Now, Graves is one of the 80 signees to the Meadows letter, which has precipitated another shutdown threat. This week, it’s time for reporters in the region to pose this question again.

Update: After this post was published, Nick Simpson, a spokesman for Sen. Johanns, sent CJR an email disputing the post’s characterization of the senator’s position. His email included this explanation:

[Johanns] supports the House-passed CR and is planning to vote for the motion to proceed and cloture. He did not sign the Cruz letter, in part, because he wanted to read the CR before announcing how he would vote. When the letter was circulated, there was no CR. Secondly, he is opposed to shutting down the government over Obamacare funding because even with a shutdown, the law would still continue to be implemented. In short, a shutdown wouldn’t achieve every Republican’s goal of stopping the flawed health care law. But disagreeing on strategy is a far cry from “taking a shot” at someone.

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Deron Lee is CJR's correspondent for Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska. A writer and copy editor who has spent seven years with the National Journal Group, he has also contributed to The Hotline and the Lawrence Journal-World. He lives in the Kansas City area. Follow him on Twitter at @deron_lee.