By now we know the drill. House Republicans periodically threaten to shut down the government, so they can generate headlines about how they’re supposedly standing up to the Biden administration. Then once they’ve gotten those headlines, House Republicans back down, and the shutdown never happens. We saw this in early 2023, and now we’re in the process of seeing it again.
After weeks of threatening a shutdown (and weeks of the media and pundit class acting like the odds of a shutdown were 99% or 100%), House Republicans are now introducing a continuing resolution to keep the government running. This isn’t a surprise. A shutdown would play very poorly for the Republicans, and voters would punish them for it in 2024. Republicans could easily lose three or four House seats in 2024 over a shutdown, and lose the majority in the process. While some House Republicans with secure seats in far-right districts seem to be fine with this, those House Republicans who could lose their seats (or care about the majority) are hesitant to let an actual shutdown happen.
Because different House Republicans have differing goals, and because the Republican House has no real leadership to keep them in line, we’re now seeing their internal squabbling spilling over into public view.
House Republican Byron Donalds introduced a continuing resolution, but Matt Gaetz then began complaining on Twitter that it will allow Jack Smith’s Trump probe to continue. Donalds then fired back by insisting that Gaetz “tell the people the truth” and admit that there’s no such thing as defunding Jack Smith’s probe anyway. Gaetz then whined that it was “painful” watching Donalds go through with the continuing resolution.
It’s still not entirely clear how this will play out. But it now appears that a shutdown won’t happen, because too many House Republicans are worried about losing their seats and/or majority power as a result of a shutdown. It’s also very clear that rudderless zombie Kevin McCarthy can’t keep his House Republican members from publicly attacking each other over it. These people are idiots, and more importantly, they’re allowing the general public to see them behaving like idiots.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report