Yesterday, Comrade Stupid said that he would wanted a government shut down if he didn’t get his wall.With the government about to go bust again, and the debt ceiling closing in on the treasury, he could get his wish.
Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie puts together the racing form for the government shutting down on Thursday:
— IT’S THE SENATE’S TURN, AND THIS COULD BECOME WHAT SOME CALL AN UNTHINKABLY MASSIVE PACKAGE: The Senate is likely to attach the following items to the stopgap spending measure that keeps government open until March 23: a deal to increase the debt limit until after the November elections, a bipartisan agreement to boost spending levels by $100 billion, disaster relief and an extension of various tax provisions. LOOKING FOR A PARALLEL? This is akin to John Boehner’s clean-the-barn gambit before he retired and handed the reigns to Paul Ryan.
— REPUBLICANS’ GAMBLE: This is a bipartisan deal in the Senate, so you don’t have to worry about things on that side of the dome. They’ve all but said shutting down the government is not an option. BUT WHERE DOES NANCY PELOSI LAND? Our guess is House Republicans could be counted on for between 120 and 150 votes for a package that big and that complicated. We hear Pelosi is inclined to support the package at the moment, according to people who have spoken to her. THE QUESTION: Will House Democrats vote for this deal without any appreciable movement on DACA?
(As you probably noticed, the Dreamers are NOT part of this discussion, and their protected status ends in the beginning of March. I’m not hopeful for them.)
— WHY WOULD THEY EVEN CONSIDER SUCH A BIG PACKAGE? HOUSE REPUBLICANS feel like this is their only opportunity to pass a debt limit.
(I believe, Scissorheads, that “debt limit” is some sort of weasel-speak for balanced budget legislation, which is probably the single-worst idea in politics.)
— WHAT WILL TRUMP SAY HERE? This deal is objectively kind of “eh” for the White House. Sure, he clears the debt limit out, and gets spending increases which he could position as a start on his promise to “rebuild the military.” But another leverage point is going by without an immigration or wall deal.
— IF THEY CLEAR THIS BILL, it’s not over. It gives lawmakers another month to write another spending bill to keep government funded through Sept. 30.
DON’T BE SURPRISED if this government funding process goes down to the wire. This might not wrap up until Thursday or Friday.
HOUSE DEMOCRATS have moved their retreat from the Eastern Shore of Maryland to the Capitol so that they can be part of the government-funding skirmish.
The Republican-controlled Congress is proving us once again that they are incapable of even the basics of governing: keeping our government running.