A shutdown is a very real possibility, Republican sources tell me — mainly because Republicans remain as fractured as they were when they tanked health reform:
- The House Freedom Caucus wants to use the coming budget fight to shrink government by defunding Obamacare and Planned Parenthood.
- Sen. John McCain told David Axelrod on the first TV version of his CNN podcast, “The Axe Files,” that he’ll do whatever it takes to increase military spending — even if that means a shutdown.
- Dems have no interest in helping Trump and Republicans, so they’ll fight on all fronts. A senior Democratic aide emails that the party realizes its leverage: “[A] shutdown… would completely be viewed by the public as a function of Republican dysfunction.”
To avoid a shutdown, Republicans will probably have no choice but to seduce Ds. Steve Elmendorf, a top Democratic lobbyist, told me it’s very possible to construct a government-funding bill that’ll get Democratic votes (no defunding of Planned Parenthood, no money for a wall, a reasonable position on defense/non-defense spending).
“The only way you get to a shutdown is incompetence, which this group is certainly capable of,” Elmendorf said.
Not to be outdone, Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie turns a gimlet eye to amply be-chinned Mitch:
— SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL to CHRIS WALLACE on “FOX NEWS SUNDAY” — No government shutdown later this month: “Yeah, I’m very confident. The two appropriations committees are working on the bills on a bipartisan basis. We’ll be talking to Senate Democrats. They will be relevant to this process. It will require 60 votes. I am confident Senate Democrats are not going to want to shut down government. … Nobody wants a government shutdown. I think the Senate Democrats know that every time that we have had a government shutdown situation, it’s been the Congress has been blamed and not the President. So I would advise President Trump, don’t worry about them sticking that label on you. Congress owns the government shutdown brand. And there is no incentive, frankly, for either side to go to the brink. I think we are going to be able to work all of this out later this month.”
Mitch is trying to frame the inevitable shutdown as the Dim’s fault, even though the vandals and waterheads of the GOP control all of Congress and the Preznint. Good luck making that case.
Housekeeping Note: I’ve picked up some sort of bug, and my temperature keeps spiking. Sorry for the lack of posts.