As if the massive OPM data breach didn’t give federal employees enough to worry about this week, on Friday, House Speaker John Boehner warned that a government shutdown could be on the horizon.
Citing a story in Politico, Boehner said Democrats were planning to force another government shutdown by aggressively blocking appropriations bills unless the GOP agrees to raise federal spending. According to Politico, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid vowed in a closed-door meeting this week with party leaders to block every spending measure raised in the chamber:
“For Democrats, the risks are worth it. By playing hardball this summer, they’re attempting to force Republicans to the negotiating table and hasten a deal to raise strict spending caps, expanding funds for programs like education and infrastructure, among other Democratic priorities.”
In news conferences and statements this week, lawmakers from both parties in both chambers traded jabs and expressed mounting frustration with opponents’ tactics over appropriations, with Boehner complaining that “President Obama has vowed to veto any legislation that adheres to budget caps set in 2011 – caps that he proposed and insisted on.”
This is dangerous, and at least one member of the president’s party agrees. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., said, “If the president is true to his veto threat, then we are playing a serious game of brinksmanship with [the Department of Defense] and the rest of the federal government.”
It’s going to be another long, hot summer in Washington.