money.


September 10th, 2010
4:41 pm

It’s always amusing when idiots leap past Bush to Clinton to claim he ruined the economy. Bush was just powerless those 8 years, I guess.


September 10th, 2010
4:44 pm

Doesn’t Westmoreland know that he is the government? That includes Congress. Let’s shut down Congress too (no pay, no benefits). Let’s fire the military, the border guards…everyone! He is such a GOP fool, but aren’t they all?


September 10th, 2010
4:44 pm

What an idiot, and of course what an idiotic idea! Come on Stephen Colbert – come back to this fool’s district and make a total A$$ of him like you did a couple years ago!

Burp Bacharach

September 10th, 2010
4:45 pm

ralph reed is a pocket jesus….


September 10th, 2010
4:45 pm

Instead of shutting down the Gov’t why don’t we avoid that and actually work together


That’s the same sentiment of the crowd that says ‘just talk to the radical muslims, they’ll understand and stop the violence, they just want peace’…. yeah, we see how much they want to talk or get along….


September 10th, 2010
4:46 pm

In the mid-nineties, when the newly-elected Republican House majority shut down the government, President Clinton’s public approval percentages soared. It took a petulant Speaker Newt Gingrich, who stuck out his lower lip in shock when the President made it clear that the Speaker could not exit Air Force One prior to the President, to make the American public realize what a childish shouting match this government shutdown had become. At that point, the public said, “let the executive branch make the day-to-day decisions for us”. I suggest strongly that the beautifully-baked Mr. Boehner will find the same result.

Sobbing, Inconsolable Democrat

September 10th, 2010
4:47 pm

Waaaaaaaaah! We need more FUNDING!!!


September 10th, 2010
4:48 pm

A recent Heritage John Birch Society People for American Prosperity Foundation study showed that 100% of retards are republican.


September 10th, 2010
4:49 pm


1. Reps limited to 5 terms (10 yrs.). Senators limited to 2 terms (12 years). No more Lifetime Politicians!

2. 28th Amendment: “Congress shall be permitted to make laws limiting campaign contributions and spending, and such laws shall not be deemed an abridgment of the 1st Amendment’s freedom of speech.”


September 10th, 2010
4:50 pm

Like most cons, Lynn doesn’t look like he could go “toe-to-toe” with his own grandmother. Where’d your chin go boy?

Look Alive there are buzzards overhead

September 10th, 2010
4:55 pm

let me remember the republicans presented Mr Clinton with a budget and he would not sign it. To me it was Mr Clinto that shut down the Govt and not the republicans. History has a way of changing when told by lying dumocrats.


September 10th, 2010
4:57 pm

Michael. You are a typical democrat. Bush did not want a house for every moron that chose to be ignorant and never learn to read. Clinton did that. Now we have what we have. Wow, look what Obama has done in 2 short years compared to Bush and his 8 years. I guess it is the republicans fault that Obama has made the federal government the largest in history and basically doubled their pay. Now they are paid more than people that work for a living. I guess he is running the government like he did as a community activist for ACORN. Yes, good job. How many czars does he have now? I agree with Ben and wish he would have done nothing. They way he does his business is he wants everyone to work with him but not willing to work with anyone else. The times they are a changing and I cannot wait to see him eat crow. Ooops. Some democrat will make that into a racial comment. That is the one thing they are good at.


September 10th, 2010
4:58 pm

Everyone can continue to blame President Obama for this mess and go along with the idiots from the GOP, but that’s how we initially got into this situation to begin with. Eight years of the that idiot Bush and the under handed doings of the GOP. People open you eyes. In a dire situation like this, this President had to increase the deficit to try and stop the freefall. If the GOP takes back over, all what he has tried to do will go down the drain. Shut down the Government to prove your point and people will suffer even more, but if that what the people want , then go for it. If you are poor and vote for republicans, you are an idiot, because they are only for the wealthy and will do nothing to help the lower classes. OPEN YOUR EYES AND SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE!!!!!