Is A Government Shutdown Looming? Long Answer: No

Derek Hunter Contributor
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Roll Call, ThinkProgress and the Huffington Post are worried about November. They exist to elect progressives, and the American people are marinating in progressive policies and don’t like them. So rather than defend them, they’re trying to change the subject.

Congress has funded the government with a “continuing resolution,” basically agreeing to keep doing what it’s been doing until a new budget is passed, through Dec. 11. Beyond that, either appropriations bills have to be passed to authorize spending or another CR is needed. If neither happens, the government shuts down because only Congress, not the president’s magic pen, can spend government money.

A group of Republicans sent a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner calling on him to not to fund the Obamacare “risk corridors” in any appropriations bills that are voted out of the House in the lame-duck session. This is constitutional, as any spending must originate in the House, but it’s also how last year’s government shutdown started, from a technical standpoint.

I say “technical standpoint” because it really started with the president and Senate majority leader. Barack Obama and Harry Reid made known their unwillingness to compromise on any level with Republicans on the issue of Obamacare, even rejecting the idea of legislatively reiterating what Obama had done unilaterally. They would not budge.

Republicans were attacked by Democratic operatives in the media for being to blame for the shutdown, b-roll was quickly shot of closed national parks and monuments, and their poll numbers sank. But 2013 wasn’t an election year, and in a Twitter world it was a lifetime ago. Voters’ minds are now filled with an overrun border, ISIS, Ebola, and the general malaise of Obama’s economy. In other words: progressive policies in action.

So what are Democrats to do? Go back to the well, of course.

ThinkProgress wrote a post entitled, “Republicans Threaten Another Shutdown Over Obamacare,” about the letter to Speaker Boehner. Huffington Post, predictably, wrote a piece on TP’s post to spread the word to as much of the progressive world as possible. Nothing, except maybe a Christian quietly practicing their faith, scares a progressive more than the federal government closing its doors for a short while.

The only problem with the blog post and subsequent “news” story is lack of any such “threat” in the letter itself. The only reference to a shutdown in it is, “Congress will undoubtedly have its feet held to the fire by the American people to pass another stop-gap appropriations bill avoiding a government shutdown.”

Note the lack of “If we do not get our way, we will shutdown the government,” anywhere in that letter. That’s because it’s not there.

Polls show Democrats’ chances of holding the Senate are slipping and the election is less than a month away. It is unlikely ISIS will be defeated, Ebola cured, the border secured, and millions of jobs created in the next 27 days, so voters must be distracted from those things. The media is only too happy to comply.