Ditto to everything David says below to this denouement of the latest House GOP clown show. The big picture: House Republicans first demanded huge spending cuts. They then decided to shift to demanding miscellaneous border related abuses to get their prized shutdown. In fact they could never agree what to demand. That was the whole issue of not being able to pass anything. In the end they agreed to give up all their demands and settled for giving Vladimir Putin a big sloppy kiss in the form of killing any new aid to Ukraine in this continuing resolution. This was the sweetener that made the capitulation possible. It’s a telling but unsurprising signal. For the Trumpist Right today, Ukrainians are just Democrats with a funny alphabet. Doing Putin a solid provided enough psychic satisfaction to make this happen.
This keeps the government funded for 45 more days – in essence, until Thanksgiving.
One point Kate Riga made during our most recent podcast has stuck with me: the hangup thoughout was that McCarthy wouldn’t put any continuing resolution up for a vote that required Democratic votes. But the fact that McCarthy wouldn’t rely on Democratic votes to prevent a shutdown was sort of beside the point since he would certainly need them to end a shutdown, to reopen the government. It was really just a question of when he was going to pull that trigger. He decided to do it now.
The stakes in the government shutdown were nothing like the debt ceiling standoff. But they were still large. Republicans likely would have caught almost all the immediate political damage. But the economic impact could have been substantial. On that front, it was win-win for Republicans. Whatever damage a shutdown did to the economy it was Biden’s problem and another obstacle to his reelection. So they can have their fun and it’s on Joe’s dime. And yet there’s little reason to believe Democrats were ever going to allow any of the budget cuts House GOP hardliners are demanding. And the same goes for the border demands. Remember that this entire drama and fight was based on McCarthy breaking the deal he struck back in May with Biden.
On the Ukraine funding, my read is that Democrats and Senate Republicans figure they’ll come back and get this as a standalone. Either that or they’ll do some creative accounting at the Pentagon to keep the armaments moving. I don’t think this is the end of our picking up a substantial part of the tab for Ukraine’s War effort.
And as for McCarthy, will he now be ousted? Maybe. But I really doubt it. The House Freedom Caucus needs a nominal Speaker like McCarthy in order to exist. I explained that here. If they ousted McCarthy they’d simply need to find a new McCarthy. Indeed, if Matt Gaetz forced a vote on McCarthy’s ouster I wouldn’t be surprised if he were ousted and they eventually had to elect him again after another few days of votes like we saw back in January.