Friday, September 25, 2015

Shutdown update: McConnell's maneuvering

Here's a short update from Politico.com.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to set up a vote on a clean spending bill that would avert a government shutdown on Oct. 1, although House Speaker John Boehner still has not said whether his chamber will take up the Senate legislation.

McConnell made the move after a measure that would have defunded Planned Parenthood failed to win even a majority of Senate votes on Thursday afternoon.

The raging right-wing Republican radicals in the house, though, are likely to block McConnell's attempt to avoid a shutdown.

Paul Waldman at the Washington Post Plum Line has additional analysis and comments.

With the big news out of Congress today the warm welcome received by Pope Francis, one might forget that our nation’s august legislature is headed for yet another government shutdown, this time over Republican demands that the government cut off all funding for Planned Parenthood, most of which comes in the form of Medicaid reimbursements for women’s health care.

This comes at a particularly inopportune time for Republicans. Just when it was starting to look like their chaotic presidential primary might be heading to a more sane place, the shutdown controversy threatens to drag it backwards, boosting the candidates the party fears most.

... if there will be any beneficiaries of a shutdown (or an intra-GOP) battle over whether to pursue a shutdown) in the presidential race, they’re likely to be Trump, perhaps Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, and Ted Cruz, whose entire political persona is built on his contempt for the Republican congressional leadership. ...

This controversy will end in one of two ways: either Congress will pass a "clean" continuing resolution to fund the government (including Planned Parenthood) before a shutdown occurs, or there will be a shutdown for some period of time, which will end when Congress passes a clean CR. Republicans will not get the substantive thing they want, just as they always fail to get the substantive thing they want when they threaten shutdowns. They didn’t repeal the Affordable Care Act when they shut down the government in 2013, and they won’t defund Planned Parenthood this time.

Whenever it does end, Ted Cruz will cry "Betrayal!", Donald Trump will say, "these bozos can’t get anything done," and lots of Republican voters will nod their heads in agreement. And the day when something resembling order comes to the presidential primary contest will have been pushed back again — all while the general electorate is reminded of what a reasonable and trustworthy governing party the GOP is.

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