Shutdown Showdown Over Budget And COVID
Shutdown Showdown Over Budget And COVID
Is this hell? No, it’s just Congress, and the potential for yet another government shutdown.
If you’re wondering what on earth might happen to cause a shutdown, then you haven’t met the Democrats. You see, when President Trump signed executive orders to provide some COVID relief (and did an end run around the Democrat narrative), that wasn’t the end of the story. Congress knows they have to step up in order to get more relief signed into law. And because this is 2020, they are going to make this as painful and pork-laden as possible. And they could do that by tying a COVID relief bill to the fiscal budget that must be in place by October 1st in order to avoid a government shutdown.
See, I told you this was pretty much hell.
After weeks of stalemated talks, the timeline for the two fights have all but merged: The House is set to leave until after the election by Oct. 2, giving lawmakers only a matter of weeks to get a deal on another coronavirus bill. And government agencies cannot run when the next fiscal year begins on Oct. 1 without new funding from Congress.”
Tying the two together would set up a high-stakes election-year battle, combining the threat of a shutdown with help for roughly 30 million Americans out of work since the spread of the coronavirus that has rattled the economy and killed more than 180,000 people in the United States.”
And the deadline would be a month before an election both sides cast as the most important in generations.”
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) supports linking the two issues but warned that unnamed people want “chaos” because it would help them politically.”
“If people want chaos, and I think there’s some people who do — I’m not ascribing that point of view to anyone. I just think there are some people who are motivated by chaos. They think it helps them politically. Then there’s nothing we can put together to make them happy,” he said, asked if including coronavirus aid made it harder to pass the funding bill.”
Now, this is not to say that the Democrats are actually looking to make this a fight. But if they chose to make it one, it could be a hideously bad one that would be perfectly timed to be right on the front pages, courtsey of the media who are desperate to get rid of the Bad Orange Man at any price. And we all know that Nancy Pelosi is perfectly happy and rational and willing to make deals with the GOP in order to get a budget or a COVID relief bill passed.
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 24, 2020
Yeah, suddenly shutdown hell is looking pretty realistic. I mean, what’s a trillion dollars here, a trillion dollars there? Who’s actually counting?
President Donald Trump indicated Friday that he’s willing to sign a $1.3 trillion relief bill, a $300 billion increase from the White House and Senate Republicans’ original $1 trillion offer.”
Pelosi responded to the offer in a statement, insisting that Republicans’ new proposal still “continues to disregard the needs” of Americans.”
Earlier this month, Pelosi and congressional Democrats offered to come down to $2.2 trillion after the Democrat-controlled House passed the nearly $3.5 trillion HEROES Act in May. The White House has rejected that, and Meadows said Pelosi needs to be clearer about what is in the legislation.”
Anyone else feel like vomiting? Look, we all understand that the lockdowns over COVID and the ensuing fear porn has put a gigantic hole within the economy. With each area and each state dealing with COVID at the local level in different ways, and with schools largely shut down and online, Americans simply can’t just get back to work. That’s even leaving the social unrest and riots aside. There needs to be relief. But that doesn’t mean there should be massive bailouts for local and state governments, or the Post Office, or whatever pet project happens to have a Congressional patron.
It will take some skilled manuevering to get a funding bill passed without tying it to COVID relief, and then it will take a minor miracle to get both of those passed before October 1st. A continuing resolution that carries us past the November 3rd election date would be ideal, especially because as much as House Democrats want to pick a fight, they do want to go home and campaign. Nothing is for certain in this election, except that Nancy Pelosi will still be representing San Francisco, and the Squad will come back emboldened to fight with her.
But if we don’t get a continuing resolution, and a shutdown looms before the election… all bets are off, because we will be in the hottest depths of political Hades, and no one will be able to escape unsinged.