Thursday, September 22, 2011

House Votes to Shut Down Government On October 1

Hasn’t This Movie Already Been in the Theaters?

On August 3, right after the debt ceiling/deficit reduction package was completed everyone was breathing the sigh of relief that the fiscal crisis of the U. S. was over. But in the U. S. the fiscal year begins on October 1.  So unless the Congress has approved spending for 2012 by October 1, 2011, government comes to a halt.

The Dismal Political Economist wrote this about the coming fiscal year

Now it is approaching the beginning of 2012, with no spending approvals in place.  Congress and the President are about to take (sarcasm alert!) their "well deserved" vacation.  So unless Congress decides that it has had enough fighting and that it just wants peace and quiet, the new budget battle and government shutdown threats and discord over spending and taxes starts

 October 1 at a theater near you.

Now no one expects the Congress to fund the government by the start of the fiscal year, so what happens in this case, (well not just this case, in just about every fiscal year) what the Congress does is pass something called a Continuing Resolution, or CR.  So on Wednesday the House voted 230 to pass reject the CR and not fund the government as of October 1.

Democrats were opposed because the measure contains $1.5 billion in cuts to a government loan program to help car companies build fuel-efficient vehicles. For their part, many GOP conservatives felt the underlying bill permits spending at too high a rate.

The vote was 48 Republicans joining with 182 Democrats to defeat the bill even though it was supported by the Democratic leadership. 

Now no one expects that the vote is permanent, but the vote does show just how fractured Washington is.  A vote that the New York Times calleda routine bill to finance the government through mid-November” could not pass the House with bi-partisan leadership support. 

Welcome to Election Year 2012, starting October 1 at a theater near you.

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