Weekly Playbill For The Ongoing Theatrical Spectacle In Washington

Tyler Durden's picture

With so much sound and fury out of Washington one would imagine something big must be happening. One would be wrong. The ongoing theatrical strawman between Republicans and Democrats is merely a massive spectacle which has one outcome: a compromise. But why not score some brownie points from the constituency in the meantime by "sticking firm to principles." And of course the spin by the MSM will lead to a huge relief rally in stocks once we get news on Thursday in the 11th hour that the government will not shut down. As if the government would shut down when it prints $100 billion in debt every two weeks. In the meantime here is a summary of the key parts and intermissions for the ongoing DC melodrama for the balance of the week, courtesy of Goldman.

Tuesday, April 5

  • Working deadline for FY2011 budget deal.  The legal deadline for extending funding authority for the federal government isn’t until Friday, but in order to get a bill passed in the House and the Senate by Friday night, it will need to arrive in the Senate no later than Wednesday, and will need at least one day of lead time in the House before that.  In theory, passage Tuesday would mean that the House would break its own rule requiring that legislation is made public 72 hours ahead of any vote. 
  • House Republican budget resolution unveiled.  The resolution (a non-binding outline that sets spending and revenue goals for the next decade) is expected to propose major reductions in discretionary spending and health-related entitlements, along with less specific reforms in Social Security and revenue-neutral reform of the tax code.  The details of the resolution are generally less important than the signal the document sends; in this case Republican leaders may also hope that it shifts the debate away from the 2011 budget and toward the longer-term budget debate. 
  • GSE reform bills likely voted on in House Financial Services Committee. Republican Committee members introduced eight bills last week (among them: raising guarantee fees, accelerating portfolio wind-down, and eliminating housing goals) which are likely to pass in the committee this week. Movement on GSE reform in the Senate is expected to be much slower. 
  • President Obama meets with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Washington.  Peres will meet with Sec. of State Clinton on April 4.

Wednesday, April 6

  • Committee vote on House Budget Resolution?  It hasn’t been formally scheduled yet, but the committee is expected to “mark up” its budget resolution this week, most likely on Wednesday. This normally involves votes on amendments to the budget package, followed by approval of the package, which then goes on to be considered by the full House.   In order for the resolution to have an effect on the budget process, a single final version must be approved by both chambers of Congress; this may be too difficult a challenge this year given split control of Congress and policy differences seen to date.
  • Possible Senate votes on EPA greenhouse gas regulation and/or ethanol subsidies.  These are among the amendments the Senate may consider to a pending small business bill being considered as it awaits a spending deal. These votes have already been pushed back several times, and may not happen at all. 
  • NAT GAS Act reintroduced.  Following the president’s speech last week that called for reducing oil imports through a variety of mechanisms, congressional sponsors of previous legislation to incentivize the use of natural gas vehicles will reintroduce their legislation.  The bill is generally viewed as more likely than some of the other ideas the president highlighted to win bipartisan support (the previous legislation had more than 150 cosponsors, from both parties).  Still, it would probably need to pass as part of a broader energy legislative effort, so it could still be weighed down by other broader energy issues. 

Thursday, April 7

  • House votes on blocking EPA greenhouse gas regulation and, separately, a bill to block FCC net neutrality regulation. 
  • Biofuel proposals will be the subject of a hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. It will consider a bill sponsored by Sen. Harkin (D-IA) to provide loan guarantees for renewable fuel pipelines, require 90% of vehicle to be dual-fuel capable by 2016, and provide grants for blender pump installation. 
  • House Ways and Means Committee hearing on South Korea trade agreement

Friday, April 8

  • Government shutdown deadline.  By the end of Friday, Congress must approve legislation, and the president must sign it into law, to extend spending authority for the government past April 8, when the most recent stopgap spending bill expires.  The most likely scenario is that this will happen, either through a last-minute deal on the remainder of 2011 (more likely) or another short-term spending measure (less likely, but possible).  If agreement on either of these isn’t possible, “non-essential” federal operations would cease (this definition applies to roughly 40% of federal employees) until funding is restored.  If a shutdown occurs, the most likely scenario is that it would last only a few days before a deal is reached to restore funding.


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Harlequin001's picture

and absolutely no attempt whatsoever to balance a budget...

Careless Whisper's picture

...drama for the balance of the week, courtesy of Goldman.

Thank you Goldman, just wondering, are your lobbyists working on any of that stuff? ya know, maybe an interest in the greenhouse gas cap & trade stuff?

I am Jobe's picture

Just a show all that is. Hang the bastards and restore order. Yeah the revolving door crap has to stop. Its over folks.

umop episdn's picture

Is the DC-based kabuki theater getting just a little bit shrill? Desperate? Losing their audience? I hope so.

TideFighter's picture

"40% of Federal Employees are Non-Essential?"

I thought they were .9999 or .99999 non-essential to begin with.

The more metal I buy, the less I give a shit.

John McCloy's picture

Boehner, Reid & Obama meeting at the WH at 10am to "hammer out a deal". Should we cut a useless 30 billion or tremendous 60 billion from the budget? 

Theater is right except that when we go to see a play we pay to be entertained and not robbed further.

StychoKiller's picture

According to Harry Redi (D-NV), the Republicon budget cuts are "cruel and mean-spirited."  Sorry Nevadans, you had a chance to get rid of this useless Klown, and ya threw it away!

