Good morning. Do we still have a government?
Congressional Democrats and Republicans are still playing policy chicken this morning, waiting to see whether they’ll have to shut down the government over what amounts to petty cash. What are they fighting over, and are we likely to still have a working (for some value of “working”) government tomorrow?
Riders that gut the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases remain a sticking point, though not the only one, says The Hill. The riders that tie the EPA’s hands are helping to make it “impossible” to avoid a shutdown, according to Sen. Chuck Schumer. But there are other objectionable riders as well, including the ones that defund Planned Parenthood because it keeps using abortion money to pay for poor women’s Pap smears. (In what sense is that “abortion money”? Because it’s Planned Parenthood, duh, and they are a priori suspicious. You shouldn’t be allowed to PLAN parenthood, it should be something that happens to you whether you like it or not.) Boehner thinks no one policy item is holding up a deal, because he doesn’t like to listen to other people.
Repubs are digging in their heels over conservative culture-war values, says Mitchell Bard at Huffington Post. For Bard, the EPA riders hardly rank — boning the environment is just gravy on a big pile of “screw the poor and send in the Uterine Patrol” mashed potatoes. Can we avoid a shutdown, according to Bard? We shouldn’t, if it means Democrats cave to the Republican vision of the future.
It’s mainly about abortion, plus a little about the environment, agree Newser, the New York Times, and the Atlantic Wire. (Newser also mentions a mountaintop removal mining rider that nobody else seems to be talking about!) The way the fight is shaping up, it looks like the GOP is willing to screw over the planet because they’re all planning to move into a nice, cozy uterus anyway.
Actually, it’s about intangibles more than anything, says Ezra Klein at the Washington Post. Boehner is trying to present himself as a stern and trustworthy daddy, and the Democrats are trying to not be terminal weenuses for once.
Oh come on, there’s not going to be a shutdown anyway, says John Cassidy at the New Yorker, who also thinks bike lanes are responsible for the fact that he has a hard time parking his Jaguar in downtown Manhattan.