Congress Will Avert a Shutdown With a Few Hours to Spare

Written by SK Ashby

The Republican-controlled House of Representative will vote on a clean continuing resolution to fund the government this evening ahead of the midnight deadline.

As expected, you can thank House Democrats for averting catastrophe.

The rule must pass first in order for debate and a vote on the underlying legislation to move forward. With it approved, the House is now on track to pass a spending bill lasting through Dec. 11 around 5 p.m. Wednesday evening. [...]

Democrats uniformly vote against procedural rules on the floor, putting the onus on Republicans to provide enough votes to pass it. But Democrats are expected to supply votes for the underlying spending bill, since many GOP lawmakers will likely oppose it since it doesn't cut off Planned Parenthood funding.

It remains to be seen if we'll be reading the same headlines again on December 10th, but I expect we will.

The next time we go through the motions of a possible government shutdown, it will be under an entirely different regime of House Republican leadership. There have been some reports that Boehner wants to negotiate a long-term bill that would fund the government for 2 years before he leaves office, but I simply cannot accept that as a real possibility.

John Boehner was forced to abandon the appropriations process over the Summer because House Republicans could not muster enough votes to pass their own bills. I cannot see any reason why the Flying Monkey Caucus would capitulate and agree to pass reasonable, long-term legislation during Boehner's last month in office.

It seems far more likely to me that the consensus of the Crazy Caucus will be to pass another temporary extension of funding that will take us through the new year and then go full bore at spending cuts and radical legislation in February under new leadership.

Passing a long-term funding bill before Boehner leaves office may be the last chance to pass a comprehensive budget for the next two years, and that may actually be in the best interests of the country, but I can't see it happening.