Will we have a two-week, semi-clean temporary funding bill to keep the government from shutting down after the March 4 deadline? That's the plan -- but Stan Collender reports this morning that Tea Partiers in the House may vote against it, and speculates about whether House Democrats would then be willing to provide the votes to get the deal done.
The sticking point for House Republicans is, Collender reports, health care. The planned two-week CR isn't clean in the sense that it doesn't keep funding levels the same, but it is clean in the sense that it omits all the policy riders that were included in the House-passed CR.
This is, as I've said, the problem with the policy riders in the first place. Once you define a vote on normal appropriations bills as a positive affirmation of any policy that is already in place (because you're funding the bureaucrats who carry out that policy), then it becomes very difficult to pass the year's funding bills without a full-out fight over any controversial law that's ever been passed.
Beyond that, the dynamics remain the same. John Boehner almost certainly wants to avoid a government shutdown because it's highly dangerous for Republicans in general, and for the Speaker in particular. Many rank-and-file Members appear to want confrontation just for the sake of confrontation, and Democrats and Republicans are legitimately far apart on spending levels. (The NYT's Jennifer Steinhauer has an excellent article today giving the point of view of new Members).
So we'll see what happens in the House. Collender's post covers most of the key ground, but there's one point he didn't touch on: if some Republicans oppose the two-week CR on the grounds that it funds and therefore ratifies ACA, how many Republicans will be willing to stick with the leadership?
I have no predictions about how it plays out, but it's very easy to see this thing falling apart. And given the difficulties that Boehner's team has had counting votes so far, it wouldn't be a shock to see it collapse during the vote.