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A Primer on the “Government Shutdown”


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Steven Hayward

Jan. 19 2018

It seems Senate Democrats are determined to have a government shutdown probably because of the default requirement of the Democratic base of “total resistance” to Trump. They are attaching the demand that DACA be “fixed” as a condition to funding the federal government (as OMB director Nick Mulvaney pointed out this morning, Democrats do not oppose any of the funding specifics of the continuing resolution), because they know that if DACA is part of larger immigration deal they lose a lot of leverage. More on that point in a moment.

Democrats are banking on the premise of the media-academic complex that a government shutdown will be blamed on Republicans. The second premise of the media-academic complex is that Republicans are supposed to forever be the Washington Generals to the Democratic Progresstrotters, and roll over for “the side of history.” Trump just might be the kind of person who will call an end to this perverse state of affairs. In addition, Mulvaney suggested this morning that the Trump Administration is prepared to hunker down for a good long while, as many agencies can use holdover funds and “transfer authority” to pay for priority services—something Obama refused to do back in 2013.

But as I noted here in October, it is a myth that the government actually “shuts down.” Worth repeating here:




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