After the Shutdown: New Deadline, Same Problems

After the Shutdown: New Deadline, Same Problems

iStockphoto/The Fiscal Times

The short-lived government shutdown may be over, but the long-running battles that led to it are far from resolved.

Congress now has until February 8 to negotiate a deal on the budget and immigration policy, but little besides the deadline has changed after the shutdown, Politico’s Rachael Bade reports.

On the Republican side, party leaders face pressure from their rank and file to finalize a longer-term budget, increase defense spending and move beyond the uncertainty of short-term funding bills.

On the Democratic side, leaders will likely face even more pressure to reach a deal to codify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and protect “Dreamers.” And while Democrats aren’t likely to play the shutdown card again, they will continue to link the immigration and budget issues, seeking to exert what leverage they have.

But making progress on immigration won’t be easy. The White House on Tuesday said the bipartisan proposal put forth by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is “totally unacceptable to the president and should be declared dead on arrival.” And House Republicans are pushing for a vote on a conservative immigration bill that would similarly be dead on arrival in the Senate.

What will break the stalemate? “Democrats are betting that pressure from rank-and-file Republicans will force leadership to address DACA, particularly as GOP defense hawks in both chambers have threatened to sink government funding because they’re sick of stopgap bills,” Bade writes.

Either way, the most likely budget outcome by February 8 remains yet another stopgap spending bill.