Meh, a Shutdown?

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 23 2011 6:23 PM

Meh, a Shutdown?

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Adam Hasner slapped backs, jumped into hugs, and took congratulatory phone calls. The U.S. Senate candidate had just won a straw poll with 34 percent, easily defeating one-time Sen. George LeMieux, who's been unable so far to overcome the fact that Charlie Crist appointed him. Since Hasner could ride into the Senate next year, I asked him what position he'd take on the current CR debate.

"This is looking like another line in the sand moment," he said. "I want the Republican version to pass. Republicans shouldn't be afraid of a shutdown."

That's the advice from Florida. That's what House Republicans are basically doing.

"With FEMA expected to run out of disaster funding as soon as Monday, the only path to getting assistance into the hands of American families immediately is for the Senate to approve the House bill," Boehner said in an official statement Friday morning.
Well, that's not exactly true. The House legislation received only 36 votes in the Senate. As noted above, the Senate passed a stand-alone disaster bill last week, which the House could take up and pass instead of scattering to the four winds.

The problem for Republicans as they play this out... look, we've been over this. They rejected the cruel suggestion that they would tie FEMA funding to offsets, something that had been mooted then rejected in the Katrina funding debate. And then they did so. The idea that Democrats are Holding Funding Hostage when they have passed a clean funding bill of their own is too much to swallow. This may be one reason that the threat of a shutdown isn't as paralyzing as the last few. In a video to CPAC Florida attendees, filmed today, Marco Rubio didn't even mention the possibility.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



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