With just four legislative days remaining for Congress to avoid a government shutdown, the weight of the world seems to be falling once again on House Speaker John Boehner.
The Senate is expected to pass a “clean” bill to fund the government at current levels for the next 10 weeks, but because of opposition from Tea Party senators like Ted Cruz, that likely won’t happen until Sunday. Boehner will then have just one day to either pass a clean bill funding the government—and lose the support of many in the House Republican Conference—or allow the government to shut down.
If that wasn’t bad enough for Boehner, Democrats are holding firm in their opposition to another hostage crisis around the country’s credit. Echoing president Obama’s promise this weekend that a debt ceiling showdown is “not going to happen,” Senate Democrats circulated a letter Monday promising the same. They wrote: “The Tea Party continues to mistake its high-stakes game of chicken for economic stewardship. We need to hold them accountable….”
Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, quoting the late Republican Sen. Jack Kemp, told Alex Wagner Tuesday, “If you really want to serve your party, if you really want to do that, you serve your country first.”