Wednesday, September 30, 2015

No Shutdown Update 2015

Told ya.

Storms still flash over the Capitol
[public domain from the Architect of the Capitol showing dome repair scaffolding]
Once Speaker of the House, Boehner, announced resignation, it was a done deal. Now we have a Continuing Resolution (CR) at the same funding levels as last year through 12/11. And I don't see anything else happening through the election of November 2016. That is, there will be Republican attempts to grandstand on whatever issue. By December the Planned Parenthood red-herring will be over and they will be on to something else (we'll always have Benghazi). Still, McConnell, Senate Majority Leader who just did a good Tanya-Harding on Senator Cruz at the knees, does not want a shut-down and does not want any more grandstanding. As the political maneuvering has painted the Republican Party with the responsibility for the last shut-down and the ongoing threats, McConnell with not allow another one in the Senate. The House is another matter.

And because I don't see any agreement possible between the President and Congress on raising or cutting anything, and with no auto-sequestration in place, I think we will have clean CRs through the election which is a cut in ongoing programs because of mild inflationary increases in some costs, i.e., Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, military and civilian pay. With the economy still growing there should be more revenues from taxation so all-in-all it's a deficit reduction.

The length of any potential shut-down in December or on through FY-2016 and into FY-2017 (federal fiscal years run from October 1 through September 30) depends entirely on the House of Representatives. Can they find a new leadership up to the challenge? Can Minority Leader Pelosi win over enough less-radical republicans to keep clean CRs going? Stay tuned. The storms still roll over the rotunda.

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