Here Are The Reasons Why Another Government Shutdown Looms

Tyler Durden's picture

It seems that it was just yesterday when the market was celebrating Trump's avoidance of a government shutdown due to an "unprecedented" bipartisan deal with Democrats, which left Republicans out in the cold. Well, things are once again back to normal.

With fewer than 30 sessions left in the year and a heap of legislative priorities pressing on lawmakers’ agendas, it will be “extraordinary” if Republicans manage to pass tax reform this year, something Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin somewhat surprisingly admitted in an interview published yesterday. However, given President Donald Trump’s penchant for burning bridges with lawmakers - perhaps best exemplified by his decision to make a deal with “Chuck and Nancy” only to go back on said deal by pushing a package of unrealistic demands, including funding for his border wall and more resources for immigration enforcement - Republicans' ability to keep the government open past Dec. 8 is looking increasingly tenuous.

As Bloomberg points out, given the rancor within the Republican ranks, and a lack of trust among Democrats – fostered by the president’s penchant for burning bridges - not only will the Trump White House be forced to punt on all of its major legislative priorities, but it may not be able to avert what would be the first federal government shutdown since 2013, as squabbling lawmakers struggle to find common ground on immigration reform, disaster-relief spending, taxes, Obamacare (subsidies) and preserving funding for Planned Parenthood.

And now, after a year of trying – and failing – to legislate, the Republicans’ unfinished business is coming back to haunt them in the fourth quarter.

The year’s most divisive fights in Congress are set to converge in a bitter partisan clash in December that could result in a US government shutdown. The unresolved battles - over a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, immigration, health-care subsidies, Planned Parenthood and storm relief - are hanging over talks on must-pass spending legislation to keep the government open after Dec. 8. The spending measure is at risk of becoming so weighted with controversial items that it collapses. “The laundry list of things they want to put on it grows every day,” said Jim Dyer, a former House Appropriations Committee Republican staff director.

Even if Republicans could focus their energies on overcome their internal divisions and passing the budget, which is set for a vote today in the Senate after easily sailing through the more Trump-friendly House earlier this month, certain “unbridgeable policy differences” could make passing a budget difficult. With Republican Sen Thad Cochran away this week due to illness, it’s anybody’s guess whether the budget resolution being brought to a vote in the Senate today will pass. Even Trump has no idea.

Of course, since lawmakers are probably wary of the political backlash a shutdown might cause, the pressure to punt on the deal and agree to extend the current spending program for another year might be too difficult to resist, especially if no deal on tax reform is forthcoming.

With Cochran off due to sickness, there is a slimmer margin of error to pass the controversial budget, which seeks a $1.5 trillion expansion of the budget deficit over the next 10 years. That said, with the late backing of Senator Collins from Maine, Lisa Murkowski from Alaska along with Sen. McCain, there’s a chance the bill could pass before the weekend. But then the next even more logistically fraught phase begins: passing tax reform, which is supposed to be hammered out during the reconciliation process for the budget bill.

Being forced to punt could leave the Trump White House with no major legislative accomplishments this year.

Even without contentious issues, completing a trillion-dollar spending bill in time would be a tall order. The brewing battle could leave Republicans with no major accomplishments in President Donald Trump’s first year after they couldn’t find enough votes to repeal Obamacare. The more protracted the fight, the less time in 2017 to overhaul the tax code, the GOP’s top priority.


Unbridgeable policy differences might result in a push to simply extend current spending authority through fiscal 2018. That would limit military spending to $549 billion, leaving out the big boost sought by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain of Arizona and other Republican defense hawks.

And of course, there will always be certain intransigent lawmakers vowing to force a shutdown if they don’t get what they want.

McCain is among those threatening to take his year-end priorities to the mat. He said Wednesday that he won’t support any temporary extension of government agency spending unless the defense caps are lifted. He said a government shutdown - for the first time since 2013 - is possible.


