3 Milestones on the Road to a Shutdown

Here is the sequence of steps Washington will take this week before it faces a pivotal decision

  • Share
  • Read Later
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, center, speaks at a news conference with conservative congressional Republicans at the Capitol in Washington on Sept. 19, 2013

In seven days, most of the federal government will be shuttered unless Congress can break its impasse on how to fund it. Before the crisis climaxes at midnight Sept. 30, lawmakers will slog through a mix of arcane procedural maneuvers and political theater. Here is the sequence of steps Washington will take this week in the run-up to the potential shutdown:

1. Senate majority leader Harry Reid sets up a vote to fund the government while removing the House-passed provision that would defund President Obama’s health care law.

The first step toward a resolution of the crisis is clear: early this week, Reid will file a procedural motion to open debate on the three-month funding measure passed on Sept. 20 by the Republican-controlled House. Shortly after, Reid will file for cloture to end debate on the measure. Cloture requires a 30-hour waiting period, then as many as 30 hours of debate. At the end of that debate, Reid needs 60 votes to move forward, a threshold he should reach because many Republican Senators are disinclined to filibuster a bill they support. After cloture, but before final passage, Reid will move to amend the House-passed funding bill to strip out the language defunding Obamacare — a move that would only require a simple majority.

2. Enter Ted Cruz.

For months, the Texas Senator has called for a stopgap budget bill that defunds Obamacare. Now that the House has passed one, Cruz intends to block the bill, potentially forcing a government shutdown in the process. “A vote for cloture is a vote for Obamacare,” Cruz said on Fox News Sunday. A move to filibuster the very bill he has long sought would encapsulate the absurdity of Congress, but Cruz has only himself to blame. He spent months hectoring his House colleagues to pass the doomed funding measure. When they complied last week, they did so in part to force Cruz to live up to his more-conservative-than-thou talk. But Reid’s ability to harness Senate rules means Cruz has no hope to actually prevent Senate Democrats from stripping out the Obamacare provision. The best he can do is to launch a rare talking filibuster, which would be a spectacle, but can only delay the inevitable. At some point, he will have to concede defeat.

3. Boehner’s move.

Then, potentially as late as Sunday, the Senate will send its “clean” stopgap funding measure to the Republican-controlled House. There members of both parties will face a tough decision on how to proceed, with just hours to decide whether or not to fund the government. House Republicans are keeping what’s left of their strategy close to the vest, but suggest there will be time to tinker with the Senate bill and send back their changes. A cadre of hard-right conservatives say they won’t vote for a so-called continuing resolution that funds Obamacare; Representative Tim Huelskamp, one of the members leading the charge, estimated that between 60 and 70 colleagues would refuse to vote for a clean funding bill. If he’s right, House Speaker John Boehner gets the final, toughest decision: break with his ideological base and pass a bill that keeps the government open with a rump faction of Democratic votes, or lead his party into a shutdown that will likely damage its standing with voters.

And if Congress is able to sidestep a shutdown? Conservatives will be even angrier and less receptive to compromise when it comes time to lift the federal debt limit in mid-October.

72 comments
ChristopherWeingart
ChristopherWeingart

I blame the media. If they did a half way decent job covering politics anymore we wouldn't have so many misinformed public who believe the president has the authority to tell congress to pound sand. 


The power is split for a reason so that an bill has to either have overwhelming support from both sides or it has compromise to get it passed. There are so many safe guards built in for the minority that politics can sometime be bogged down and take time but that doesn't mean the president gets to disregard or ignore the process. The constitution is infinitely more important then any bill, party, or person. COMPROMISE. DEBATE. DISCUSS. Don't whine and shut down the side of the road where MT Rushmore is visible to try to inconvenience people enough to create negative views of congress and government as a whole. You guys all look bad in this but especially you Mr. Obama. Allowing an immigration protest on the same grounds that you refused to allow veterans to make peace with the ones they lost serving this country. I can't see any way you could disrespect this country more if you tried but if you were going to cutting the NFL feed to active duty troops many of whom have come out to say how much they look forward to these games and how much it helps get them through their duties over there would be a close second. I thought these where the people we respected above all else, go out of our ways to make there lives easier not use them as pawns to protect your legislation. Trying to bully the american citizens that serve this country is appalling. 

