(WASHINGTON) -- For months, Democrats have been accusing Republicans of pushing Congress toward a government shutdown that could be catastrophic for the economy.
But now one prominent Democrat says a government shutdown would be "the best thing in the world" for his party.
"From a partisan point of view, I think it would be the best thing in the world to have a shutdown," Sen. Howard Dean said Tuesday at a National Journal Insider Conference's panel. That's because, Dean said, Republicans would be blamed for it.
"If I was head of DNC, I would be quietly rooting for it," Dean said. "I know who's going to get blamed. We've been down this road before."
Privately, many Democrats have been saying the same thing, but by putting it in such inelegant political terms, Dean's words make it harder for Democrats to argue that it is Republicans who are to blame if the current budget impasse leads to a government shutdown.
Funding for the government runs out on April 8. Congress must pass -- and the president must sign -- a funding bill before then to avoid a shutdown.
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