As the possibility of a partial government shutdown looms, there are concerns about the potential fallout for the parties involved. Looking back at history, it is notable that government shutdowns have not been advantageous for Republicans. Ed Mills, a Washington policy analyst for Raymond James, points out that Republicans have often borne the brunt of blame in these situations.
Greg Valliere, the chief U.S. policy strategist at AGF Investments, echoes this sentiment and believes that the GOP is at risk of self-sabotage. In his recent note, Valliere highlights the Republican party's chances of success in the upcoming 2024 elections. However, he cautions that these prospects could be hindered if the party decides to pursue a government shutdown and impeachment inquiries against President Joe Biden and his family. The House GOP is currently investigating the President's financial affairs.
Looking beyond the 2024 presidential race, where Biden and former President Donald Trump may face a rematch, Republicans have additional objectives. They aim to maintain their slim majority in the House of Representatives, as well as gain control of the narrowly divided Senate. According to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, Democrats will find themselves "almost entirely on defense" in the Senate, as many incumbent Democratic senators face competitive races. On the other hand, GOP incumbents are predicted to have more straightforward paths to securing victory.
Potential Government Shutdown Looms Over Capitol Hill
Lawmakers in the United States are gearing up to resume their work on Capitol Hill, but there is growing anticipation of a partial government shutdown on October 1, which marks the start of the federal government's fiscal year.
Funding Bill Proposal Sparks Debate
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has put forward the idea of a short-term funding bill to keep the government open. However, the House Freedom Caucus, a hardline group within the GOP, has expressed objections to this proposal.
Echoes of the Past
A historical precedent for this scenario can be found in 1995 when budget disagreements between President Bill Clinton and congressional Republicans resulted in two shutdowns. The first lasted five days from mid-November, while the second endured for 21 days beginning in mid-December.
Impact on Political Landscape
Reflecting on this past event, Clinton adviser George Stephanopoulos claimed in his memoir that the shutdown played a role in helping the Democratic incumbent secure victory over GOP challenger Bob Dole in the 1996 White House race. Stephanopoulos asserted that Dole appeared closely aligned with Newt Gingrich and was beholden to the most extreme elements within his party. At that time, Gingrich held the position of House Speaker.
Conversely, Gingrich later argued that those who contend the shutdown had disastrous political consequences for Republicans fail to acknowledge that the party only suffered single-digit losses in House seats during the subsequent 1996 elections.