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Where Are We Going?

                                               Where Are We Going?
 
It would take a fool to predict what is going to happen in the government funding drama over the next few days. So here's my guess.
 
The House Republicans have begun to divide proposals to fund the government into discrete, appropriations bills. The complaint is that they are arbitrary. Quite right, but then so are the 12 appropriations bills that are used today. Being old, I can remember when we used to have 13 appropriations bills. What's the difference? Not much.
 
In form this is much like what played out in the spring on the sequester. President Obama said that the sky was falling and no one believed him. Finally, with the lines at the airports growing, the House passed legislation to reconfigure the spending by the Transportation Department. Total spending was not increased, just rearranged to provide for the greater need to fund air traffic controllers. Thus the model for sequester has been set. If there is a problem in one place or another, the House will pass a reordering of the appropriations spending to address the need while keeping overall spending at the same level as set by the sequester. The Senate passed the bill without a whimper.
 
The bills the House is voting on seem to correspond to the issues that worry the public and are causing concern because of the government shutdown. So the Republicans in the House are listening to and responding to the American people. Not a crime as far as I can tell.
 
One of these was passed and signed into law yesterday by the President. It was a bill to keep funding the military. Apparently that was OK with Senator Reid and the President. Thus we know it is not the concept with which they disagree, but the politics.
 
Today Senator Reid, in full petty tyrant mode, said that the Senate won't pass any more of these specific funding measures, even though they are at the levels that the Senate has already passed in the CR. In keeping with that order, House Democrats voted in just large enough numbers to stop these bills from passing by the two-thirds margin required under House rules to suspend the rules and pass legislation.
 
Seems that Senator Reid has moved the goal post. Up until today he was saying that the Senate would not pass any funding legislation that tried to make changes in the ACA. None of the measures the House is considering make any changes in the ACA.
 
So now it is expected that the House Rules Committee will grant rules for consideration of these bills so that they must receive a simple majority vote to pass.
 
My guess is that the House Republicans will to vote on the bills that didn't pass tonight and several others that take care of specific funding problems. For example, the panda cams can probably remain dark, but most people think that the NIH should continue to be funded. I would expect that this will continue through the end of this week.
 
The big question is whether Americans will look at the substance of the bills being passed by the House of Representatives or listen to the rhetoric of the President and the main stream media demanding that the President get everything he wants and promising to hold his breath until he gets it.
 
I have no idea how this will end, but I expect that by the end of this weekend someone will decide it isn't worth it any more and there will be a resolution. Most often the guy holding his breath with the press to back him up wins these battles. But every once in a long while, the people just let him turn blue.
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