Shutdown Fight Ends Quietly On Capitol Hill

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Word comes from the Democratic Whip’s office that the House of Representatives will quietly extend government funding on Tuesday, and then again, for a longer stretch, when the House returns from recess next week.

No muss, no fuss. Though House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will lose a big chunk of his caucus on the vote, the fight, for all intents and purposes, appears to be over.

On the Senate floor Monday night, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the whole exercise a “fire drill [that] was completely unnecessary.”

But a Senate Democratic aide suggests McConnell knew full well who’d caused the fire drill, and it wasn’t Democrats.According to the source, McConnell approached Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) Monday night saying he was prepared to accept the deal that passed last night. This was a deal Boehner wasn’t a party to and reportedly didn’t really like, but McConnell’s assent basically locked it in — if Boehner didn’t go along the story would have turned into one about the division between McConnell (whose caucus is relatively disciplined) and Boehner (whose caucus is anything but).

All of which is to say, as Steny Hoyer did on Twitter Tuesday morning, “McConnell said: This entire fire drill was completely unnecessary. He is right. What he didn’t say is GOP House leadership made this happen.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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