ChristopherWeingart
ChristopherWeingart

I'm glad my congress isn't willing to write a blank check to the president, I don't see whats wrong with my congress asking the president for comprise during the budget process. I support this decision and shutdown and will continue to even if it isn't sorted out before the raise in the debt ceiling. This doesn't mean immediate default it just means we are unable to continue the current spending we can still make or debt payment which is only about a seventh of the income. This would require massive cuts but could be done and would have to if the congress continues to assert it's rights and our president continues to think he can ignore those balances of power. This is a democracy not a tyranny one man isn't in control he must work within the confines of the constitution. When congress is split is when some of the best legislation comes to be because they're forced to compromise.

ott786
ott786

We - as a NATION are going to be under 17 Trillion of debt.  If govt is running with all branches == what kind of our RULERS are that we are NOT getting of this mess?

Shut it DOWN send them home so we can have fresh start. 

Ocsicnarf
Ocsicnarf

I'm sorry but I cannot understand this mess. Shutting down government is not an option. Unless you are anarchist.

KrondarGemstone
KrondarGemstone

The government has shut down twice before in very recent history and it wasn't apocalyptic. This is just more partisan squabbling, and isn't really worth the front page unless a shutdown actually happens.

j45ashton
j45ashton

This is sort of beyond arrogance.  Next thing you know...Cruz will proclaim himself a god.  See, he's the center of the universe & he's got it right.  So if he sends a bill over to the Senate, and the senate & Obama reject it, then because Ted Cruz is the heart & soul of what's right, it must be the Senate & Obama who are closing down the gov't for not agreeing with him.  Just waiting for him to say he has a list of 70 known communists in the state department.  Am thinking maybe the insipient Adolf Hitler started the same way.

HazeAndDrizzle
HazeAndDrizzle

Cruz must have spent too much time in Massachusetts or it must be some kind of Cuban-Canadian cultural thing: Cruz was for the bill  before he was against it. Time for Canada to yank his citizenship fast, because this is getting embarrassing, eh? As for Cuba, they would be happy to let him swim to there though the jelly fish and sharks.

SteveFolino
SteveFolino

Congress needs to live within it's (our) means.  Our government has grown too large with too many entitlement programs.  Let's eliminate the wasteful entitlement programs, let's make people work for what they receive and stop penalizing those who are successful and rewarding those who sit on their lazy asses.

Let's eliminate Obamacare, farm subsidies, lets convert welfare into workfare like the old WPA, let's ban the destructive unions that with their ridiculous demands have forced hundreds of thousands of jobs overseas, let's relax regulations on business so that they'll remain in this country instead of moving overseas. Let's create a single tax bracket that makes EVERYONE pay equally into the system.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

There is a discussion about Cruz on a local blog involving people whose wife went to graduate school with him and the word that kept showing up in their derscription (subjective comments) was "creepy".  They also noted his arrogance that he was obviously so much smarter than anyone else.  Sort of like an ENRON Complex and hopefully the same thing will happen to him..

jmac
jmac

It'll cost us a goodly sum.  But everyone who pays the least bit of attention knows that Republicans don't care about costs.   They fool their voters saying they do, but history has proven they don't give a fig.   

It's a sad day when the three Stooges in the picture can play to Palin's Tea Party maniacs to control a Republican party that has gone even loonier than the two who controlled the executive branch last - Cheney/Bush. 

fitty_three
fitty_three

Three Easy Steps

1. Threaten to shut down the government unless you give up your health care.

2. Shut down the government.

3. Face extinction in the backlash.

romerjt
romerjt

Exactly! I knew his face was familiar - perfect, even down to the stringy hair and repulsive sneer.

fitty_three
fitty_three

Why do I feel like I'm one of those mammals hanging out during the last week of the Cretaceous period?

jwarrencollins
jwarrencollins

These right wingers have their nerve. Shut down? They insult us. Cry-Baby Boehner denounces the very notion of compromise right out loud on Sixty Minutes. He blathers this way, then that. Cantor, Cruz, the lot of these neo Nazis insult the intelligence of the people. Go ahead you goose-stepping morons.....shut it down, or freeze the debt limit. Make our day. We the people have HAD IT with your non performance. Your party will never see the light of another national election. 

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

"And if Congress is able to sidestep a shutdown? Conservatives will be even angrier and less receptive to compromise when it comes time to lift the federal debt limit in mid-October."

