Matt HealeyMonday,7 October 2013

The Snap:

Day 7 of the shutdown. According to my prediction, we still have 9 or 10 more days before the government opens. I think that it will open on or around the 17th as a combined debt ceiling and government funding bill will get passed. However, before that we have the entertainment associated with the shutdown.

The Download:

The entertainment I am referring to is watching the evangelical christian party of god try to blame the Democrats for a government shutdown they have been working on for months. The current attempt revolves around passing piecemeal appropriations bills to fund select government agencies. So we have now had bills restore funding to the military, national parks, and NIH. These are attempts by to take the heat off of the evangelical christian party of god. After all, most polling indicates that the public is holding them more to blame. So, rather than trying to fix the problem by passing a clean Continuing Resolution (CR), the approach is to fund the things that are going to get media attention, like national parks, and things that will tug at heartstrings, like NIH and cancer research. It is a good strategy because it will resonate with the vast majority of the population that is watching “Dancing With The Stars” and not MSNBC, CNN, or Fox News.

Despite the appearances, the Democrats need to resist caving on the piecemeal approach. The reason is: what is the end game? Does anyone think that a bill to fund Affordable Care Act (ACA) will come out of the House? So, at best, the piecemeal approach will result in every part of the government being funded except the ACA. Just like the bill that came out of the house that was promptly rejected by the Senate. At worst it will result is only evangelical christian party of god priorities being funded. Things like WIC, Food Stamps, and other programs that generally benefit minorities and people who live in cities will all remain unfunded. Which then brings up the question of how is the best way to resist? The easy answerer is to simply not take the bills up. After all, that is the same approach the House took when the Senate passed a budget earlier this year — they refused to appoint members to the conference committee to reconcile the differences between the bills. The snarky answer is to take up the bill, attach funding for a Democrat program, like, I don’t know, the ACA, and send it back to the House.

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Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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