It's that time of year again, when Congress has to get its act together long enough to pass a budget or the government shuts down. This time around in addition to the GOP being in control of the House and Senate, Trump's a factor too. Given that Republicans can't pass their own legislation at this point, I'm fairly certain they'll find a way to screw it up. They've got until Friday night at midnight, or the government shuts down on Saturday -- Day 100 of Trump's regime.
Congressional leaders and White House officials have steered the nation to the brink of a government shutdown that virtually all parties agree would be a terrible idea.
While lawmakers seem eager to forge a deal before government funding expires Friday, the Trump administration wants to use the deadline as a point of leverage that Democrats — and at least a few Republicans — do not believe they have, raising the prospects of a shutdown that had seemed unlikely.
President Trump’s team is straining to demonstrate progress on key campaign promises like money for a border wall and increased military spending, hoping to project success before Mr. Trump’s 100th day in office on Saturday. But any measure will require bipartisan support, and Democrats are unlikely to budge.
The standoff continues a Washington trend, as banal now as it is nonsensical to veterans of the Capitol: legislative cliff-jumping in the name of brinkmanship, frustration or some combination thereof, with no clear endgame.
The last government shutdown was in 2013, encapsulating an era of bitter partisanship and Republican opposition to President Barack Obama. The distinction this time is that the Oval Office, Senate and House are controlled by the same party.
The confrontation also comes as Mr. Trump has said he will reveal a “massive” tax cut proposal on Wednesday and has suggested advancing a retooled version of the health care bill that failed last month in the House.
In Congress, where the completion of even one major task at a time can overwhelm its institutional bandwidth, elected officials remain highly skeptical of their own capacity to juggle successfully.
The Trump factor comes in when you figure that he's desperate for a victory after the complete and utter failure of his first 100 days, and that victory is "getting money for his wall to keep brown people out." a shutdown on Day 100 would simply be the exclamation point on his "worst 100 days ever!" award.
The most likely outcome is a punt where we just get a continuing short-term bill as nobody seems to be eager to shut down the government at the beginning of a congressional term, especially after Trumpcare collapsed. Surprise, nobody wants to go to bat for a guy with approval ratings in the mid-30's.
Still, time is running out and a punt is not assured. And who knows if Trump would sign it without the border bill funding?