Which is actually the strongest argument for a shutdown.

romerjt
romerjt

Leaving aside what he says, does anybody else find Cruz kinda creepy  . . .   like he should be wiping away drool after he speaks.

floydhowardjr
floydhowardjr

RINO”S you’re going home! The Tea Party "is" the Republican Party. Its members are the majority. We will not be dissuaded, deluded, compromised, delayed, detoured, bought or lured away. We will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, negotiate at the table of corruption, hesitate in the presence of adversary or meander in the maze of mediocrity. We won't give up, shut up or let up because we're prayed up and suited up. You won't have any problem recognizing us!

 

reallife
reallife

@Ocsicnarf  go tell that to Harry Reid - he's the one who wants to shut down the government - 

everybody else wants to fund everything but obamacare - 

btw dont expect to see that written in this commie tabloid



reallife
reallife

@j45ashton another example of "liberal brains at work"

thank you Teachers Union


MarcLassiter
MarcLassiter

@j45ashton You realize he is trying to keep Government out of our health care right? How is that communist? lmao... and if your an national healthcare lover go look up some facts on what it would do to employment. Everyone would be forced into working part time so businesses could avoid a $2-$10.5k cost per full-time employee (fine or actual pay for the health insurance). So then everyone would be forced to pay for health insurance on a part time wage. think of that "financial divide"

PaulDirks
PaulDirks

@SteveFolino Last time I checked, everyone who collects social security DID work for what they received. Last time I checked most families receiving food stamps had a wage earner in the family, probably working harder than you do, but still needed assistance. Last time I checked Union membership and influence was at record lows but none of the benefits you claim materialized. 

In other words, your philosophy would be brilliant except for that pesky reality problem that keeps discrediting it.


HazeAndDrizzle
HazeAndDrizzle

@ARTRaveler Cruz and Larry Summers should come out of the closest as "smartest guy in the room" lovers.

anon76
anon76

@fitty_three

If I didn't know better, I'd say it's more like watching the GOP congress-lemmings following Cruz right up to the cliff edge.  A smarter Cruz would have pre-arranged some sort of bungee-harness for himself, but it looks like he's ready to leap, er, lead by example.

HazeAndDrizzle
HazeAndDrizzle

@forgottenlord Nazi! Nazi Nazi! I just had to be first to say it. Damn you Godwin, you just have to win every time. Couldn't help myself, ma, Honestly they had Tea Pots and everything, whatls a poor little troll supposed to do. Damn Nazis from Texas.

anon76
anon76

@forgottenlord 

"If you think I'm petulant now, just see how I act when I don't get my way."


Ladies and Gentlemen, your democratically-elected GOP congress!

BobJan
BobJan

They've also said that 1.6 MILLION people have signed their petition that they don't like Obamacare. Well, 1.6 MILLION out of 300+MILLION is like 1/2 of 1%. Not much of an amount of America. But they throw out numbers like the whole country is on their side. ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. What a laugh. They're going down in flames.

BobJan
BobJan

@floydhowardjr so to whom does Cruz owe his allegiance? "who" donated money to the Cruz campaign in exchange for favors? do you think that Cruz is for his constituents? Cruz owes his soul to the "donors".

HazeAndDrizzle
HazeAndDrizzle

@floydhowardjr Wow, so that's the song that lemmings sing to themselves while pouring over the cliff. Good wooooorrrrkkkkk....splat!

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

Yes, floydhowardjr, you will be the one sleeping on your kid's couch when Social Security and Medicare go under and everyone gets kicked out of their nursing homes.  Take your attitude to that haven for the Tea Party "no government" crowd-Somalia!  It is BROAR15, however.  Keep off our socialized highways, airports, and for goodness sale, don't eat any of that socialized food.  Were you parents as stupid as you or did you learn this all by yourself?

jsfox
jsfox

@floydhowardjr Thank GOD Obamacare now insists your insurer cover mental health treatments. Hopefully a loved one will get you into care before you hurt yourself or someone else.

jason024
jason024

@floydhowardjr How about you WIN a nationwide election then you will get to do what you want. Until then continue acting like the petulant children that you are. You do know that your intransigence has zero chance of repealing the ACA  right? EVEN your boy Ted Cruz admitted as much.

Arimathean
Arimathean

@floydhowardjr  Ok, but you do realize that the ACA is law, right?  Your party is refusing to let the government run because it supports a law that was passed with a majority vote.

pgrovesnm
pgrovesnm

@MarcLassiter @j45ashton Interesting. So this whole "benifits" thing my company provides, even though they wouldn't have to if I were a part time worker right now, is free for them?

