80 in House: Shutdown is better than ‘Obamacare’
8/22/13 CHARLES BABINGTON – AP
WASHINGTON (AP) — More than one-third of House Republicans are urging their leader to trigger a government shutdown rather than fund “Obamacare.”
Eighty Republicans on Thursday asked Speaker John Boehner (BAY’-nur) to resist any spending bills that would help implement the new health care law.
It’s virtually certain that President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats would reject such demands. A partial government shutdown probably would result.
With 80 of the House’s 233 Republicans signing the letter, a solid majority has refrained from trying to limit Boehner’s options. That presumably would allow him to push a bipartisan bill that funds the health law and is supported by a “majority of the majority” of his fellow Republicans. That’s a Boehner priority.
But Boehner would need more than 60 Democratic votes to pass such a bill.
Shutdown Would Cost U.S. Economy $300 Million a Day, IHS Says
Sep 30, 2013 6:18 PM PT By Jeanna Smialek & Ian Katz – bloomberg
A partial shutdown of the federal government would cost the U.S. at least $300 million a day in lost economic output at the start, according to IHS Inc.
While that is a small fraction of the country’s $15.7 trillion economy, the daily impact of a shutdown is likely to accelerate if it continues as it depresses confidence and spending by businesses and consumers.
Lexington, Massachusetts-based IHS estimates that its forecast for 2.2 percent annualized growth in the fourth quarter will be reduced 0.2 percentage point in a weeklong shutdown. A 21-day closing like the one in 1995-96 would cut growth by 0.9 to 1.4 percentage point, according to Guy LeBas, chief fixed income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia.
“Greater uncertainty will create hesitancy on the part of businesses to embark on new projects” and encourage consumers to save rather than spend, LeBas said in a research note. “An extended government shutdown has the potential to reverse a good portion of the Federal Reserve’s low-interest rate stimulus.”
The Fed on Sept. 18 unexpectedly refrained from reducing the $85 billion pace of bond purchases intended to boost growth, saying it needs more time to assess the economy’s progress. Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William C. Dudley said last week the budget showdown in Washington is among the risks to the outlook.
The U.S. government is poised at midnight for its first partial shutdown in 17 years. Republicans and Democrats remained at odds over whether to tie any changes to the 2010 Affordable Care Act to a short-term extension of government funding.
Shutdown Report: How to Play Chicken and Lose
SEPTEMBER 18, 2013 ROBERT KUTTNER – AmericanProspect
In past budget showdowns, the GOP has forced Obama to blink first. Not this time.
Republicans are likely to incur serious political damage in their effort to hold hostage continued funding of the government in exchange for deep spending cuts. This routine has become an annual ritual, and in the past President Barack Obama has been the first one to cave. The 2011 Budget Control Act, which includes the automatic sequester, is one bitter fruit of the president’s past failure to hang tough in the face of Republican extremist demands.
But this time is different.
The Tea Party Republicans, who dominate the GOP House Caucus, are demanding that President Obama de-fund the Affordable Care Act in exchange for their willingness to fund ordinary government spending in the new fiscal year, which begins October 1. But they picked the wrong demand. In the past, Obama was willing to make deep cuts in federal spending in order to get a budget deal with Republicans. The Affordable Care Act, however, is a nonnegotiable for the president. It’s his personal crown jewel, the centerpiece of his legacy. For Tea Party Republicans, however, Obamacare is evil itself, and opposition to it is a loyalty test.
How Congress reached this point
Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:01 AM EDT By Steve Benen – maddowblog
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) appeared on “Face the Nation” yesterday and made clear that he’s confused about the federal budget process. Noting that the House and Senate have passed competing spending measures intended to keep the government’s lights on, the Republican senator asked, “Why don’t we have a conference committee on this?”
It fell to Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to patiently try to explain the details Rand Paul must have missed: “We’ve been trying for more than six months to get Republicans to approve a conference committee on the budget.”
I mention this exchange because I imagine there are quite a few Americans wondering how in the world we ended up, once again, with the prospect of an imminent government shutdown. It’s worth taking a moment to remember that this crisis isn’t an accident — congressional Republicans created it on purpose several months ago.
In the early spring, both the House and Senate approved competing budget resolutions, and under the American system of government, both sides were supposed to go to a conference committee to hash out the differences. This year, Republicans refused. Consider this Washington Post piece from early May, which is all the more amazing nearly five months later.
[The shrinking deficit] might seem like good news, but it is unraveling Republican plans to force a budget deal before Congress takes its August break. Instead, the fiscal fight appears certain to bleed into the fall, when policymakers will face another multi-pronged crisis that pairs the need for a higher debt limit and the fresh risk of default with the threat of a full-scale government shutdown, which is also looming Oct. 1.
In the meantime, Republicans face a listless summer, with little appetite for compromise but no leverage to shape an agreement. Without that leverage, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday, there is no point in opening formal budget negotiations between the House and the Senate, because Democrats have no reason to consider the kind of far-reaching changes to Medicare and the U.S. tax code that Republicans see as fundamental building blocks of a deal.
This is critically important to understanding what’s happening on Capitol Hill right now. If the House and Senate had gone to a conference committee back in the spring to work out their budget differences, Republicans would have been expected to compromise to reach a broader agreement — but Republicans don’t want to compromise.
So they decided to abandon the budget process they themselves had asked for so they could do precisely what they’re doing now — use extortion instead of compromise to try to get what they want.
Continue reading this entry: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/09/30/20756914-how-congress-reached-this-point?lite
August 6, 2013
Clinton T. Brass, Coordinator
Specialist in Government Organization and Management
When federal agencies and programs lack appropriated funding, they experience a funding gap. Under the Antideficiency Act, they must cease operations, except in certain emergency situations or when law authorizes continued activity. Failure of the President and Congress to reach agreement on interim or full-year funding measures occasionally has caused government shutdowns, the longest of which lasted 21 days, from December 16, 1995, to January 6, 1996. Government shutdowns have necessitated furloughs of several hundred thousand federal employees, required cessation or reduction of many government activities, and affected numerous sectors of the economy. This report discusses the causes, processes, and effects of federal government shutdowns, including potential issues for Congress.
For the entire article: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL34680.pdf
UPDATE: GOP’s New Strategy: Avert Default But Keep Government Shut
OCTOBER 10, 2013, 11:46 AM EDT1829 SAHIL KAPUR – tpm
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced Thursday that the House will move forward with a six-week debt limit extension after pitching the idea to his Republican conference during a closed-door meeting.
The plan would sustain the government shutdown — now in its 10th day — while temporarily averting a catastrophic debt default by authorizing continued borrowing through Nov. 22. Conservative activists like Heritage Action’s chief and RedState blogger Erick Erickson paved the way for this plan this week by calling on the GOP to wage their fight against Obamacare on the government funding measure, rather than the debt ceiling.
“We’re going to offer legislation that will offer a temporary increase in the debt ceiling,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), the No. 4 House Republican, after the meeting. “That will allow us some time to continue this conversation.”
The legislation hasn’t been finalized yet. It’s expected to omit unrelated policy measures and may include language about negotiating a long-term solution, according to one source. And the U.S. would not be permitted to take extraordinary measures to borrow after Nov. 22.
(UPDATE: 10/16/13 The Senate passes HR 2775, the House also passes the act and President Obama has signed into law the act).