Will the government shut down in March?

It seems like it will, according to David Dayen:

The Senate is now off for a week. When they come back it’ll be February 28. The continuing resolution to fund the government expires on March 4. So naturally, the Senate will next take up — a patent reform bill. And in the meantime, Reid is raising the pressure on John Boehner’s statement yesterday that he would not go for a short-term continuing resolution, which means a government shutdown, essentially.

Dayen continues:

As for what will happen in the next two weeks, it’s completely unclear. Boehner has said there will be no short-term CR; he may offer something with across-the-board cuts or some one-off cuts to cherished accounts. Reid could just offer a short-term CR after he gets the bill that will get a final vote today Saturday. Senate Republicans would then have to decide whether to block it, putting them on the hook for the government shutdown. There’s a ton of brinksmanship going on.

Obviously, any shutting of the government would be extremely irresponsible. Those individuals most dependent on the Federal government would take the hardest blow. It has happened before, though, with the obvious forerunner being the 1995 budget battle between President Clinton and the Contract with America Congressional class. The nadir of that episode arrived when House Speaker Newt Gingrich complained about being assigned a seat in the rear of Air Force One, a complaint that allegedly motivated his hardline position in the budget fight. Gingrich’s outburst and his leadership in general destroyed his Congressional career and the budget battle he led contributed into Clinton’s 1996 reelection.

But the fact that a budget battle between a divided Federal government once produced a political catastrophe for the Republicans has not deterred the current House from adopting the same tactic. Nor has the harm to the “lesser people” caused by their politicking. Although they are the minority party, the Republicans always govern as though they were a strong majority party that had overwhelming popular support. They govern in this way because of their hatred of these “lesser people” and because the Democratic Party lacks the kind of principles needed to oppose the Republican Party.

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