If you thought that the Obamacare debacle was bad, just wait until you see what happens next.
The continuing resolution that is currently funding the government expires on April 28th, and if a new funding agreement is not reached prior to that time, there will be a government shutdown like we witnessed in 2013 starting on April 29th. Unfortunately, as I will explain below, if a government shutdown happens it may go for a lot longer than just a couple of weeks this time around.
April 28th may sound like it is quite some time away, but because the congressional calendar has so many “holes” in it, there is actually not very much time for Congress to act.
If you can believe it, there are only 12 “legislative days” between now and April 28th, and if something is not done on one of those 12 days the government will shut down on April 29th.
Needless to say, a government shutdown would greatly rattle the financial markets. Thanks to the Obamacare disaster, the Dow has now experienced its longest losing streak in six years, and another down day for the Dow on Tuesday would make it the longest losing streak since 1978.
With the Republicans in control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives, you would think that a government shutdown would be unlikely.
Sadly, that is not the case. In fact, political reporter Mike Allen says that a “top Republican” told him that a government shutdown on April 29th is “more likely than not”…
A top Republican with close ties to the White House tells me that after the GOP failure on healthcare, a government shutdown — looming when a continuing resolution runs out April 28 — is “more likely than not… Wall Street is not expecting a shutdown and the markets are unprepared.”
And Chris Krueger of Cowen Washington Research Group today will warn financial clients: “Hello April 29 government shutdown.”
That’s Day 100 of the Trump presidency, by the way.
During a government shutdown, essential government services continue to operate, but everything else ceases. Huge numbers of government employees are temporarily furloughed, government parks are closed, and some government agencies pretty much quit functioning at all. The last time this actually happened was in 2013…
The issue confronting Trump is similar to the one that President Obama and then-House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio faced in 2013: a block of conservative Republicans who are willing to vote ‘No’ instead of bowing to pressure from the White House, Wall Street, and even powerful establishment interest groups.
But unlike then, a single party holds all three major levers of power in government.
The government shut down for more than two weeks in 2013 after Tea Party members refused to backdown and tried to use the leverage of a shutdown to defund Obamcare.
So why would conservative members of Congress want to force a government shutdown in 2017?
Well, for one thing we continue to add more than a trillion dollars a year to the national debt. During the Obama era, the U.S. national debt rose from 10.6 trillion dollars to just under 20 trillion dollars.
In a just society, the politicians that have been stealing trillions of dollars from future generations of Americans would be put in prison, but instead we have just come to accept that selling our children and our grandchildren into debt slavery is normal.
We have got to quit going into so much debt, and so someone needs to take a stand, and it is becoming clear that it won’t be President Trump.
Just a few weeks ago, Trump made his intentions crystal clear during a conversation with New York Times Magazine contributor Robert Draper…
When I spoke with Trump, I ventured that, based on available evidence, it seemed as though conservatives probably shouldn’t hold their breath for the next four years expecting entitlement reform. Trump’s reply was immediate. “I think you’re right,” he said. In fact, Trump seemed much less animated by the subject of budget cuts than the subject of spending increases. “We’re also going to prime the pump,” he said. “You know what I mean by ‘prime the pump’? In order to get this” — the economy — “going, and going big league, and having the jobs coming in and the taxes that will be cut very substantially and the regulations that’ll be going, we’re going to have to prime the pump to some extent. In other words: Spend money to make a lot more money in the future. And that’ll happen.” A clearer elucidation of Keynesian liberalism could not have been delivered by Obama.
In other words, Trump wants to take government spending to an even higher level than Obama did.
And Trump is certainly correct that this would help the economy in the short-term, but it would also be extremely destructive to the bright future that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have.
In addition to addressing our exploding national debt, conservatives in Congress are going to want to tie defunding Planned Parenthood to any agree to continue funding the government…
- The current continuing resolution to fund the government expires on April 28.
- The conservative House Freedom Caucus — the group Trump blamed on Twitter this morning for killing his Obamacare replacement bill — will almost certainly make defunding the women’s health group and country’s biggest abortion provider a non-negotiable condition for it to support the government funding bill.
- That’s a big problem. There’s no way a bill that defunds Planned Parenthood gets 60 votes in the Senate.
This is the issue that could force a government shutdown to last for an extended period of time.
Today the Republicans control the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. If Planned Parenthood is not going to be defunded now, it never will be.
If I was a member of the Freedom Caucus, I would make defunding Planned Parenthood my line in the sand. These butchers systematically kill millions of American babies, they auction off the body parts to the highest bidders, and the federal government gives them approximately 500 million dollars a year to keep operating.
If President Trump and Paul Ryan choose to fight the Freedom Caucus over defunding Planned Parenthood, any agreement to fund the government will not have enough Republican votes in the House. But any bill which defunds Planned Parenthood will get filibustered by Democrats in the Senate.
There is always the possibility that President Trump could turn his back on the conservatives in Congress and try to make a deal with the Democrats, but then he would have to get that deal passed by a Republican-controlled House and a Republican-controlled Senate.
To me, it is worth forcing a government shutdown in order to defund Planned Parenthood.
If Donald Trump decides that he wants to do a deal that includes continued funding for Planned Parenthood that is not okay.
Let me repeat – that is not okay.
If Donald Trump or any other Republican member of Congress agrees to a deal that includes continued funding for Planned Parenthood, that will mean that the blood of all the children that are murdered by Planned Parenthood from that day forward will be on their hands too.
Most people don’t realize this, but this is actually one of the most critical moments in American history.
If President Trump and the Republicans defund Planned Parenthood, that will be an exceptionally good thing for our country.
But if President Trump and the Republicans choose not to do this, there will be no more excuses left to offer, and I believe that the consequences for our nation will be far more severe than most people would dare to imagine.