Potomac Fever is the blog of the Hamilton College Semester in Washington Program.
I think a shutdown's pretty likely at this point, and I think even coming up with the longer CR to cover the rest of the fiscal year is going to be extremely difficult. House Republicans passed nine amendments defunding health care reform, plus ones for defunding financial reform. Those are more unacceptable to Obama and Senate Democrats than many of the cuts House Republicans passed. But are Republicans going to accept a deal where no defunding provisions are included?
though the article you cited makes it sound like the House Republican leadership wants to flinch on this short-term CR (which I really wish they would- we need several more weeks to reach a negotiated settlement on a CR for the rest of year, which will in the end give them some but not all of the cuts they want). This way we could avoid a government shutdown which is such a volatile political event, I don't think any sane person on either side wants. I'm not certain what happened in the 90's will repeat itself- conditions are different. That doesn't mean I think Republicans would win the political fight over a shutdown- I just think it's such a difficult thing to predict so anyone who is risk averse should avoid letting it get to that level where you are essentially flipping a coin and hoping your side wins.
I think a shutdown represents a failure to compromise on both sides. Obama has not reached out to the GOP at all. For all his and Reid's talk about how bad a shutdown would be and the GOP's 'threats', he has done nothing to seek compromise.
I agree that there has been a failure of outreach by Obama, and to a lesser extent, Reid. That is problematic, because a compromise is literally required. I just worry the short-term politics (next week/2 weeks) are intractable, which will result in a shutdown that hopefully might resolve the medium-term (next month) debate of the full-year CR.
Yes, but we did have some time didn't we? Ryan and Boehner have both expressed that they would be willing to compromise on a short term budget. I'm not sure that the politics have been intractable for the past couple weeks even if they are now. Obama's failure to reach out makes me question if he is the one who wants a government shutdown. Please correct me if I'm wrong I'm really not as informed on all of this as you are.
I do agree with Megan in that I haven't seen or heard of Obama or many Democrats reaching out to Republicans on this. I think Senate Dems are working on a more longterm package with adjustments to entitlements but that will probably take longer than the 2 weeks before the government shuts down. From the Dems' angle though, the Republican cuts are seriously draconian and many of their members have shown no willingness to back down on their 61 (or 100 or wherever it is now) billion in cuts.
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