More Government Shutdowns!

Mitch McConnell is, according to TPM’s Sahil Kapur, going around Kentucky promising the heavy use of appropriations riders to impose the GOP’s will on the president if Republicans win control of the Senate. So it’s a promise of more of the same-old same-old, right?

Well, not exactly. In a divided Congress appropriations battles can and usually must be resolved before bills get to the president’s desk. Now each appropriations conflict will inherently involve an executive/legislative collision in which a shutdown is always on the table, since the president cannot force Congress to appropriate and Congress cannot force the president to sign a bill. So fiscal brinkmanship is very likely to get worse, not just stay the same.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.