While there's no deal in the offing to bring an end to the government shutdown, it's already apparent what the political situation will be after there is one. Here's four things to expect.
The government shutdown is now a work week old. Both sides seem dug in; there’s no deal on the horizon that would allow a funding bill to advance. We don’t know how this will end, but we do know this: at some point, end it will.
Taking into account some things we’ve learned in the last few days, here are some thoughts on what the post-shutdown American political situation will look like.
OBAMACARE SURVIVES. This is a foregone conclusion that’s worth repeating. Nothing President Obama has said in recent days has hinted at any retreat from the position that he would never sign legislation defunding his signature domestic policy achievement.
Yet House Republicans have already scaled back their Obamacare position. First they demanded defunding the Affordable Care Act as the cost of advancing a continuing resolution to fund the government. Then they moved to a one-year delay in implementation.
Given that on this issue Obama is obdurate and the House leadership is not, it’s not hard to see that defunding per se is off the table.
TEA PARTY CONSERVATIVES CONSIDER THAT A DEFEAT. Despite the fact that it looked pretty much impossible to derail Obamacare from the beginning, the hard core on the right who pushed House Speaker John Boehner to link the health law and continued government funding in the first place may well consider its continued existence a stinging loss.
They won’t be consoled by what they consider just tweaks to the law, such as a repeal of its tax on medical devices, or passage of the so-called “Vitter amendment,” which would bar Congress from contributing to the purchase of health insurance on Obamacare exchanges by lawmakers and staff.