Start the Shutdown Clock?

The House just voted down the CR that would have funding the government through mid-November; almost all Democrats opposed it because of the pay-fors for disaster funding, while about 50 Republicans defected because, well, they really don’t like to vote for appropriations bills. Here we go again! Nicolas Mendoza suggests we should “start naming them, like hurricanes.”

The story here is that they need to pass something by the end of the month, but they were about to go out for a recess after this week. So there’s a lot of breathing room, except that it would require them to stick around.

It’s worth noting a couple of things quickly…one is that John Boehner has done a really good job up to now of winning the votes he’s had to win, but it can’t be easy. The second is that the Senate wasn’t going to go along with the House bill anyway, so while this is certainly a setback (especially for the Members who want to get out of town on schedule), the eventual vote was going to require some combination of Democrats and non-crazy Republicans. In other words, the vote today could wind up being more about a black eye for Boehner than about a shutdown…but then again, we could still get a shutdown, although it doesn’t appear to me as if the distance between them is very large at this point. I’m seeing on twitter right now suggestions that Boehner may just take out the offsets, which presumably would get him the Democrats — but would it lose more Republicans, who just finished arguing how important they are?

I had thought over the last week that we were on course for a real showdown in November, and not this week, but I guess we’ll just have to see.

[Cross-posted at A plain blog about politics]

Jonathan Bernstein

Jonathan Bernstein is a political scientist who writes about American politics, especially the presidency, Congress, parties, and elections.