Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Budget Odds and Ends 2 (FY 2011)

Alas, on this one my sense that a shutdown was very likely is looking pretty good right now, although Greg Sargent is correct to point out that John Boehner has a tough road here and might think that brinkmanship is his only hope. Of course, even if that's true, brinkmanship carries with it the risk of inadvertent war. 

At any rate, the one-week CR that Boehner is readying is clearly, I think, a shutdown CR; it's not designed to keep the government open for a week, but to allow the House to say that they've passed something and so it's the Democrats' fault. Granted, if passing the year-long CR and the "We're Not To Blame For the Shutdown" Act (note: not actual name) didn't make that point already, it's not clear that this one will, but that's what it's for.

As Stan Calender points out, there's still time to act. In fact, I'd say there's even more than he gives it; House rules can be overridden if they want to, and they could even pass a quick very short clean CR if negotiations were on track and everyone wanted one. I don't know what the record for shortest CR is, but I'm sure it's days, not weeks. If they want, they can go day to day. The problem isn't time in the abstract; it's that there appears to be almost no support for another short-term extension of any kind, especially with negotiations off track. And so far, that part of it doesn't appear to be budging at all. 


  1. I've love to see Obama actually shut down the government. No FAA. No TSA. No afghan or Libya operation. No VA hospitals.

  2. I may soon be proven catastrophically wrong here, but it’s always seemed to me that the Republicans and tea partiers are playing good cop-bad cop with the Democrats. And the Dems have been happy to play right along, constantly emphasizing just how big and mean (and even mentally unstable) the bad cop is. And the outcome has been good for the Republicans -- the Dems seem prepared to accept cuts that are roughly on par with what the GOP leadership had originally asked for.

  3. Both sides probably want a BRIEF shutdown. Boehmer to look tough for the Tea Party, Obama to raise the specter of an irresponsible GOP.

  4. While Speaker Boehner is cagey, and even prudent, he's never struck me as being especially bright. (Exceptional brightness in legislators, I'm afraid, is too often seen as a liability on the GOP side, as it generally interferes with following orders.) Be that as it may, I'm not confident the Republican leaders (besides the Speaker--Cantor, Ryan, Pence?) have gamed-out the true consequences of a shutdown on the nation or their party, and instead think they hold a winning hand.


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