Coming Distractions

If you enjoyed the recent return to fiscal brinkmanship in Congress, you’ve got more to look forward to than simply the February 27 expiration of appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security and all the ancillary issues that might drag into the fray. WaPo’s Wonkbook pointed us today to a useful calendar of scheduled 2015 crises that the New York Times’ Jonathan Weisman published earlier this month:

Absent congressional action, a host of business and personal tax breaks expires on Jan. 1. The government’s borrowing limit is reinstated on March 16, although the government might not actually hit the ceiling until August.

On March 28, unless lawmakers act, physician reimbursements from Medicare drop off a cliff. On May 31, the highway trust fund runs out of money. In June, the Export-Import Bank, which helps finance overseas purchases of American exports, might shut in the face of conservative opposition to its mission. Then on Sept. 30, the entire Children’s Health Insurance Program faces its expiration. A few days later, across-the-board spending cuts loom once again.

Complicating all of these potential flashpoints, of course, is that Republican control of both Houses of Congress likely means a return to debt-and-deficit mania and artificial goals for reducing federal domestic spending.

Aren’t you glad the party that believes in providing the business community with economic policy certainty is back in charge of Congress?

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

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.