"We will pass a clean [continuing resolution], and if for some reason the Democrats don’t take that, then they will clearly have shut the government down," the House budget chief told Roll Call, saying the stopgap bill will probably last through Dec. 11.
Ryan also said to expect the House to pass a short-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, even though lots of conservatives want to shut it down. Ryan himself has slammed Ex-Im as "crony capitalism."
If the House passes these two measures -- and that's hardly a given -- it would all but take a government shutdown off the table through the midterm elections. Senate Democrats would have little justification for not adopting them in order to keep the government running. Despite some hunger for confrontation with President Barack Obama, Republican leaders are wary that a shutdown on Oct. 1 -- so close to Election Day -- could harm their prospects.
When Congress returns to Washington in September it will have just 10 working days before the fiscal year ends and federal funding expires.