Another day another government shutdown threat. All so called government shut down threats have been because congress fails to do its mandated congressional function of providing budgets. Statesmen would and have provided budgets. Politicians provide continuing resolutions that continue to raise the national debt and operate with little or no common sense and discipline.
Congress is punting its shutdown fight over President Donald Trump's border wall until just before Christmas, delaying a brutal battle after the death of President George H.W. Bush essentially shut down the Capitol this week.
House leaders unveiled a bill Monday afternoon that will extend government funding until Dec. 21, moving a partial shutdown date two weeks down the road from this Friday's deadline.
And while lawmakers are hopeful that more negotiating time will help resolve a prolonged standoff around Trump's demand for $5 billion in wall funding, people in both parties lamented that two more weeks is unlikely to do much to change the overall dynamics of the impasse.
"We could have finished it today," groused Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. "We've been negotiating all weekend."
"I don't know why we'd have [a spending bill] going to Dec. 21. We know what we have to do. Let's just get it done in a shorter period of time, so we can go home for the holidays," agreed Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas). He dubbed former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) "a grinch" for having the Senate in before a Christmas holiday in the past.
While the two-week spending bill does buy some time for talks to continue, it doesn't mean Trump and Democrats will find consensus on the border wall. Congressional leaders are now betting that the pain of staying in Washington deep into December is motivation enough for lawmakers to reach a deal and avoid what people in both parties now fret could be a long partial shutdown later this year month.
"We have to avoid a shutdown. If we haven't learned our lessons in the past, I don't think we'll ever learn them," said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the GOP's most senior senator.
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