The odds of a government shutdown this autumn are increasing, with the White House and congressional leaders both digging in.
On Capitol Hill, partisans on both sides of the aisle are demanding that the next federal budget include provisions their political opponents will find objectionable.
Twelve Republican senators — including likely 2016 presidential candidates Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — have said they will not sign off on any spending bill that includes funding for the president’s signature health care law. And as of Friday, at least 69 House Republicans had signed on to a yet-to-be-sent letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) demanding that a continuing resolution defund ObamaCare in its entirety.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), meanwhile, vowed to do “everything within my ability” to oppose a budget that maintains sequester-level spending.
Moreover, The Washington Post reported Friday that senior White House officials were weighing a strategy by which President Obama would threaten a veto of any bill that did not roll back the sequester. Administration officials have also signaled that the president would definitively veto any legislation that provided deeper cuts than those already in place with the sequester.There has not been a government shutdown in nearly two decades, and both parties are wary of the damage the move would do to the economy — and their poll numbers. But a unique confluence of events is increasing the likelihood that come Oct. 1, the doors to the federal government will be shuttered.