Martin Longman at the Political Animal blog brings up a topic no one is currently talking about, but should rightly be concerned about. Will the Government Shut Down in October?
Stan Collender, who is one of the best analysts on the congressional budgeting process, has put up a doomsday clock at his blog. It says that the Republicans have 69 days left before the government shuts down again, but the real number is less than half of that when you take into account weekends, vacations, and days when no votes are scheduled.
Or as the POLITICO Playbook correctly pointed out this morning, 14 legislative days until the government shuts down:
IT MIGHT PUT YOUR MIND at ease that August recess is around the corner, but Congress has 14 legislative days before the government shuts down Sept. 30. Yes, just 14 legislative days — including today — in session to pass a bill to keep the government open.
If you talk to top Republicans privately, they’ll brush it off, and say that there is no way PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP will want a confrontation roughly a month before the election in order to get money for his border wall. A down payment to continue to build the wall will be enough to keep Trump happy, some top Republicans say.
Can they be so certain?
IT DOESN’T TAKE MUCH IMAGINATION to see the president unhappy with a small pot of money for his signature wall. If the right goes crazy, saying Congress isn’t backing the president’s top immigration proposal, the president might get riled up. Remember: last time the president threatened to veto a spending bill his own staff had a hand in negotiating. Republicans will also be on the brink of electing new congressional leaders, which adds another complication into the mix. There isn’t much room for error, as you can see. And the president and his advisers believe that his immigration policy is a net positive for Republicans across the country.
OF COURSE, the uncomfortable reality for Republicans is that they will almost certainly need Democratic votes to get a government-funding bill across the finish line. And there are a healthy number of Democrats who don’t want Trump to have any money for his border wall.
MOST LIKELY at this point: Congress will try to use September to pass a stop-gap measure to fund government until the end of 2018.
“Stan Collender puts the odds of a October 1st shutdown at 60 percent.” Collender clearly has little confidence in this miserable do-nothing GOP Congress and an increasingly erratic and unpredictable president.
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Tagged government shutdown, Special Counsel, U.S. Supreme Court
The U.S. House of Representatives on a vote of 256-167 (proceeding under the TARGET Act) has approved a $1.3 trillion spending bill to avert a government shutdown and to fund federal agencies through Sept. 30, sending the measure over to the Senate ahead of a midnight Friday deadline.
Arizona Delegation: YES McSally, O’Halleran, Sinema; NO Biggs, Gallego, Gosar, Grijalva, Schweikert.
The Senate is expected to vote late on Thursday or Friday, before current government funding expires at midnight on Friday. There could still be another brief Aqua Buddha shutdown from Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) desperately seeking attention.
You can read the massive 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion spending bill to search for what is hidden in it.
Here are a few highlights of what is (and is not) in the spending bill compiled from several sources including the Washington Post, Politico, and Vox.com.
Defense spending generally favored by Republicans is set to rise $80 billion over previously authorized budget sequester levels, including a 2.4 percent pay raise for military personnel and $144 billion for Pentagon hardware.
Domestic spending generally favored by Democrats is set to rise by $63 billion over previously authorized budget sequester levels, including increases in funding for infrastructure, medical research, veterans programs and efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. Civilian federal employees get a 1.9 percent pay raise.
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Tagged DACA, government shutdown, opioid epidemic, Planned Parenthood
So the GOP’s alleged boy genius and Ayn Rand fanboy, Paul Ryan, “the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin,” went ahead with his kabuki theater plan to pass his fifth temporary spending bill (CR) that everyone knows was DOA in the Senate. He no doubt wants credit for his farce. House passes stopgap spending measure with defense money:
House Republicans passed a spending package on Tuesday night that pairs a full year of defense funding with a temporary patch for the rest of the government, even as Senate leaders pursue a different plan to avoid a shutdown when funding runs dry on Thursday.
The continuing resolution (CR), which passed the House 245-182, would fund the Defense Department for the rest of fiscal 2018 and keep the rest of the government’s lights on until March 23. It also includes two years of funding for community health centers and extends several expiring health care programs.
But the defense-CR package is unlikely to fly in the Senate, meaning senators will need to rewrite the stopgap measure and “ping-pong” it back to the House.
Spending bills are supposed to originate in the House, but since that clown show is held hostage by the House GOP Freedom Caucus who are not serious about governing responsibly, the serious work of keeping the government functioning is being done in the Senate. Senate leaders see two-year budget deal within their grasp:
Top Senate leaders were working Tuesday to finalize a sweeping long-term budget deal that would include a defense spending boost President Trump has long demanded alongside an increase in domestic programs championed by Democrats.
As negotiations for the long-term deal continued, the House passed a short-term measure that would fund the government past a midnight Thursday deadline and avert a second partial shutdown in less than a month.
The House bill, which passed 245 to 182, would fund most agencies through March 23 but is a nonstarter in the Senate because of Democratic opposition.
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Tagged DACA, disaster relief, federal debt ceiling, GOP Budget Sequester, government shutdown