DeMint: Energy Dispute Could Shut Down Government

DENVER — Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said Tuesday that if Democrats attempt to extend a ban on offshore drilling by attaching it to spending bills — as has been done in the past — "virtually every Republican" will oppose the move — effectively shutting down the government on Oct. 1. The ban expires that day and DeMint and other Republicans are calling it "Energy Freedom Day."

DeMint said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would bear the responsibility for the government shutdown for attempting an approach Republicans have promised to block.  

He added that Democratic suggestions that a government shutdown would delay Social Security checks and Medicare payments is an attempt to scare voters and that only "nonessential services" would be curtailed.