“There’s always a risk every time we go through this cycle,” he said. Democrats say a shutdown can be averted if Trump and congressional Republicans, including the conservative House Freedom Caucus, put aside unrealistic demands such as a ban on funds for Planned Parenthood or requiring any added hurricane-relief funds to be offset with domestic spending cuts.


“We don’t want a shutdown,” said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York. “Ask President Trump. Ask our hard-right Freedom Caucus types.”

Still, with Democrats scrambling to preserve Obamacare after Trump cut subsidies, the renewed battle over health care could sink the White House’s other priorities, like spending. And Trump’s decision to encourage – and then denounce – a bipartisan plan to enshrine the subsidies in law has only heightened the rancor and mistrust harbored by both Republicans and Democarts.

Trump, who earlier encouraged Alexander to cut a deal, signaled opposition to the measure. His spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, said, “We need something that goes a little further to get on board.”


Steve Bell, a former Senate Budget Committee GOP staff director, said Trump’s shifting positions could poison the well for bipartisan deals. "All of that makes a Dec. 8 shutdown very possible,” he said.

Even passing disaster relief spending – something President Donald Trump repeatedly promised to deliver – looks set to devolve into a political dogfight.

Another sticking point is disaster relief. Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico could seek tens of billions of dollars in additional rebuilding money once final damage assessments are tallied. Conservatives are likely to seek spending cuts in exchange for such funds, which Democrats and many other Republicans reject.


A dispute over extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which expired in September, could also carry over into the spending bill. So too could a perennial push by Republican House conservatives to ban funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions and family planning services. On defense, Republicans are seeking to increase spending caps by $54 billion, while Democrats insist that must be coupled with the same increase for non-defense spending.

Republicans would like to avoid a shutdown after the 2013 incident hammered their polling ratings. But Trump’s mercurial approach to lawmaking has made legislators in both parties nervous.

The real question is: How will markets react once tax reform is off the table and the federal government has ground to a halt? Will the long awaited volatility spike arrive? And will investors then rush to take the opportunity and "buy the fucking government shutdown dip?"

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Zus's picture

Look how pissed Trump looks while those dumb niggers sit on the couch and smile.........

E.F. Mutton's picture

Look at Nancy's face.  Schumer just ripped one.

Whoa Dammit's picture

Its not a government shut down. Its just another paid holiday for the already over-compensated government workers.

Hal n back's picture

The last shutdown the govt workers who did not work did not get paid--until there was protest and they were paid after the fact and then they received interest.

That pissed off the government workers who were deemed too essential to be furloughed

if the aforementioend furloughed eployees were nto essential, what are they doing anc can they be terminated reduction in force just like businesses do?

RedBaron616's picture

There was no interest paid. Why don't you embellish things a bit more to fit your narrative? If you could write a coherent sentence, you wouldn't be a product of the public school system. Go back to Mommy's basement.

OpTwoMistic's picture

Does the printing stop?   

Nothing else really matters.

Arrow4Truth's picture

The senile old cunt is asking herself, "Why am I here?" and, "Aren't those prettty butterflies?" 

lil dirtball's picture

> Schumer just ripped one.

He always stinks like that.

Ajax-1's picture

It think you are onto something. "Just in time for Christmas, and for just $19.95 get your own Chuckie Schumer wind up action figure. Just wind him up and he just sits there and stinks. But wait, that's not all. If you order before midnight tonight, we'll double the stink, just pay extra shipping and handling. Limited supply, void where prohibited". 

quadraspleen's picture

IKR? Schumer looks like one smug muthafucker

Cash2Riches's picture

90% of the government could shut down forever and it would be for the good of the country. Trump needs to call these stooges bluff and show the world that we don't need to them. Government solves nothing.

FreeShitter's picture

Shutdown looms? Nonsense....

Philo Beddoe's picture

When the threat is a good thing it is not really a threat. 