6 String's picture

Hell yeah, btfd today. It's down big, almost .20th of 1%. It's a national fucking emergency.

6 String's picture

....and there she goes, the levitation higher!

A Man without Qualities's picture

Washington - it would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.....

Caviar Emptor's picture

Didn't somebody prove that deficits don't matter? Then why are his progeny all hoping up and down to cut it and tinker with the golden goose? Oh...I see something here about more tax cuts for you know who ...... sneaky :-)

Harlequin001's picture

Dan Quayle I believe.

Didn't someone say, 'with gold at $300/ounce we're doing well, with gold at $400/ounce we're doing not so well...'

so how are we doing at $1450/oz then?

Revolution_starts_now's picture

F the government. They gave 23 trillion away to banks in baliouts, programs, give aways and reach arounds. The federal debit is only 14 trillion. Let them all got to hell, and now you want to cut "entitlements"? FU, pay up bitchez. You got an unlimited budget to go on military farces around the world, but the few programs that are funded, Medicare, SS they want to go after them so they can use that money for the goverment bitchez, Well FU.

Make the fed buy all those bonds and return the interest to the tax payer. When they talk about spending cuts why not talk about the interest paid by the tax payer? Oh no, can't even speak about "buddy money".

F the federal government, the fed and the TBTFs, they can all kiss my ass.

StychoKiller's picture

Knowing what's spewing from your avatar's butt, how could you expect anything different? :>D

Revolution_starts_now's picture

and don't get me started on what corporations like GE, google, BP all those whores pay. The government wants more money? FU get it from your buddies.

6 String's picture

I'm guessing you just finished your taxes as well. Entitlements my ass--self employed pay over 15% to social security and medicare alone, something I myself will never fucking receive in my entire lifetime.

This system as we know it will not make it. The sheeple are ignorant enough though, until they are hungry they will not get it.

Revolution_starts_now's picture

I pay more in that I will never get back than GE paid in total??

F this government, F this bullchit. Ain't no more blood left in this turnip.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

Except to the extent they can enrich their friends or damage the country as a whole, congress is irrelevant.

I stopped watching this kabuki theater 20 years ago.

Widowmaker's picture

The only thing happening in Washington DC is a budgetary gang-bang where the average joe is ass-raped whilest the rich and incorporated playcate fiscal masturbation as "balanced."

Shut down the government until 2012, vote in a new circle jerk.  Hopefully Congress catches financial-HIV until then!

The best thing that an happen in the US is the government shut down (and stay's that way!).

Jay Gould Esq.'s picture

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends

We're so glad you could attend

Come inside ! Come inside !


Behold: Washington.

Capital of the Free World.

chunga's picture

Shut it down for good.

We have to keep our chins up though...watch Grandma get evicted by this brave SWAT Team in her pajamas. After watching this I spontaneously began singing the "Star Spangle Banner"...

The foreclosure mess isn’t going away

Give this one a good swift click...exciting video included.

aerial view's picture

Unlimited money for unlimited wars and bank bailouts but no money for running our own govt: these jokers are truly insane and much better actors than anyone in Hollywood!

KickIce's picture

Blame the Tea Party extremists for any suggestion of austerity.

chubbar's picture

A budget deal that includes a 1.5 trillion in deficit spending is pretty meaningless unless you have a FED willing or obligated to buy the bonds the U.S. gov't has to sell in order to actually implement the budget.

QE2 ends in June. Every other gov't, with the possible exception of China, is not in a position to buy meaningful amounts of U.S. debt. They can't even support themselves at this juncture. Even China could not fill the gap by themselves, assuming they are even inclined to buy more U.S. debt, which is doubtful. Japan is out of the U.S. debt buying game for the forseeable future and may even be selling.

This is all kabuki theater. There is either a plan to cause a public demand for continued QE (false flag?) or they are going to have to effectively shut down the gov't through massive cuts in everything but debt payments, further exacerbating their tax revenue shortfall. The Fed does not have enough interest income and principal payoffs to fund this level of deficit spending internally without further QE.

I personally don't see them cutting massively, but am open to the possibility. That being said, if they are going to massively cut spending after June then it doesn't make sense they would agree to a budget that includes massive deficit spending three months prior to that event. I guess stranger things have happened though.

Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

Hillary Clinton....

True definition of "a useless cunt"...

In Fed We Trust's picture

Waht if Goldman Sachs, along with Warren Buffet announced they were going to give the US a $100 billion bridge loan to the US?


Harlequin001's picture

Oh I don't know, it's somewhere to park my bike...

Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

This is who you's let run your country...???

The "best of the best"

What a sad bunch of puppies you's Americans are.

ThirdCoastSurfer's picture

Hasn't recent history demonstrated that carrying the session into the weekend creates a platform for the legislation to show the constituency just how hard they are working by providing expanded TV drama/coverage to a larger, live, CSPAN/Cable News weekend audience? 

kentfinance's picture

its is true theatre, where the actors act with their hands out for money for themselves. no money, no action.

glenlloyd's picture

shut her down, and as an aside someone kick Harkin in the ass for promoting cornthanol and its associated subsidies...he's such an idiot.

thames222's picture

Some of the best entertainment I've had all year...watching Bernanke and his crew of goons try to figure this one out has been hilarious, meanwhile I've been hoarding my silver and just waiting to cash in on their stupidity.