We’re One Week Away From a Possible Government Shutdown

Written by SK Ashby

I don't know exactly how likely it is the federal government will shut down next Friday, but I would say it's more likely now than it has ever been this year.

Why? Because Democrats haven't committed to voting for another continuing resolution and now some members of the Flying Monkey Caucus say they won't vote for it.

“Look, two weeks isn’t very long,” said McCarthy, R-Calif. “We want to keep up the pressure up.”

But conservatives fear a torrent of spending bills, legislation to shore up Obamacare insurance markets,

“I am a hard no on any (continuing resolution) ending the week of Christmas,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas. “That tells me that they have an absolutely horrible bill that they want to try to jam through.”

Now, the Batshit Caucus is known for saying a lot of things before eventually caving under pressure, but that's not typically the case with government funding bills. A majority of their caucus almost always votes against omnibus spending bills which are carried to passage by Democrats.

There may not be enough Democratic support this time around so it's an open question if the Freedumb Caucus will sink their own party's effort to keep the government running.

Looking ahead, if we assume there won't be a government shutdown next week or at the end of this month, it appears as if Democrats will get most of what they want (again) just like they did earlier this year. A continuing resolution that funds the federal government beyond the new year is expected to increase spending by at least $100 billion.

Because GOP leadership can't count on votes from the Flying Monkey Caucus to fund the government, Democrats still have a significant amount of leverage.

In any event, another continuing resolution will bring us one step closer to another year under a fiscal framework signed into law by President Obama. The GOP's tax cut bill is the obvious monkey in the wrench that will add a trillion dollars to the deficit, but overall spending levels will remain the same for at least the next year.

The leverage Democrats possess will be even more important when it comes time to block automatic cuts to Medicaid and Medicare triggered by the GOP tax cut bill.

Ideally, Democrats will retake control of the House next November. That would obviously give them the power to force the issue.