It’s December and it’s three days before funding for the government runs out, so of course there’s a mad scramble by congressional Democrats to figure out how to avert that and of course there’s a group of Freedom Caucus maniacs, egged on by their Republican accomplices in the Senate, trying to force a shutdown over (checks notes to see what it is this time) vaccine mandates. The House had hoped to put a stop-gap continuing resolution on the floor Wednesday, but those plan have been scuttled by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to agree to a duration for the short-term funding.
That’s according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. “We’re waiting for the Senate to decide what date they can agree on, which is ridiculous,” he said. In a private caucus meeting Wednesday morning, he reportedly told members “I have no idea what the schedule is, I’m being honest. Stand by.” McConnell’s agreement—along with the rest of Senate Republicans’—is necessary for moving the bill to the floor quickly, in time to pass before midnight Friday.
Democrats want the stop-gap funding to end either in late January or early February. Republicans want to drag it out as long as possible, forcing a Democratic president and congressional majority to live with the funding levels approved in 2020, under Trump. “Right now, the date is definitely a struggle,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida Democrat told Politico. “It’s very evident what the Republicans are trying to do. … They want to make sure Trump’s budget just keeps going.”