It is now a 99.99% chance that we will shutdown Tuesday morning. There are only two ways for it to be avoided, as I see it.
1. The House could reject its own bill just passed today that includes a one-year delay of the ACA and the removal of the medical devices tax, and pass a clean CR that the Senate would approve by unanimous consent (I think the Senate can do that).
2. The Senate by unanimous consent could pass the House Bill passed today. Any amendments or even debate would take us well beyond Tuesday.
Neither one of these is at all likely to happen. Why would the House redo a bill they just passed? They're ready to play chicken and drive off the cliff like James Dean's "friend" in Rebel Without A Cause. They are the party with the philosophy that "government is the problem," so why would they want the problem around anyway? I still haven't gotten an answer to my question: "If you think government is the problem, how is it then that you expect to govern?"
The Senate isn't likely to do anything on this by unanimous consent as there are still tea-party Senators on the right, at least one from Texas and one from Utah (AKA the Mayor of Munchkin City). And on the left, there are any number of liberals who won't agree the other way. The Senate is a bunch of prima donnas just as the Constitution intended. They are empowered with the opportunity to keep legislation from happening as a check on the more "popular" House. In this case, that means not funding the government (or "the beast" as some like to call it). And, of course, anything that does pass is subject to potential veto by the President. He's lucky there are enough bulwarks in the Senate that a veto will not be necessary. It's not just Harry Reid.
On my part, I still don't see what the point is in reporting to work on Tuesday to push a button to turn off my computer. In the old days they would tell us not to come in to work, but check the news. (Sort of like a DC snow-day.) Of course, since the last shutdown was 17 years ago, we didn't have much going on with the internet as we do now.
And while there are things to check on and cover before we will be gone, a lot of that was already taken care of over the last few workdays. I don't see much point to Monday either. But I'll go and try to keep my morale up as I have already been told I'm "non-essential." I do credit this administration for using the terms "exempt" and "non-exempt," but after 30 years of this it's hard to maintain your self-worth during such silliness.
There is an article on Politico that lists the 17 shutdowns of the past. It looks like I was subject to seven of them. (I said it was a half a dozen or so!)
My wife reminded me of our regular calls to Senator Domenici's Office during the last shutdown. We were quite friendly with his staff as they got to know us as we kept asking when I could go back to work and whether they were getting paid (they were). I think Congress should forego all pay and entitlements until they pass a budget. In fact, some of them are so enamored with the Founders, they should work by candlelight and quill pen. Put the spittoons back and make them use 18th Century restrooms and eat the same type of food. They can ride horses or carriages to sessions and back home. The only thing I draw the line on is personal servants (i.e. Slaves).
God bless America! We need it.
Update No. 4