Another dreary shutdown drama

Once again we are going through the shutdown brinkmanship, with the September 30 deadline for passing a bill that funds the federal government approaching and the Republican party in the House of Representatives in seeming disarray and unable to agree on any of the 11 separate appropriate bills that they must bring to the floor for a vote. They cannot seem to even agree on the terms of what they normally do in such situations and that is punt, by passing a continuing resolution that funds the government at the current levels for a short time while they try and work out a solution.

After the last elections in 2022, Republicans had a 222-213 majority which means that they could afford to lose at most four votes if all Democrats are present and vote as a bloc against them. Currently it is 221-212 because of two vacancies due to one member from each party having resigned and special elections to fill their seats to be held only in November. And the Republican nutters in the House Freedom Caucus have used that small majority as leverage to threaten to vote against any spending bill and shut down the government in order to get … it is not clear exactly what, other than a spending total that is smaller than what the Republicans agreed to during the debt ceiling standoff.

We have seen this film many times before, so much so that it has become a joke. I know someone who works for the federal government. When an earlier shutdown was imminent that would have sent all employees home, they received detailed memos of what they had to do to shut up shop and turn out the lights, and and what they could and could not do while the shutdown continued. But this has happened so many times, that they now know the drill and do not need to to be told. It just occasions rolling of the eyes,

No one other than journalists in the media who are assigned to cover that beat seem to talk about the shutdown. It just does not seem urgent. By now it just seems like political theater that is not worth bothering about, even though a shutdown is a deadly serious.matter that will inconvenience a vast number of people.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    This scenario clearly needs a ticking time bomb, a sexy secret agent, and a bang-bang car chase.

    Preferably through Chinatown, with vegetable carts flying through the air.

  2. JM says

    What the MAGA minority wants is for the cases and investigations against Trump to be dropped. They don’t want to say Trump is guilty and is almost sure to lose in court so we need the government to suppress the cases. To avoid that they word it as cutting financing to FBI over reach and other indirect vague political mumble phrases.

  3. says

    Everybody focuses on the FreeDumb Caucus, but the thing is, they’d be powerless if even a small portion of the remaining GOP reps sided with the Dems in order to do the right thing for the country. But they don’t. Consequently, they are every bit as guilty. You can almost see their calculus: they get to stymie any movement, brag that they’re completely anti-Dem for their base, and yet they can blame the FreeDumbers for any problems that arise. “It wasn’t me, it was THEM!”

    It’s as if a bank is being held up and the criminals are using paper knives as weapons. No one in the room is willing to attack the robbers, and really, all that would take is for a bunch of them to just start laughing at the robbers and calling them idiots, while everyone goes back to their work.

    But no, can’t have that. It might look like a win for the “other team” (and certainly, that is exactly how the media would frame it, instead of talking about a win for the country).

  4. birgerjohansson says

    Since so many Republicans are vain and greedy, why not simply buy their cooperation with some of the many loopholes deliberately left open?

    Give congressman X a life-time well-paid job with a prestigeous title -- you know, like the corporations do for congressmen that have listened to their lobbyists.

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