I said in early November that it was possible and perhaps even likely that Senate Republicans would consider a government shutdown THIS YEAR. Rather than wait until the next Congress, I said…
…the (GOP) leadership will be facing a very difficult decision over federal spending in less than a month when the the current continuing resolution — which is funding all federal agencies and departments that operate with annual appropriations — expires.
That’s the first point at which the GOP will have to face up to one of its most prominent campaign pledges: To significantly cut federal spending. The vote to extend the CR will be the first opportunity to face that challenge head on because it can be filibustered in the Senate. The Republicans there — (Actually, all you need is one: Can you say Jim DeMint?) are in a position to prevent the current CR from being extended if the new version doesn’t reduce spending to the level they want.
As this post from TPM indicates, the shutdown strategy may now be close — as in this week — to becoming a reality. Here’s the money quote:
Republican and Democratic leaders are now engaged in a brinksmanship that could result in a temporary shutdown of the federal government.