Note to congressional Republicans: You won the battle over the stopgap spending bill. Time to declare victory and move on.
Washington has been transfixed by Sen.
The only real issue in the debate over the spending bill, HJ Res 59, is how much
Those proposals were never reconciled because Republicans refused to let the two chambers convene a conference to hammer out the differences. Instead, it chose to put off those talks until the government was about to run out of money and borrowing authority. We're at that point now, and the GOP's strategy appears to be working.
The House's stopgap spending bill -- called a
That proposed spending rate is well below what the
On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader
Good luck with that.
In short, Senate Democrats are temporarily giving up on the higher spending levels they had proposed, and will fight that issue another day. In other words, Republicans can declare victory and pass the stopgap bill, avoiding the threat of a partial government shutdown.
Except that they won't. House Republicans are reportedly considering a variety of new riders to attach to the CR when it comes back to them from the Senate a few days from now. These include provocative proposals to delay the requirement that all adult Americans obtain health insurance next year (a crucial element in the Affordable Care Act), cancel a tax on medical devices (also in the ACA), bar the government from covering any portion of the health insurance costs for lawmakers and their staffs, and to require President
And so the drama will continue, with all signs pointing toward a shutdown. As John "Bluto" Blutarsky (a fictional U.S. senator in the making) said in "Animal House," "Nothing is over until we decide it is."