Federal funding expires (again) in 3 weeks; who’s to blame?

Current funding for the federal government runs out at midnight, March 23, three weeks away, setting up another potential shutdown.

Who’s to blame for this? According to Donald Trump, shutdowns and the lack of a budget are always the fault of incompetent presidential leadership. The whole world is looking at us and laughing at us, he says. You can see clips of him saying that at this link, and you only need to watch for a couple of minutes or so.

Of course, these clips are from a few years back, but Trump certainly seemed to be making a general point. Below is the whole segment from the January 22 episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers, right after Congress came up with a temporary continuing resolution to end a two-day shutdown that started on the first anniversary of Trump’s inauguration. The Trump quotes can be found from time codes 3:33 to 5:40 (with a few more after that).

Link: https://youtu.be/OWVTtuxW6Fg

I doubt most of us are keeping close track of shutdowns, shutdown threats, and short-term continuing resolutions. (If you really want to refresh your memory, there’s a Wikipedia article about them at this link.) The key point is that even now, there’s still no deal to keep the government running beyond March 23. Remember, the current fiscal year began last October 1, and the budget was supposed to have been finalized by then. The process of creating it began right after the inauguration. Instead we’ve had a series of short-term bills keeping things going more or less in keeping with the previous year’s budget.

A lot of members of Congress in both houses and from both parties are fed up with these continuing resolutions want to finally pass an actual budget this time, one covering the rest of the fiscal year (which ends September 30).

We’ll see.

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