Looming Washington is a government shutdown that no one wants but no one can avoid.
There is rare agreement between Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and President Joe Biden that a shutdown would be an extremely stupid idea.
However, despite that bipartisan agreement, the shutdown is still possible anyway.
That’s because a handful of hardline Republican lawmakers concocted a galactic brain gambit to attack vaccine mandates — and because Democrats don’t give themselves enough time to avoid giving a little bit of temporary, temporary leverage to any one Republican senator.
Nearly a dozen Senate Republicans — and many House Republicans — want a government shutdown to deregulate Biden’s vaccine for federal and private sector workers. That won’t happen as long as Biden stays in power. But given how popular the pose will prove to be with the GOP base, some lawmakers don’t see much reason to abandon the game.
For one, the Democrats are euphoric.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said: “I am appalled at the idea that we even have to seriously talk about shutdowns. “It should be in the field of an asteroid hitting Earth.”
Most are only observable as the asteroid gets closer and closer. With government funding set to dry up on Saturday, the House of Commons moved on Thursday afternoon to pass a resolution extending government funding through February, which the chamber could do with a majority. simple.
But in the Senate, all it takes is a senator to oppose an emergency funding bill that would force federal agencies to stay open during the weekend. Senate leaders worked on Thursday to cut a deal with hardliners to avoid that, but by the time the House passed the funding resolution, they had yet to do so – just over 24 hours to keep the lights on.
While forcing a brief closure over the weekend would only cause minor inconvenience to the federal government, it is a stain on operating procedures not seen since 2019, when the government was closed for more than a year. one month.
Many Republicans and Democrats want to stay that way.
While the hawkish group of Republicans insists Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will be held accountable, Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) doesn’t think that will be the conclusion of the party. general public. “The usual blame will be on the Republicans,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) admitted “a bit worried” that Republicans could receive reproach for the shutdown. He also expressed concern that his colleagues had become “a bit too random” in their access to government funding being lapsed – which, even if briefly, had an eroding effect. erode trust in the US government at home and abroad.
“It has an impact. Cramer said. “I hope we all learn the lesson you know, shutdown really isn’t a great tool or lever.”
Those at the top of the push say they don’t want to shut down either. But one of them, Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS), justified the stance by claiming that they warned in advance.
“I don’t want to shut down the government. But we told Senator Schumer more than a month ago that we do not want any funding in CR to fund OSHA for this unconstitutional federal vaccine mandate,” Marshall, who wrote last month. 11 said. letters warned Republicans would not support a resolution to continue funding vaccine enforcement.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) thinks Democrats are in a dilemma of not being able to enact a resume resolution sooner.
“They have known about this spending deadline for two months. If they’re qualified, they’ll put this bill on the floor last Friday, and despite Republican opposition, you’ll get through a week, they pass whatever they want,” Paul said. speak.
Still, Marshall seemed unable to resist downplaying the government shutdown threat, even as he said he wanted to avoid it. “My phone blew up and kept blowing up with the vaccine authorization issue, but not a single Kansan person contacted me to say, ‘Don’t shut down the government,'” he told reporters.
This stance is troubling Republicans on several levels. For one, the passage of an ongoing resolution is a win for them — it expands GOP-brokered Trump-era funding levels, not new funding levels introduced by Democrats but still delayed. But beyond that, nearly all know that the best chance to block Biden’s mandate is through the courts.
And, whoever is to blame, many Republicans know that trust in the entire institution will be eroded if it shuts down.
“Once again, it shows that we can’t get our job done on time, and we’re not stable,” said Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD).
https://www.thedailybeast.com/congress-stumbles-toward-its-stupidest-shutdown-yet?source=articles&via=rss Congress stumbles over its stupidest shutdown