According to Chad Pergram at Fox News a government shutdown will happen at midnight Friday night, which is the anniversary of the day Trump took office, if Congress doesn’t find a solution to keep the government open.
Here’s the lowdown from Pergram:
Government operations funding ceases at 11:59:59 p.m. ET Friday night. The federal government will close on January 20 – the one-year anniversary of President Trump taking office – if Congress fails to cough up a fourth version of an interim spending plan this week. Congress has punted on a long-term solution to run the government since mid-September and again twice just before the holidays. That’s why it gurgles ahead now.
He lays out the main issues:
Republicans insist on bolstering Pentagon spending. In exchange, Democrats demand an increase in non-defense spending. The administration intends to marshal $18 billion for a border wall security system. But the most nettlesome complication? DACA and what to do about hundreds of thousands of people brought here to the U.S. by their parents when they were just children.
The coalitions on each of these issues are so torturously tangled that there may not be a way to find a compromise on anything which secures enough votes to avert a government shutdown.
And the problem:
Here’s the problem: Trump and many congressional Republicans fear a backlash from their base if they cede ground on DACA. GOP leaders insist they should address the DACA issue separately from an emergency spending bill. That’s not so much a message to Democrats as it is to Republicans. The GOP brass knows merging the two issues does them no favors, tempting skeptical Republicans to balk. Republicans hold majorities in both the House and Senate. They need buy-in from at least nine Democrats to reach 60 votes in the Senate and break a filibuster. But it’s not clear that Republicans could even secure basic majorities from their own sides on a simple bill just to re-up all funding by Friday.
House Republicans huddle tonight in the basement of the Capitol to consider options. Fox News is told GOP leaders will beseech their members to approve yet another stopgap spending bill with little in return.
A host of Republicans support DACA. But many of them are hard-pressed to vote yes on another temporary plan without a clear path on DACA. Then there are those arguing for fortified defense spending. Why would they support the status quo? Others want the wall. There certainly wouldn’t be a wall in that caretaker spending plan. There are deficit hawks who don’t see any action whatsoever when it comes to reducing the deficit. Some are concerned about the status of an $81 billion disaster relief bill which the House approved in December for Florida, Texas, California, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Senate has yet to address that plan, nearly a full month after the House OK’d its version of the package.
Vote for another provisional spending bill just to keep the federal lights on?
It’s enough to make some lawmakers want to swallow a Tide pod.
So much for using DACA as leverage to get the Democrats to fund the border wall. It sounds like Republicans are having a whole load of trouble trying to agree themselves.
I bet we end up with a bill that does nothing but fund the government by Friday and lose much of the leverage we have on DACA.
But even if we don’t, a shutdown isn’t the end of the world or even that big of a deal. As many of you already know essential services won’t be affected. But over the years both Democrats and Republicans in Congresses have acted as though looming government shutdowns were the beginnings of Armageddon, so most people now believe they are very bad when they really aren’t.
The biggest issue, of course, will be political as there will be the added pressure by the media to blame Republicans (and Trump) for the government shutdown instead of blaming the Democrats, who never get blamed by the media, no matter how much of the government they run or don’t run. That will probably spur Republicans to do something to alleviate bare bones to the situation, which means kicking the can down the road again.
That’s my prediction, that anything substantive will be kicked down the road, despite the fact that Republicans control everything.