While shutdowns have been hyped and hyped each time a budget needs to be approved — and politicians on both sides of the aisle play chicken with each other — this one is gearing up to be a fight among House Republicans and leadership on how to win this hand.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is reportedly looking to move forward with a plan to cave to demands from conservative Republicans like Ted Cruz (R-Texas). The continuing resolution would put forth a government funding plan that also defunds Obamacare — something that has completely no chance of passing the Senate or even being approved by the president.
Such an addition would be the death-knell to any proposal, and GOP leadership has spent the last few weeks trying to avoid this exact move.
It’s not secret that House Speaker John Boehner has his hands full trying to control his party — which is split on the budget and healthcare battle. But the end result looks terrible for the GOP, as Salon notes:
Whether you’re Boehner or Harry Reid or President Obama, the argument for allowing a shutdown looks about the same. It’s perhaps the only way to persuade monomaniacal House Republicans that there’s a difference between negotiation and extortion — that if their extreme demands touch off a visible crisis like a government shutdown, everyone will know who’s at fault. That’d be great for Democrats for obvious reasons.
House leadership is aware they have a losing hand — but individual conservative House Republicans still want to do everything they can to stop Obamacare from becoming the reality that political insiders say has already happened.
If the government does shut down, it’s an internal party fight that ended badly — with Democrats on the sidelines just smiling away.
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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