Kinda like some hot chick saying "if you dont stop looking at me I will blow you. "

Arnold's picture

Three blacked out Yukons pull up, six men get out, glasses and autos showing.
One knocks on the door.
"Here is a check, you've been over paying your taxes so long, and the amount is so big, it needed protection until delivery."

Arnold's picture

No work, no pay.

847328_3527's picture

1) Repeal Obamacare;

2) cut taxes;

3) Build that Wall;

4) lock her up!

LetThemEatRand's picture

Sounds like a good campaign platform.  A guy could probably get elected promising to do those things.

shankster's picture

He did and we are still waiting...

847328_3527's picture

We only had one other sad option:

1) the Obama/Clinton Transpacific Trade Pact;

2) more wars;

3) Hillary's Reparation tax on Crackers;

4) more "pay-to-play" scandals;

5) massive immigration from tearrist nations;

6) millions more illgeals from Central America;

7) soaring crime.


Son of Loki's picture

Don't forget there was Mr "Feel the Burn" Communist Sanders and devoted war-monger "Low Energy" Jeb.

shankster's picture

We still have 2,5, 6 and 7 and nothing is being done about 1 and 3.

FreeShitter's picture

And you are going to continue waiting as voting solves nothing. never has and never will.

shankster's picture

That is why even term-limits will have no real impact because corruption in Wash DC is institutionalized and pervasive. Wash DC will not be fixed by voting, which means the people will not receive any relief by merely voting more corruption into office year after year after...

Hal n back's picture

smaller government-govt is innefficient anyway.

shankster's picture

A den of thieves.

Arnold's picture

Did they flip the cushions, or throw the couch away?

E.F. Mutton's picture

Groundhog Day...again...

small axe's picture

the majority of people would applaud a shutdown.

TuPhat's picture

Exactly, the article gets that one small detail wrong.  The republicans did well in the polls until they caved in to the dems on the last standoff.  It was because they caved in that they lost popularity not because they started out resisting the wasteful spending.

CJgipper's picture

Good.  Now if we could just get it to stay shut down

wmbz's picture

Shut the son of a bitch down, Now!

Of course that will never happen! The truds love to swim in their cesspool.

LetThemEatRand's picture

"Another sticking point is disaster relief. Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico could seek tens of billions of dollars in additional rebuilding money once final damage assessments are tallied. Conservatives are likely to seek spending cuts in exchange for such funds, which Democrats and many other Republicans reject."

You just have to laugh at statements like this.  More accurately, "representatives who claim to be conservative will carefully orchestrate pretend opposition to spending increases that will be approved."

Arnold's picture

Rinos become an endangered species in 2018.

shankster's picture

Whole lot of corruption in one room.

JoseyWalesTheOutlaw's picture

Well just shut the MFer back pay from the Donald for those useless government associates....

DelusionsCrowded's picture

It appears that the same politicans that voted for Russain sactions are colluding to sabotage the Amercian Peoples Democracy . 

shankster's picture

Shut the damn thing down...board up the windows sell the buildings at auction and then allow the former US to split into independent autonomous regions with their own capitals.

historian40's picture

The States used to be sovereign nation States, before the new Federal Union replaced the Republic, and the States and people became ruled by force rather than cooperating by choice.

shankster's picture

This is cooperation? If it is then let's go back to the old ways.

Insurrector's picture

Feudal tribes like in the Middle East.

j0nx's picture

Paid vacation for fedgov workers. They love the shutdowns because in the end they know they always get back pay. SAD.

historian40's picture

Being a member of Congress wasn't supposed to be a full time job.  They were supposed to work real jobs and just meet on occasion to take care of the business their limited government is to do according to the Constitution.  However, running an empire, rather than the Republic, is a full-time job.

FoggyWorld's picture

And this one is right before Christmas!

NoWayJose's picture

After years of voting Aye on conservative bills that Obama would never sign, the Republican establishment has shown that those votes were only to appease ‘the base’ without actually offending their donors!

Bill of Rights's picture

Three scum bags and a confused individual...