Budget Expert: 75 Percent Chance Federal Government Will Shut Down

Budget expert Stan Collender calculates that there is a 75 percent change that the federal government will shut down at the end of the month.

Collender, an executive vice president at Qorvis MSL Group, wrote in Politico Magazine on Sunday that there’s not enough time in the Congressional calendar to pass a full budget and that congressional Republicans’ push to defund Planned Parenthood will make even a temporary funding measure difficult to negotiate.

The first issue according to Collender, is time:

Not only have none of the fiscal 2016 appropriations yet been signed into law, none have even passed both the House and Senate. With less than two calendar weeks (and far fewer days of potential legislative work) to go, the only way to keep the government from shutting down will be for Congress and the president to agree on a continuing resolution to fund the government for a short time while a larger deal is negotiated.

And Collender said that the politics surrounding Planned Parenthood will make a continuing resolution, a short-term funding measure, unlikely as well.

The dispute over continued funding for the organization has added a hyperemotional element to what already is a hyperpartisan and dysfunctional budget process. Some Republicans have vowed never to vote for any legislation — including a CR — that maintains this funding, while the White House has promised to veto any bill that ends it. With Congress not likely to have the votes to override a veto, this issue alone could easily bring government operations to a halt on Oct. 1.

Collender noted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) would have a particularly hard time persuading the four Republican senators running for president to vote for any bill that funds Planned Parenthood.

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