Dem 51
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GOP 49
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T-minus-2 Days and Counting

Another day, and... still no progress on the part of Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) when it comes to the looming government shutdown.

In fact, you could argue that the Speaker is actually moving backwards. His latest "idea," such as it is, was to throw his weight behind a bill that gives the Freedom Caucusers most of what they want, including an 8% cut in outlays. And now, a list of parties who don't like the proposal: Joe Biden, both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, House Democrats, the Biden 18 in the House, many House moderates and... the Freedom Caucus. If today's proposal has considerably fewer votes than yesterday's proposal, then that's pretty much the definition of retrograde maneuvers, right?

In the end, it's pretty clear that the (temporary) solution to this mess is going to come from the Senate. Both Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are maneuvering a basically clean continuing resolution through their chamber. That takes time, however, and it's likely that it will take a discharge petition to bring it to the floor of the House, so that McCarthy can tell the FCers he had nothing to do with it and that he tried his best to hold the line. Discharge petitions also take time.

Add it up, and it's going to be hard to avoid a shutdown. Maybe it will be a day, maybe it will be a week, maybe longer. Then the question is: Which party will pay the price? The latest from YouGov suggests it will be... the Republicans. Among respondents, 32% said they would blame everyone, 29% said they would blame Congressional Republicans, 14% said they would blame Congressional Democrats, and 13% said they would blame Joe Biden. Even if you add the Biden/Congressional Democrats totals together, it's still less than the Republican total. Plus, Democrats would very much like people to be angry at Republican members of Congress heading into next year, and that looks to be a real possibility.

That said, the fellow who is really sweating bullets right now is Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA). He really wants a trifecta in Virginia, and he could have it if this November's elections go well. However, if there's a shutdown, well... voters might forget by next November, but they probably won't forget by this November. And, of course, D.C. politics usually spill into Virginia elections. So, Youngkin would very much like McCarthy to get on the ball, thank you very much. (Z)

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