Government Shutdown Watch

The post will replace my earlier one, Congress on Track for Another Government Shutdown.

The federal government made it past the end of the fiscal year with a continuing resolution (CR) that expires on December 11. Speaker John Boehner is stepping down, effective at the end of this month. President Obama has declared that that he will not sign another short-term CR.

As of today, the Tea-GOP House caucus is nominating a new Speaker, the inarticulate, gaffe-prone House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) [Apparently not – see updates]. Rep. McCarthy has already let the proverbial cat out of the bag by telling Faux News’ Sean Hannity that the purpose of the Benghazi Select Committee was to get Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers down.

Unless Boehner is able to push through legislation before retiring, the new Speaker will face a November 5th deadline to raise the debt limit, and then a December 11th budget deadline. At this point it does not look like the Tea-GOP has enough votes in the House to avoid missing those deadlines and precipitating a major governing crisis.

In short, it appears the only way to avoid a default on the National Debt and to prevent another federal government shutdown is with the support of House Democrats– who will surely demand an end to the sequester cuts and who knows what else.

Kevin McCarthy Pulls Out Of House Speaker’s Race

Reps Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) were also running for Speaker. On Wednesday, the House’s conservative “Freedom Caucus” endorsed Webster.

Ian Millhiser on Think Progress:

It is possible that there is no one in America who can win an absolute majority of House members votes, the amount that is necessary to become the next speaker.

  1. #1 by Larry Bergan on October 8, 2015 - 4:42 pm

    A health food expert died on the Dick Cavett show many years ago, but for a politician to die, even figuratively, on the Sean Hannity show would be cause for reflection. I’m not so sure Mr. McCarthy didn’t consciously or unconsciously mess up. He may have even had advise from Boehner to run away from the speakers post.

    If he had made a decision to run as speaker, he may have been dissuaded by Steven Colbert last night, who couldn’t resist making a little fun out of McCarthy’s inability to put a sentence together.

    Starts at just before 4 minutes in:

  2. #2 by Richard Warnick on October 19, 2015 - 8:55 am

    The Tea-GOP-controlled House of Representatives is still in complete chaos. They cannot agree on a successor to Speaker John Boehner, and hardliners are threatening to remove Boehner before the end of the month if he tries to “clean the barn” by passing a debt limit extension and a full-year CR before leaving office.

    House Republicans Return To Capitol To Face Leadership Mess

  3. #3 by Larry Bergan on October 19, 2015 - 10:11 am

    I heard Gingrich said he’d be willing to be the speaker again.

    • #5 by Larry Bergan on October 21, 2015 - 5:46 pm

      I don’t know about this “battle” between Paul Ryan and the “Freedom Caucus”. It’s all tea bagger to me.

  4. #6 by Larry Bergan on October 21, 2015 - 5:58 pm

    With all the good news around the planet, including the incredibly liberal Pope, the election of a liberal Labor Party chief in England and now a liberal Prime Minister of Canada, I’m going to hang my head in shame if Bernie Sanders doesn’t get the nomination.

    Interesting to know that the elections in Canada are only 11 weeks long. I guess they don’t like distractions as much as we do.

  5. #7 by Richard Warnick on October 24, 2015 - 9:15 pm

    Republican Leaders Struggle To Find Votes To Up Debt Limit

    According to TPM, it would take as few as 32 House Tea-GOPers to save our country from a first-ever default on the National Debt. But Speaker Boehner can’t find those votes, apparently.

  6. #8 by Richard Warnick on October 29, 2015 - 11:17 am

    GOP Senses That Winter Is Coming

    GOP leaders have cut a deal with the Obama administration to put aside the largest budget and borrowing disputes until after the 2016 election — a move designed to change the party’s image as a cohort of infantile obstructionists whose only idea of governance is a shutdown.

  7. #9 by Richard Warnick on November 17, 2015 - 10:52 am

    Will Speaker Ryan’s First Big Test Be A Shutdown Fight Over Syrian Refugees?

    The race is now on for GOP leadership in the House and Senate to figure out how to attack the refugee program in a way that will appease conservatives. The question will be whether standalone efforts to change or limit the program will be enough. Or if the already heated political rhetoric will give rise to yet another threat of a government shutdown if Obama does not cede to Republican demands.

    Remember, the budget deal worked out by ex-Speaker Boehner cannot by itself prevent a government shutdown at midnight on December 11. Congress still has to enact one or more appropriations bills, and if these bills turn out to be veto-bait we’ll have a shutdown.

  8. #10 by Larry Bergan on November 17, 2015 - 2:07 pm

    I have the perfect idea if another shutdown comes up.

    Americans can make a big sack lunch every morning, but instead of going to work, we can all go out in the street, lie down, scream and kick out feet until this crap stops.

    Fight fire with fire.

  9. #11 by Richard Warnick on December 1, 2015 - 3:38 pm

    Ryan works to pass $1.1 trillion spending bill that might be DOA anyway

    Ryan’s goal is not only to pass a spending bill, but to pass it without the help of Democrats—lest he become the target of the venomous attacks that Boehner did. But one thing Ryan seems to be forgetting is, regardless of how much GOP support they muster, there’s still a Democratic president on the other side of this bill.

