Monday, September 18, 2023

Shutdown Countdown, Clown Town Edition, Con't

House Speaker and Clown Town Ringmaster Kevin McCarthy is running out of time to make a spending bill deal with Democrats before the clowns do him in. WaPo's 202 crew:

Tell us if you’ve heard this one before: The deadline to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month is fast approaching with little sign of how differences will be resolved.

Here’s where things stand in both chambers:

In the House: A half-dozen House Republicans on Sunday proposed a deal to temporarily fund the government until Oct. 31 to buy time for a broader spending agreement.
But it’s far from certain whether the proposal will unite the fractious GOP conference and secure the votes needed to send the bill to the Senate, where it is expected to be rejected, Leigh Ann and our colleague Marianna Sotomayor report.

The tentative agreement is an attempt to appease the conservatives, who held up all progress on government spending until they received assurances on deep spending cuts and other policies, including border restrictions.

But many in the hard-line House Freedom Caucus immediately lambasted the proposal even though Freedom Caucus leaders, Reps. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Chip Roy (R-Tex.) and Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), negotiated the proposal with Reps. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), Stephanie I. Bice (R-Okla.) and Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) of the Republican Main Street Caucus, whose members don’t want to shut down the government.

The proposal would lead to immediate, dramatic spending cuts across the federal government, with agency budgets being slashed by 8 percent, except for the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs, which would be funded at current levels.

The continuing resolution to keep funding the government temporarily would also include a border security bill that House Republicans passed through their narrow ranks in May, while excluding the divisive E-Verify work requirement provision to check immigration status that is opposed by some Republican moderates, especially in New York and California.

If this bill gets a vote and moderates accept it, they are likely to face the possibility of campaign ads highlighting that they voted for deep cuts to programs such as education, food safety and environmental protection.

The goal is to vote on the bill Thursday.

If the proposal makes it through the House, it has zero chance of passing the Senate, and it’s unclear how the two chambers will strike a deal to avoid a shutdown.

In other words, McCarthy doesn't even have the votes for an opening offer, while Senate Democrats are hashing out the "real" bill, and the biggest reason is that the hardliner MAGA chuds think 8 percent cuts to the Departments of Education, Energy, Agriculture, Justice, State, and Homeland Security aren't draconian enough.

As to whether McCarthy survives the month without a deal, well, Hakeem Jeffries has some leverage now, doesn't he?
McCarthy's biggest problem is he's incompetent. But I don't see how Matt Gaetz is going to talk Jeffries into getting rid of McCarthy when that only makes the prospect of a deal worse. 

We'll see, but we're down to two weeks now, and the prognosis is still that McCarthy shuts down the government and the country will clearly be able to blame him for it, or that he folds and takes the Senate bill with Hakeem Jeffries's help and then gets run out of town like Boehner before him.

He loses either way.

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