Just as the House of Representatives passed legislation Friday to keep the government funded through mid-December but eliminate funding for President Barack Obama’s health care law — setting off a heated debate with Senate Democrats and the White House — Washington insiders predicted that the prospect of a government shutdown this time around could “have a domino effect on the markets and investor confidence.”
In an paper released Thursday, researchers at Washington Analysis say that while a government shutdown itself has not had a negative effect on the markets in the past, the ever-growing prospect of one in coming weeks could rock the markets and investor confidence.
“If a shutdown were to occur, investors’ confidence that the debt limit will be increased in mid-October will be significantly eroded, as the prevailing belief of late has been that Congress and the White House always resolve their differences at the 11th hour,” the Washington Analysis analysts say. “Accordingly, failure by Washington to reach a last-minute agreement would breach that belief.”
The analysts say that the following five variables give them “great disquiet,” and make the upcoming fiscal debate unique compared to the fight in August 2011.
1. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Vice President Joe Biden were instrumental in reaching a deal in the highly contentious August 2011 showdown. However, McConnell will likely not have a role in this debate as he is facing a Tea Party candidate in a primary and a competitive Democratic challenger if he survives to the general election. In fact, for political reasons, he will likely have to vote against both the continuing resolution [to fund the government] and debt limit increase;
2. Speaker John Boehner’s relationship with President Barack Obama has not recovered since 2011. Moreover, Boehner, R-Ohio, has lost some key staff members that were his primary negotiators in previous fiscal fights;