(Bloomberg View) — All the elements of a debacle will be in place next week when congressional authorization expires for financing the U.S. government.
Lawmakers, on recess now, will have only four days to iron out a deal. Right-wing Republicans see a chance to enact abortion curbs and anti-immigrant measures that opponents won’t countenance. Democrats are in no mood to offer concessions. And the administration of President Donald Trump has trouble getting its act together.
Sound like a government shutdown in the making? It’s very unlikely.
Funding for the government will expire on April 28 without congressional action. The odds are that there will be a one-or two-week extension, with the battle joined and probably resolved by mid-May.
Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, has insisted that a spending bill for the upcoming year must include money for the Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican border, and must cut off funds to cities that don’t cooperate with Washington in cracking down on undocumented workers. These measures, or big cuts in current spending, won’t fly with Democrats.
That means they’re likely to be dropped, as it is not in the political interest of Trump or Republican congressional leaders to provoke a crisis. That goes double after the collapse of their health care plan last month.
“With a Republican House, Republican Senate and Republican administration, we don’t want to stumble into a shutdown,” said Rep. Tom Cole, a senior Oklahoma Republican who is close to the House leadership.