Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Shutdown?: Nope, Government Will Kick the Can Down the Road (Again)

It's quite the circus they have going on Capitol Hill. After much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, the members passed yet another short-term bill to keep the government from shutting down. This is the fourth such bill this year.

Most members clearly do not want the government to shut down, either for fear of the harm it will do to the American people, or for fear of political blowback. And so, the stopgap bill passed by overwhelming majorities in each chamber; 320-99 in the House and 77-13 in the Senate. Once Joe Biden signs the bill today, the deadline for the first set of spending bills will be pushed to March 8, while the deadline for the second set will be pushed to March 22.

Will Congress figure things out this time? Well, there are two reasons for optimism. First, many members say they are close to the finish line. Second, the State of the Union is March 7, and that provides Biden with an opportunity to hammer the members before a national audience if they haven't sent him a bill. This said, when there's enough dysfunction to require four extensions, you can't be surprised if there ends up being enough dysfunction to require a fifth (and a sixth, and a seventh, etc.). Obviously, a partial or full shutdown is also still possible, but again, it seems pretty clear that a big majority does not want that and will do what it takes to prevent it. Sorry, Freedom Caucus! (Z)

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