    The House GOP leadership team is presently promising to consider riders in the omnibus bill that are certain to be “poison pill” amendments if they are attached—including measures regarding Planned Parenthood and national security, among others. The one that appears to have the most steam behind it is a measure that would block President Obama’s resettlement plan for 10,000 Syrian refugees.

    Assuming a House-passed omnibus makes it through the Senate, President Obama won’t be afraid to use his veto power. If there is a government shutdown ten days from now, the Tea-GOP will get the blame.

    • #13 by Larry Bergan on December 1, 2015 - 5:16 pm

      “What was once paramount, just isn’t convenient anymore.”

      Yeah. No shit. 🙂

      Ironic that four words uttered by a Planned Parenthood terrorist could save Planned Parenthood.

      I’m appalled though. I thought the hallmark of Republican leadership was to stick by your principles, no matter what.

  10. #14 by Richard Warnick on December 2, 2015 - 12:50 pm

    House GOP Keeps Alive The Prospect Of A Govt Shutdown Over Syrian Refugees

    According to a senior Democratic aide familiar with the negotiations, leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rejected the opening offer from Republicans for a variety of reasons because it “included more than 30 poison pill riders: numerous anti-environment, anti-worker, anti-Dodd-Frank riders as well as the House Syria refugee legislation.”

    OK, then: 30 poison-pill riders, and just 9 days until the federal government goes into shutdown. Keep calm everyone.

    • #15 by Larry Bergan on December 2, 2015 - 1:07 pm

      I have a little more faith in humanity today.

      I went to an event promoting bringing Syrian refugees here last night, and there were at least 200 people there. They sold a lot of candles to float on the lake at Sugarhouse Park for $20 a pop. The lake was frozen, but people’s hearts weren’t.

  11. #17 by Richard Warnick on December 8, 2015 - 11:23 am

    House Republican leaders acknowledge they won’t get the government funded by Friday

    Best bet right now? By Friday, Congress ends up extending funding until December 18, and all these fights bleed into next week—and possibly beyond.

    • #18 by Larry Bergan on December 8, 2015 - 8:59 pm

      What happened to:

      John Boehner fixed everything until after the next president is in office?

      • #19 by Richard Warnick on December 9, 2015 - 9:31 am

        Boehner gets credit for avoiding a default on the National Debt, and he pointed Congress toward a budget deal. But unless they can pass an appropriations bill, there will be a government shutdown.

  12. #20 by Richard Warnick on December 10, 2015 - 10:36 am

    Congress wants to give itself more time to fight over omnibus spending bill

    Congress may pass a five-day extension of the CR to avoid a shutdown on Friday.

  13. #21 by Richard Warnick on December 12, 2015 - 12:02 pm

    Last night federal government employees finished their work week not knowing if the government would shut down at midnight. But the House passed a CR to provide funding through next Wednesday.

    Congress Passes Measure Avoiding U.S. Government Shutdown

  14. #22 by Larry Bergan on December 12, 2015 - 1:49 pm

    I thought Republicans were against “kick the can”.

    • #23 by Richard Warnick on December 12, 2015 - 5:15 pm

      Actually the House Shutdown Caucus (they call themselves the “Freedom Caucus” for some unknown reason, but all they do is plot to shut down the federal government) wanted to kick the can to February and stage another shutdown crisis then.

      Speaker Ryan, the Dems, and the White House are all trying to get past the shutdown nonsense ASAP and keep the government in business at least through the rest of the fiscal year if not until the 2016 election.

  15. #24 by Larry Bergan on December 12, 2015 - 7:42 pm

    The “freedom caucus”. That’s perfection. Why not the “family caucus” though?

  16. #25 by Richard Warnick on December 14, 2015 - 9:59 am

    Where’s The Omnibus? With 2 Days Until Funding Deadline, A Final Bill Is Delayed

    Lawmakers already blew through the Dec. 11 deadline and were forced to pass a short-term funding bill to keep the government’s lights on through this Wednesday.

    In the meantime, they’ve been hammering out the details in closely watched but private negotiations. Reporters have been expecting the final version to be released publicly for the past several days, in part because Ryan has promised to give his members a couple of days to digest the package before making them vote on it. But as of midday Monday, everyone is still waiting.

    A spokesman for Ryan told TPM that “negotiations continued throughout the weekend and progress was made but there is no deal yet and the discussions continue.”

  17. #28 by Larry Bergan on December 16, 2015 - 2:35 pm

    I’m thinking the next shutdown will be over whether to ban Jon Stewart.

  18. #29 by Richard Warnick on December 17, 2015 - 12:46 pm

  19. #30 by Richard Warnick on December 18, 2015 - 9:54 am

    DONE DEAL: House Passes Omnibus, Senate Takes A Crack At It Next

    By a vote of 316 to 113 Friday, the House easily passed the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending package that will fund the government through most of 2016.

    The package now goes to the Senate, where final passage is expected later today. President Obama is certain to sign the bill before the current funding extension runs out Dec. 22, bringing an end to budget brinksmanship for this fiscal year.

    That’s the end of the shutdown watch until FY 2017.

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