With House Republicans and Senate Democrats an ocean apart when it comes to resolving the current showdown over the budget and President Obama’s health care law, it’s theoretically increasingly likely that there will be a partial government shutdown on Oct. 1.
But in reality, there’s still reason to believe that that lawmakers will come to some sort of agreement to keep government funded.
The nation now has more than two and a half years of experience with divided government during the Obama presidency. And each time there has been a major crisis, it’s followed a familiar pattern.
The sides are far apart. It looks like the crisis may hit. Then, at the last minute, there’s some sort of deal that’s able to pass the Senate that Speaker John Boehner is able to get through the House of Representatives with a lot of help from Democrats.
Obviously, right now, it’s hard to see a path to an agreement. But things aren’t looking any more grim now than they were at this time leading up to the first government shutdown battle in early 2011, or the debt limit fight that summer, or the fiscal cliff showdown late last year.
There are a number of arguments that could be made as to why this time could be different. But, given the precedent, the default assumption has to be that the crisis will be avoided.