Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Coming Fight

I think we are in for some terrific political theatre this fall. Look at the pieces that are coming together and need some kind of resolution:

  • Budget resolution, needed by September 30
  • Debt ceiling increase - Treasury Secretary Lew just said we're good at least through Labor Day
  • Immigration reform - what will the House do?
  • Obamacare - Exchanges are supposed to open October 1
What's the Current Wisdom? Nobody much seems to know for sure. So let me give it a try:

 I think there will be a Government Shutdown during the first two weeks of October. The GOP will insist on defunding Obamacare as part of the new budget resolution. Dems will refuse. No new budget or Continuing Resolution will be passed by September 30. The Government will shut down.

And then what? Republicans will be forced to cave. Completely. The President won't budge. The Dems and the public will back him. It will be a rout. The Exchanges will either open on time, or will be delayed a month, and will work pretty well, disproving both GOP and many liberal critics. Conservatives still won't pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill through the House. But a debt ceiling increase will be approved with no conditions by the end of October.

If you're a Republican, this scenario will be more than a bit unsettling. If it happens, the odds of the GOP losing the House in the Midterms goes from almost nil to likely in my book.

Despite the pain, I hope it happens. We really do need more accountability in our political process. It is wrong that the House GOP can hide behind their big 2010 win in their gerrymandered districts, with little apparent interest in considering what the broader public really want and need. And they should pay a price for continually underestimating the President. They are sure he will fold. He won't.

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