Looming budget battle: Will the GOP force federal shutdown (1 Viewer)

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    superchuck500

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    Annual federal appropriations will lapse on September 30, 2023 - now less than a month away. After the debt-ceiling fight, many anticipated that the FY 2024 funding battle could see a federal government shutdown of some length as Republicans push for more budget cuts . . . and that was before Special Counsel Jack Smith's office filed two separate criminal prosecutions of Donald Trump. Desperate to hit back in any way they can, the MAGAs in Congress have already said they will attempt to de-fund the prosecution. Of course, the only way they could even attempt to do that would be to force a shutdown of the entire federal government, or at least the civilian executive agencies presuming a bill funding DOD could get through.

    It's hard to imagine that they won't try this, the questions are when will they try it and how much of the GOP goes along with the MAGAs (i.e. Freedom Caucus), particularly in the Senate where McConnell has already indicated no interest in such a gambit . . . though McConnell's health may eventually come into play. Would, for example, the Republicans agree to a continuing resolution to fund the government for several months to allow the time to get closer to the Trump federal trial dates before actually attempting a shutdown? (March 4 in DC and May 20 in Florida).

    One factor in play is that federal funding rules allow the Article III courts (which include the federal district and appellate courts) to continue operation in a shutdown and they also allow for federal agencies to continue with "excepted" activities that include, generally, federal criminal prosecutions. (See article below). This allowance, however, is not perpetual, it is funded by other sources that do eventually dry up - so eventually they would shut down. Hypothetically, but such a lengthy shutdown would be terribly detrimental to the economy and have substantial political damage for the party perceived to have caused it . . . in this case that wouldn't be much of a debate.

    For those reasons, I think the smarter GOP leaders, particularly in the Senate, will recognized that trying to use the budget as a tool to harm the Trump prosecutions is a fool's game: it's almost certain not to achieve that goal and it's to bring about substantial harm. But the MAGAs aren't as smart and given their wild allegiance to Trump, we can expect some sort of effort. At minimum it gives them an ability to say to their MAGA constituents that they tried to shutdown the prosecutions but were sold out by the RINOs in the Senate.

    Going to be an interesting showdown. I don't think I can recall a shutdown battle where actually shutting the government down so that it couldn't function was the objective rather than a tool for coercion. Crazy.



     
    4 days left

    The mechanics of this have gotten quite a bit blurry based on how the CRs were broken down by spending bill rather than governmentwide. Some of agencies are funded through March 1, some through March 8.

    I read that one of the fights from Republicans is $3 million (yes, million not billion) of earmarks that include two community centers and a senior living center . . . because they are LGBT friendly. smh
     
    Looks for now like the GOP will agree on funding and avoid what would have been a deeply cynical shutdown. Or at least enough of them will and along with democrats the funding will pass.

    What we need is for five or six GOP reps to realize they can get any kind of pork-barrel earmarks they want if they agree to vote yes on a bill the Democrats support.
    "Aid for Ukraine and federal funding for two years? Sure, as long as I get $200 million for a plasma-fired moonshine still in Hardscrabble WV."
     
    What we need is for five or six GOP reps to realize they can get any kind of pork-barrel earmarks they want if they agree to vote yes on a bill the Democrats support.
    "Aid for Ukraine and federal funding for two years? Sure, as long as I get $200 million for a plasma-fired moonshine still in Hardscrabble WV."
    But can they get an amp that goes to 11?
     

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