Oh what teary-eyed blood sport is a-boiling in Congress to-day: the federal government is headed for a shutdown, again, because Harry Reid won’t let the Senate vote on a trillion-dollar omnibus spending bill made of the glued-together pencil shavings swept off the floor of the failed supercommittee negotiations, hooray! This is happening because of an entirely different payroll tax holiday extension bill that for reasons of strategery Harry Reid must first axe murder in the Senate to save and doom America in equal measure, due to House Republicans filling this payroll tax cut bill — that would help millions of working Americans — with their trademark sweaty little middle fingers for the environment and seniors on Medicare and unemployed people. Meanwhile, Barack Obama has helpfully interceded to say, “how about we just give up, for now” while everyone moves “sudden Apocalypse” a little higher up on their holiday wish list.
And here are your representative “dueling party leader soundbites” for this whole mess, from the NYTimes:
Senator Reid said Republicans “obviously want to have the government shut down,” an assertion denied by Republicans, who said Mr. Reid was holding up the omnibus spending bill to gain leverage on other issues, like the extension of a payroll tax cut.
“A government shutdown is a terrible idea,” said the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
In sum, no one from either party wants the government to shut down, which is exactly why it will shut down. So while thousands of government workers are already looking forward to receiving empty paycheck envelopes for the holidays, at least Congress and Obama have their shit together enough to agree to let the military run the domestic police force, which is probably all that will be left of America by next February. Go team! [NYTimes/Politico/Bloomberg]