Congress gets busy on the budget & Obamacare

640px-United_States_Capitol_-_west_frontCongress has passed a spending deal that will keep the government from shutting down.  The measure provides for increases in defense and border security.  A bipartisan committee worked out the compromise that will keep the government funded at least through September.

Also, there is a chance that Congress will act on healthcare as early as this week. The White House is claiming to have the votes to repeal and replace Obamacare this week, though Congressional Republicans are more cautious about those prospects.  See this for the current state of the healthcare bill. [Read more…]

Will the government shut down?

512px-Important_government_shutdown_notice_for_the_Stature_of_LibertyBack when we had a divided government, with President Bush and a Democratic congress and with President Obama and a Republican Congress, we were always in danger of having the government shut down over an inability of the branches of our government to agree on spending bills.

Now both the presidency and the legislative branch are in Republican hands, but we still are facing a government shutdown.  The ability of the government to fund its operations will cease unless all sides can agree on a spending measure by Friday.

President Trump, who sparked some of the controversy by insisting that his wall with Mexico be funded, has walked back that idea. [Read more…]

Shutting down the government over the Wall & Planned Parenthood

Chuck_Schumer_January_2016Senate Democrats say they will shut down the government by filibustering any spending bills that include building a wall along the Mexican border or that defund Planned Parenthood.

The government runs out of money on April 28 unless more funding is approved.

President Trump plans to release his proposed budget this week.

If the government gets shut down, the Democrats are convinced that Republicans will get blamed.


Photo of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer by Senate Democrats ( [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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Bill to defund Planned Parenthood failed to pass

All of the Democrats plus 8 Republicans voted against a Senate bill that would defund Planned Parenthood, shifting the money instead to women’s health clinics.

The bill was part of a measure to fund the government, so if it shuts down on October 1, that should properly be on the Democrats (and the eight Republicans).

But House Speaker Boehner is now planning to offer two separate bills:  one to fund the government and one to defund Planned Parenthood.  [Read more…]

Pro-life initiatives in Congress

Senate Republicans say they will put forward a bill that would ban all abortions after 20 weeks.  Meanwhile, the House is putting forward a bill that would ban funding to Planned Parenthood.

If these issues get attached to spending bills, they could shut down the government.  That tactic turned the general public against Republicans before.  But is it worth doing?  Congressional leaders are reportedly trying to get these measures through without shutting down the government. [Read more…]

Congress stops default & ends shutdown

Cutting it close as usual, on the day before the government would run out of money, Congress agreed to raise the debt ceiling and end the 16-day partial government shutdown.  Basically, both sides dropped their demands and kicked the can down the road.  The government will be funded until January 15, and the debt limit will rise until February 7.  In the meantime, a commission will be appointed to try to resolve the controversies. [Read more…]