Rep. Donna Edwards' campaign for Senate is launching a web video Monday that chastises Congress for its latest budget brinksmanship, and also criticizes her opponent for "gaming out a partisan advantage" on the issue.
Focusing on veterans who Edwards said would be hurt if lawmakers allow the government to shut down this week, the two-minute video also introduces Edwards as someone who grew up in a military family and is a single mother.
"Right now, in Washington, the political insiders are playing politics with the government shutdown," Edwards says to the camera. "The Tea Party Republicans are trying to defund Planned Parenthood."
Edwards is running for the seat that will be left vacant by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski's retirement in 2017. Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Montgomery County is the only other Democratic candidate aggressively running for the job.
Edwards takes a swipe at Van Hollen in the video, saying that "political insiders are gaming out a partisan advantage." As she speaks, a September headline from Roll Call appears on the screen: "Government shutdown could help Democrats, Van Hollen says."
Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee and a former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, appeared to be making the point that bad policy leads to bad politics.
"It's something that would be bad for the country, putting politics aside," Roll Call quotes Van Hollen saying at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast. "In this case, what happens to be bad policy happens to be bad politics."
Sheila O'Connell, Van Hollen's campaign manager, responded to the video by arguing that "Chris Van Hollen is actually working with President Obama and Leader Pelosi to prevent a government shutdown" and that "Donna Edwards is trying to get attention by lobbing partisan attacks that do nothing to help Maryland families."
Congress has until Wednesday night to advance a funding measure or risk shuttering federal agencies on Thursday. The likelihood of a shutdown, though, was minimized after House Speaker John Boehner stepped down from his post on Friday.
Senate Republicans are expected to send a stop-gap spending bill to the House on Tuesday.