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!!