The gloating of amply be-chinned Mitch McConnell and Zombie-eyed Granny-starver Paul Ryan ends tomorrow, when government funding runs out. So maybe we don’t have to suffer seeing the Eddie Munster-like visage of Paul Ryan’s rictus grin beyond today? Or the wattles of Mitch’s infinite jowls jiggling with joy?
Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) tells us:
“GOP leaders are betting that their conference doesn’t want to trample on their tax victory by shuttering federal agencies. They plan to call up the bill, along with a separate $81 billion disaster package for hurricane relief. If the House passes the funding patch Thursday, the Senate will move on it as quickly as possible, GOP aides said.
“With House Democrats united against a short-term spending plan that doesn’t include their top priorities, Ryan is being forced to rely on his divided conference to carry the bill over the finish-line. GOP defense hawks and conservatives alike spent Wednesday criticizing Ryan’s current plan. But Republican leaders think they can garner the needed 217 votes nonetheless. …
Tiger Beat’s morning email thingie:
OK, LET’S UNPACK THIS A BIT — The $81-billion disaster relief supplemental spending bill is already becoming a problem for Republicans for several reasons. GOP leaders are in a tough spot: conservatives don’t love it [ Ed – it is to laugh that they are suddenly deficit-aware again! –TG] and House Democrats are in no mood to give the majority a hand. Yet Floridians and Texans need this bill in order to consider supporting the stopgap government-funding measure. It’s likely that the GOP will need House Democratic votes to get the disaster relief bill across the finish line, and the Democratic leadership has been noncommittal. The package has moved Democrats’ way, though — they were planning to slip in a provision to bolster Medicaid for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Funding bills cannot use the budget reconciliation procedure, so the Democrats could filibuster the funding bill and shut down the government. And pigs could fly outta my pretty pink ass.
— ON THE GOV’T FUNDING BILL: It extends CHIP — the children’s health insurance program — through the end of March, which could help attract a few Democratic votes, but Republicans will have to carry the bulk of this bill on their own. Watch defense hawks: they’re mad. But leadership says they are coming around. ALSO IN THE C.R.: Language to waive pay-as-you-go requirements for Republicans’ tax bill. … An extension of a key FISA surveillance provision until the expiration of the government-funding measure.
Waiving the pay-as-you-go could be a really big deal and neuter ZEGS (there’s an unfortunate mental image) from his next big adventure in curb-stomping poor people.
McConnell promised Sen. Susan Collins that he would shepherd two bills that will stabilize the ACA through the Senate, and oddly she fell for it. The obvious thing amply be-chinned Mitch could do would be to attach these bills to the funding legislation to keep the gubmint open.
But of course, the House Freedom Caucus would rise as one on their hind legs and throw their poop at ZEGS: they hate the ACA with a passion. They could vote NAY and thus, shut down the gubmint.
Prediction: the House will fund the government until mid-January, which will backfire spectacularly. You see, Wingnuttia loses Luther Strange, and the Democrats gain Doug Jones. Furthermore, Grandpa Walnuts is in the terrible sand kingdom of Arizonastan recuperating from his brain damage, so essentially the Senate goes to 50-49, and Mike Pence will be making termites in that building salivate.
There is a wild card: Al Franken leaves on January 2, and his replacement is not sworn in until January 3. Look for fuckery!