Please. I don't doubt SOME businesses will force their people to go part time. But I find it incredible that you believe "Everyone would be forced into working part time."

MarcLassiter
MarcLassiter

@PaulDirks @SteveFolino You realize people pay into Social Security? If your a national healthcare lover go look up some facts on what it would do to employment. Everyone would be forced into working part time so businesses could avoid a $2-$10.5k cost per full-time employee (fine or actual pay for the health insurance). So then everyone would be forced to pay for health insurance on a part time wage. think of that "financial divide"

SteveFolino
SteveFolino

@PaulDirks @SteveFolino I don't consider Social Security an entitlement program, like you said, it's earned.  Welfare should become workfare.  All able-body adults should be expected to earn their welfare payments, not sit home on their rear-ends. Union membership is at record low because they've already driven most of the manufacturing jobs overseas, and if companies bring them back they'll just have to deal we a resurgence of unions.  They made their bed.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@HazeAndDrizzle

Just like them, I'll just hole up for a bit and wait it out.

Then I won't have to worry about getting stepped on.;-)

fitty_three
fitty_three

@anon76 

I like the one where they fall out of the sky, die, and turn into grass.

HazeAndDrizzle
HazeAndDrizzle

@anon76 @forgottenlord Gerrymandered-elected GOP congress. Remember this is not democracy it is a Constitutional Republic with disportionate and mis-representative government. Vote suppression will tune it up even more.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

And you wondered what happened to those bullies in your 3rd grade class?  They grew older, not smarter, and got elected to the US House.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@anon76

Really, it's more of if I had to pick between them shutting down the government or defaulting on American debt, I want them to shut down the government and I believe the choice is there because after they get the political blowback from the shut down, they won't want to have a bruising debt ceiling fight in a month.

HazeAndDrizzle
HazeAndDrizzle

@benso033gm @romerjt  Ed Shultz? Lyndon Johnson? Ed Sullivan? Joseph McCarthy! Oh come on, they do so sort of look the same. Except Ed Shultz is more sociable and more carefully reasoned than Cruz-automatic.

anon76
anon76

@benso033gm

Nope, just lack of self awareness and/or any semblance of rational thought.  Especially the "we will not be deluded" bit.

outsider
outsider

@jason024 @floydhowardjr 


It's not really possible, as the tea party doesn't actually reflect the will of the nation. 

They're just the big mouths that everyone hears. Like the moral majority in the 80's.

j45ashton
j45ashton

@SteveFolino @PaulDirks Blinders on.  Unions drove manufacturing overseas!?!    Sure.  I see you've been eating the Fox News pablum.  How about labor costs in China, Vietnam & Bangladesh being less than 1/8 what they are here?  Suppose that had nothing to do with it along with Sr executives wanting to maximize their bonuses.  Let me tell you something. I've worked in India.  Development costs there in 2003 were literally 1/8 of development costs in the US.  You may complain about unions all you like, but it wasn't unions that drove manufacturing out.,  It was greedy executives partnering with slave wages in other countries. 

ChristopherWeingart
ChristopherWeingart

@fitty_three @anon76 I blame the media. If they did a half way decent job covering politics anymore we wouldn't have so many misinformed public who believe the president has the authority to tell congress to pound sand. 


The power is split for a reason so that an bill has to either have overwhelming support from both sides or it has compromise to get it passed. There are so many safe guards built in for the minority that politics can sometime be bogged down and take time but that doesn't mean the president gets to disregard or ignore the process. The constitution is infinitely more important then any bill, party, or person. COMPROMISE. DEBATE. DISCUSS. Don't whine and shut down the side of the road where MT Rushmore is visible to try to inconvenience people enough to create negative views of congress and government as a whole. You guys all look bad in this but especially you Mr. Obama. Allowing an immigration protest on the same grounds that you refused to allow veterans to make peace with the ones they lost serving this country. I can't see any way you could disrespect this country more if you tried but if you were going to cutting the NFL feed to active duty troops many of whom have come out to say how much they look forward to these games and how much it helps get them through their duties over there would be a close second. I thought these where the people we respected above all else, go out of our ways to make there lives easier not use them as pawns to protect your legislation. Trying to bully the american citizens that serve this country is appalling. 

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

abtually, anon76, you want him to ber teh one that sees the other end of teh bungee cord passing him as he heads down.  It is, however, a waste of a good bungee cord.

anon76
anon76

@Ohiolib

psst- Mr, Cruz, you tied the bungee cable around your own neck.