Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Congress Averts Government Shutdown....For Now....Again

by JASmius

Looks like they might have short-sheeted their scheduling bed, though:

But Congress looked set to push up against the new deadline next week as talks on legislation to fund the government through September 2016 dragged on over efforts to attach controversial policy provisions to the spending measure. Those included Republican proposals to lift a ban on crude oil exports and tighten screening of Syrians seeking refuge in the United States.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the earliest votes planned for next week would take place on Tuesday evening, giving the Senate just over twenty-four hours to meet the new funding deadline.

And the Senate is legendary and renowned for their ability to move quickly.

- Me, four days ago

Well, House Republicans have held up their end of the bargain; or, perhaps, climbed further out onto the really high tree branch before sawing it off the tree:

Congressional leaders reached a tentative deal on measures to fund the government and make some expired tax provisions permanent, a top House Republican said Tuesday in Washington.

Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions said the agreement on the two bills will be presented to rank-and-file House members Tuesday night, and that details on exact costs of some of the provisions are still being analyzed. Current government funding is set to expire at the end of the day Wednesday, and lawmakers will need to pass a stopgap bill to avoid a shutdown while they debate the full-year bill.

Which is to say, while the Senate talks it to death.

Sessions wouldn’t discuss specifics, including whether lifting a forty-year-ban on exporting crude oil is part of the deal. But he said, "as a Texan," then smiled widely. He spoke to reporters after leaving a closed-door meeting of House Republican leaders, including Speaker Paul Ryan.

Whether the oil export ban is lifted may depend on whether the GOP was willing to pay the Dems' asking price of more "clean/green energy" boondogglery.  Which, though it would be close, I would have to lean - slightly - in favor of, because while the latter is a complete waste of taxpayer money in service to a smarmy, self-righteous anti-energy cult, the former just seems like a bigger deal that more than offsets it.  Not that it matters much, since Senate Dems will filibuster it and probably shut down the government over it after all, causing Republicans to cave on it but leave the "sunbeam/windmill" boodle in place, without which the Senate Dems will probably....shut down the government over it.  And either way, the GOP will get blamed for it.  Contra Paul Ryan, that is how the appropriations process works.  Not how it SHOULD work, but how it DOES work.

All I ask of you, my Tea Party friends, is don't blame Paul Ryan for it.  Remember that (1) he didn't want the Speakership, and (2) he inherited this annual debacle from Jack Daniels John Boehner.  Let's give the young man who has grown a beard so that people won't call him "Speaker Munster" a full year to restore the appropriations process to how it SHOULD work, and if nothing has appreciably improved by next fall, then feel free to blast him.

Of course, that'll be in the nuclear blast-furnace heat of the presidential election campaign home stretch, so nobody will notice it anyway.  But either way, you can count on there being no government shutdown under those circumstances.  Maybe 2017?  It's the next time the coast will be clear.

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