Why Do We Face Another Government Shutdown?

Throughout former President Barack Obama’s two terms in office, the threat of yet another government shutdown seemed far too frequent.

The Tea Party wing of the House was more than willing to grind government functions to a halt for nearly any excuse — not raising the debt ceiling, trying to defund Planned Parenthood, refusing to keep the Affordable Care Act intact and so on. Most of the time the gambit failed at the last moment — after all, on the rare occasion that do a shutdown occurs, it proves wildly unpopular for their party.

So why, now that Republicans control all of the chambers of the federal government, are we on the verge of a government shutdown? Ironically, it’s still the Tea Party’s fault.

With President Donald Trump now in office, it turns out that the anti-government Tea Party right remains just as disinterested in working with the Republican leaders as they were in working with Democrats previously.

President Trump already saw his first signature legislative act — the American Health Care Act — fall to pieces due to Tea Party opposition. Now the government teeters on the edge of a potential shutdown for the same reason.

“Saturday, April 29, will mark President Trump’s 100th day in office. But will it also mark Day 1 of a government shutdown?” asks CNNMoney. “It will if Congress doesn’t pass a spending bill soon that authorizes funding for the federal government — and if the president doesn’t sign it. The current temporary spending bill — a so-called continuing resolution — expires on April 28. But there are still five months remaining for this fiscal year that need funding.”

While Democrats generally oppose the right’s desire to defund Planned Parenthood, fund Trump’s border wall or massively increase defense spending, the fact of the matter is that, technically, the GOP doesn’t need any Democratic votes — as long as it can keep its own party block intact.

However, that’s easier said than done.

Fiscal conservatives are balking at the amount of taxpayer dollars proposed to fund the government, as well as the lack of any attempt to decrease the federal deficit. Those concerns make it highly possible that the President may oversee yet another historic first — the first government shutdown to occur despite single party federal control.

The Associated Press reports:

There have been 12 government shutdowns since 1980, six of which lasted just one or two days. But there has never been a shutdown in that period that occurred when one party controlled the White House, the House and the Senate. That should make things easier to avoid a shutdown, but Trump has campaigned on big cuts in spending. If he abandons his call for spending cuts, it could embolden Democrats to oppose more of his agenda. But if he doesn’t call for enough spending cuts, the conservative House Freedom Caucus could reject the plan. They routinely opposed spending bills during the Obama administration, and they frequently say they will not support any spending bill that widens the deficit.

Of course, Republican leaders are poo-pooing the idea that a historic shutdown could cripple the federal government just months into Trump’s term.

“Let me just say this, Norah. We’re not going to have a government shutdown,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan told CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell in an interview, according to Politico. “The president doesn’t want to have a government shutdown. It’s funding from April 28th to September 30th.”

Then again, Ryan also swore that the GOP had the necessary votes in the House to pass the AHCA, but he was forced to pull the bill in defeat when the vote finally came.

Just four weeks remain for Congress to pass a budget and stop the impending shutdown, but the GOP appears more divided than ever before. President Trump is now openly feuding with the Tea Party, making a deal look further away than ever.

When Trump was a mere businessman, bankruptcy was a constant companion for his businesses. Let’s hope he didn’t mean it when he said he would run the country just like one of his own corporations.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

95 comments

Marie W
Marie W1 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Margie F
Margie FOURIE2 years ago

Okay

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Jennifer H
Jennifer H2 years ago

Dang repugnicans are never happy. Heck, they are already changing the rules to suit their needs.

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Jetana A
Jetana A2 years ago

As much as I dislike the Tea Party, I'm glad they are causing trouble for Trump's big business government.

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Brian F
Brian F2 years ago

Janet R Hillary supporters are the reason this fraud Trump got elected. Corporations own both corrupt party's and the corrupt democrats are blocking true honest progressives like Bernie Sanders from getting any power, so they can continue their corruption, and make millions from Wall Street, banks, big pharma, and corporations.

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Leo C
Leo Custer2 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Janis K
Janis K2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Eric Lees
Eric Lees2 years ago

@Kay B

"How long can we keep on living with a growing deficit?"

You are correct except it is the debt not deficit, it is only a matter of time. If you overspend one month you have to under spend the next to make up for it. It is no different with the debt except we have been overspending for most of the last 60 years at least.

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Eric Lees
Eric Lees2 years ago

@Debbi This is not a partisan issue. Both wings of the Oligarchy created the debt bomb and neither side is serious about dealing with it. Sadly it seams nothing will be done until the rest of the world cuts off our endless line of credit. When that happens we will likely see something that has never happened a worldwide depression due to the world being so dependent on monopoly money.

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Clare O
Clare O2 years ago

As I understand it, if the government there wishes to have more money, they just have to do what UK does and put imaginary money into the civil servants' bank accounts as pay at the end of every month, with no gold to back it. This is called quantitative easing in UK and it leads to inflation. But hey, you've now got a few billions you didn't have before in circulation.

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