Headlining POLITICO today is a headline suggesting that the next round of talks about a government shut down could end up far differently than the last few episodes. This fall "Shutdown" might be a new reality show.
The House GOP is hopelessly fractured on spending strategy. Senate Republicans who might otherwise broker a deal face primary challenges that make compromise potentially deadly. Other Senate Republicans are jockeying for 2016. And congressional Democrats have no appetite for any bargain — grand or otherwise — that cuts entitlement spending.
What could make the entire thing into a huge controversy is the plan by some in Congress to hold out on paying the bills unless Obamacare is de-funded. That kind of knife fight could be very bloody.
Conservatives have been looking for a way to get rid of Obamacare. The latest concept, tie de-funding into a deal on the debt ceiling, isn't likely to get much if any democratic support. And since the number of House members with the guts to stand up for such a move might be small, it seems like the upcoming elections could swell the ranks of those proposing such a maneuver and wreak havoc on any plans to pay the bills again, without a budget.
Coming back from vacation is always hard, but this time Congress could find itself up against a lot more pressure than usual.