The U.S. government’s operations are currently funded through the end of Friday, December 21. Parts of the government (e.g. the Department of Defense) are funded well beyond that, but most of it isn’t.
But few will notice if the government’s shut down over the weekend, especially right before Christmas. And it’s long been a tradition that when Christmas falls on a Tuesday, Federal workers are given the day off on Christmas Eve.
So we’re in a situation where, as long as the government is open for business by the morning of Wednesday, December 26, nobody’s going to notice whether there’s a shutdown or not. If there’s a shutdown where the government is open on the 26th, I’d call that a bullshit shutdown.
So here’s what you’re voting on: will there be no shutdown, a bullshit shutdown, or a real shutdown? Definitions:
No shutdown: by 11:59pm on 12/21, Congress passes, and Trump signs, a continuing resolution funding the government for at least a few more days.
A bullshit shutdown meets these two criteria: (i) no continuing resolution extending funding of government operations is signed by 12:01am on 12/22, but (ii) government workers are back at their desks for all or most of 12/26 (excepting those using their own annual or sick leave that day, of course).
IOW, a bullshit shutdown is one that lasts anywhere from a single minute to just over 4 days.
A real shutdown is one that lasts long enough that government workers don’t report to work on 12/26 on account of the shutdown.
I’m personally torn between ‘no shutdown’ and ‘bullshit shutdown.’ I’m still contemplating my vote in my own poll.
The first thing to keep in mind is that in the vast majority of these instances where they’re just a few days away from funding running out, they throw a stopgap bill in there before funding expires even for a minute.
One thing that kinda tips me in the direction of a bullshit shutdown is the tradition that Presidents declare a Federal holiday on 12/24 when 12/25 is on a Tuesday.
I can’t see a Trump Administration being thrilled about continuing this tradition, but shutting down the government through 12/24 gives them a way of avoiding the issue, while looking manly and tough (at least in their own eyes) and shutting down the government at least temporarily over the issue of wall funding, just to show they’re serious (yeah*, riiiight*) and won’t be pushed around by Chuck and Nancy.
Two reasons I think a real shutdown is a possibility are (a) that not that many people will notice if the government’s shut down on 12/26 either, and (b) I can see a Republican Congress failing to pass a bill by 12/21, and then saying ‘screw it’ and going home for Christmas. They fly back to D.C. on 12/26, pass a CR on 12/27, and the government reopens on the morning of 12/28. But I still think that’s a long shot, just slightly less of one than usual.
With Trump and his party, who knows what the point is, or even whether there is one?
For Trump, I’d say that if there’s a point, it’s to strike a pose of being a manly, tough negotiator. That’s as far as he thinks. He’s not playing three-dimensional chess, he’s playing one-dimensional Candy Land.
I’m skeptical that it will amount to anything. The last time, we came in one day and did all the Shutdown work as required before noon–phone and email messages, Web site notices, saying that nobody was home. We thought we’d be out for a long time; the one before that in the autumn of 2013 was just over 2 weeks.
The next day, we were back at work and didn’t even get to sleep in.
My agency is funded this time, so it won’t affect my working personally, but I’m in sympathy with other Federal workers and the people they serve getting yanked around again.
Yeah, it’s pretty much a given that the funding measure that avoids/ends the shutdown, as the case may be, will be a short-term CR, rather than a bill to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. I didn’t even bother putting that as an option.
If there’s a real shutdown, the government will be closed on the 24th. Holiday, shutdown, potato, potahto.
If there’s no shutdown, or a bullshit shutdown that ends over the weekend, you’re right that there’s no guarantee of a holiday on 12/24. If I had to bet, I’d bet against it, but honestly I have no idea. Just the awareness that this crew would rather not do Federal workers any favors if they can avoid it.