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More on the new Fiscal Realities in Washington

To go along with my post from yesterday is this piece from the NYT: Hurricane Harvey Shifts Political Winds in Washington.

Gone are the confrontational talk of a government shutdown and the brinkmanship over the debt limit. Instead, both Mr. Trump and his putative allies in Congress — many of them professed fiscal hawks — are promising an outpouring of federal aid to begin a recovery and rebuilding effort that will last for years and require tens of billions of dollars, if not substantially more, from Washington.

The storm has utterly transformed the federal fiscal picture.

“This is going to change the whole dynamic for September and, quite frankly, for the Republican establishment for the remainder of the 115th Congress,” said G. William Hoagland, a longtime chief budget adviser to Senate Republicans who is now a senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “The truth of the matter is, they don’t need money to build a wall in Texas, but to rebuild the shoreline in Texas.”

[…]

Republicans who had been bracing for a September showdown over how to fund the government are rapidly changing course. While they await potentially staggering damage assessments, they are pledging to do whatever it takes to help those flooded out along the Gulf Coast.

As Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a senior Republican member of the House Appropriations Committee, put it, “There will be members who will have to eat a little crow, but the bottom line is the votes are there” because “Congress wants to look functional.”

Part of looking functional, he said, is ending discussion of shuttering the government in a dispute over whether to provide money for a wall border on the southern border.

“You certainly can’t have the government shut down in the middle of a national crisis,” Mr. Cole said.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Republicans who had been bracing for a September showdown over how to fund the government are rapidly changing course.

    Let me be the first to say “Baloney.” They are going to fund the govt in the same way they always have, by borrowing it. Does anybody think for even one second they are going to forego the tax cuts for corporations and rich people who already have more money than they know what to do with it?

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  2. James Pearce says:

    Trump wasn’t going to shut down his own government anyway….

    He just knows his audience.

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  3. Dave Schuler says:

    There are no closely held ideological positions in Washington just closely held offices.

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  4. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    “You certainly can’t have the government shut down in the middle of a national crisis,” Mr. Cole said.

    I’m comforted that somebody in the GOP caucus knows this.

    Additionally, I’m willing to settle for a Congress that “look[s] functional,” as opposed to one that is functional, for the time being. All progress is good. Fake it till you make it. (Because even a “put on” persona can become the real personality of someone if that person practices it enough.)

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