Government Shutdown Avoided and Guaranteed

As I write, the news is that an agree­ment has been reached for the bud­get for the fis­cal year (or what’s left of it). This is good news, though it was pur­chased by the Democ­rats giv­ing up far more than they should have.

Appar­ent­ly, the House will not be able to pass the com­pro­mise with­out Demo­c­ra­t­ic votes as the Tea Par­ty mem­bers feel House Speak­er John Boehn­er gave up too much (he got more than his open­ing bid!). Which brings up the ques­tion, is Boehn­er an his­tor­i­cal­ly weak Speak­er, or an excep­tion­al­ly clever one?

I can not decide if the Democ­rats should give just enough votes for it to pass or if they should vote for it unan­i­mous­ly (or as unan­i­mous­ly as they can).

Now comes the hard part: next year’s bud­get. I see just two pos­si­bil­i­ties. One, no agree­ment is reach­able and the gov­ern­ment shuts down. I think this out­come is guar­an­teed. There is one alter­na­tive. Boehn­er could pass a bud­get with the 192 Demo­c­ra­t­ic votes and 25 Repub­li­can votes (includ­ing his own). This requires Boehn­er to be will­ing to lose his job as Speak­er. It also requires that he and the oth­er 24 Repub­li­cans face a Tea Par­ty oppo­nent in his pri­ma­ry. I see this as the only hope of avoid­ing a shutdown.

If we get through this fall, with or with­out a shut­down, then we have just one bud­get left for this con­gress, and that would be on the table dur­ing the elec­tion! That will be interesting!!

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