No government-shutdown showdown in the Congressional cards this year

posted at 3:21 pm on July 31, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Because nobody likes high-profile funding fisticuffs in an important election year. There’s a deal in the works to avert the government shutdown currently scheduled to happen on September 30th, and I’m sure everyone’s eager to avoid the shutdown-showdown shenanigans of yesteryear — too much opportunity for bad press on both sides of the aisle, and it doesn’t seem like it would be a very productive exercise, anyway. Looks like we’re all just keeping our fingers crossed and hoping that the status quo changes in November so we can actually do something substantive about this persistent little problem of ours. Via Roll Call:

The announcement of a House-Senate deal to fund the government for the six months after Sept. 30 appeared imminent this afternoon.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said that any spending agreement would have to be at the $1.047 trillion level established by last year’s debt limit law. Current funding runs out at the end of the government’s fiscal year Sept. 30, and without new appropriations or a stopgap continuing resolution, the government would shut down. …

The continuing resolution could not be considered by either chamber until after the August recess, sources said, because the Congressional Budget Office would need time to score the proposal. …

Many members of the conservative House Republican Study Committee have said they would grudgingly support a CR set at the fiscal 2013 level agreed to in last year’s debt limit deal and also accept interim funding for implementing the 2010 health overhaul in exchange for delaying fiscal 2013 appropriations. Republicans are betting on gains in November that could enable them to push for deep spending cuts next year.

Fiscal year 2013 starts on October 1st, and seeing as how all of the Congresspeople are going to want to head home and focus on campaigning right about that time, they’re probably going to try and get this worked out relatively quietly before then. The plan is still only tentative, but I don’t think we’re going to see any legislative “hostage-taking” this year; elections are first and foremost on everybody’s minds. So, we’ll just kick the can down the road for six months, just this once more, and rack up another half-a-trillion dollars in debt in the meantime. No big.

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