American Sauce: Government shutdown 101
February 22nd, 2011
03:10 PM ET
11 years ago

American Sauce: Government shutdown 101

Capitol Hill (CNN) – The government shutdown game is back on, predictably and awkwardly, the way bell-bottoms inevitably pop up on the scene every 15-20 years.  (And this raises the odd side question of whether Speaker Boehner or Leader Reid ever wore bell-bottoms.)

Here’s your user-friendly guide to the deadlines, timelines and changing political battle lines in the fight right now.  Note: American Sauce spent no government funds in producing this.

Let us know what you think or if we missed anything in the comments section.


March 4. The current government spending bill expires at the end of March 4.

Where are We Right Now?

Sorry Sunday talk shows, but chances are rising for a short-term deal that will avoid a shutdown on March 4.

Senate Democrats propose a 30-day extension of funding.  House Speaker Boehner says his troops are also ready for a short extension, but with some cuts.  Those cuts are still to be determined and will tell us how close or far apart the two sides remain.

Moves So Far

1. Feb. 15 – The President.

As House debates immediate spending cuts, President Obama pushes back. He tells reporters he doesn’t want a “series of symbolic cuts this year that could endanger the recovery.”

2. Feb. 19 – GOP.

The House passes a spending bill to cut $60 billion immediately and fund government through September.

3. Today, Feb. 22 – Democrats-GOP-GOP.

-Democrats: Senate leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, announces Democrats are drafting a 30-day-extension of current spending.

-GOP 1: Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, responds that “keeping bloated spending levels in place…is simply unacceptable”.

-GOP 2: Then, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, releases a statement saying House Republicans will pass a short-term extension of spending but with some spending cuts. (Those spending cuts to be determined.)

What Now?

Now: Negotiations continue behind-the-scenes.  Speaker Boehner determines what his Republican caucus will accept.

Feb. 28: Congress returns from recess/district work week. This is when we’ll see the latest Republican, shorter-term proposal. And we’ll see Democratic counter offers, likely with a good deal of dueling quotes from both sides.

March 4: Again, the deadline to keep government funded. If history is a guide, expect a breakthrough deal March 3rd or 4th.

How To Keep Track?

This may seem like shameless self-promotion, but honestly, our CNN Capitol Hill team is a tremendous resource. Follow @DanaBashCNN, @DeirdreWalshCNN and me, @LisaDCNN, for updates.

Filed under: American Sauce
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Tony in Maine

    I'm going to assume that Congress is exempt from the effects of a shutdown. Their offices will remain open and heated, their checks will continue, their access to travel to Fiji should DC be too cold will continue to be possible, their drivers, security, cafeterias – all will remain as though nothing untoward is occurring.

    Perhaps it is time to expand the demonstrations in Wisconsin and Ohio first to lower Manhattan to sack the investment banks and then on to DC to chase the rascals out. All – including the notorious Paul family, Bachmann and the Congressional leadership. All – it's time for the grifters to go.

    February 22, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. one voice

    Just another way for these GOP CLOWNS to stall because THEY HAVE NO CLUE HOW TO GOVERN. They want us to fail at any cost. They have show their true colors out in the open for EVERYONE TO SEE. When will the right=wing supporters get their heads out of their backsides and see they are being DUPED?

    February 22, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Note: American Sauce spent no government funds in producing this
    Well hardy, har, har. So glad that you can actually see humor in such a dire situation. Or maybe you know something about these "apocalyptic" stories that we don't?!

    February 22, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    If the Republicans were serious about bringing down the deficit, they never would have pushed for extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which added $780 BILLION to the deficit.

    This is all about throwing a bone to the rightwing voters who hate social programs and has nothing to do with responsible governance. The GOP only care about the rich and the corporations, which thanks to the Citizens United ruling, now include foreign corporations who you can bet don't give a rat's behind about our country.

    Talk about a "sleeper cell". Has the GOP ever considered that all this foreign corporate money flowing into our political system will result in these same foreign entities taking control of our country from the inside out? Does the GOP ever think beyond any short-term monetary gain they may have and actually consider the long-term consequences of their actions in regard to our country?

    No. The GOP loves money and power and all the trappings that go along with it. As our country goes down the tubes, they will simply shift their alliance to anyone who will let them keep enough of their cash to compensate what they so sorely and obviously lack in patriotism and character.

    February 22, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Once again, the baggers and republicans took pride in saying they wanted to shut down government. They will not be happy until everyone who relies on government to keep them safe is punished: social security and medicare, VA, our military men and women, FBI, CIA, TSA, FDA, air traffic controllers, policemen, teachers, firemen, nurses, and postal workers. Of course workers do not matter to the GOP, so if anyone gets hurt, read my lips, "So be it."

    February 22, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. diridi

    what do you expect when GOP idiots are in can not expect any better than this....GOP are thugs, and idiots...o.k.

    February 22, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Clwyd

    Shut it down like the republicans did years back. If there is no room for compromise and they want to power grab let them . The rest of the world will lose confidence in the American system, which needs to be changed, and we will lose investments, loans and the heck with the republicans call for jobs. They haven't put forth one piece of legislation for jobs and are attacking social issues right and left! I hate them!

    February 22, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. Realistic

    I say lets all sit together and smoke a peace pipe so we can all relax. Afterwards, republicans publicly announce they will do what the democrats want and give the democrats full authority over the budget. In return, if the budget does not work out, president "Barrack "I'm not a damn muslim" H. 'I was born in the USA damn it" Obama will agree not to run for office in 2012 if the country is still a mess. That should settle it...

    February 22, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. Video Guy

    How is that bill coming that would require the congressman, Senator, and President not be paid during a government shut down. Also all pay would just be lost, not returned when they started it up again.

    February 22, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. KC

    Cut the bloated defense budget

    February 22, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    In Florida, our yet to be convicted one term governor, has decided to go after those who rely on medicare, and public employees in order to make big tax break concessions to big businesses. Every once in a while, a person like Scott, shows up and six years later, we are all paying for his criminal activity. Too bad we could not stopped him from entering FL at the state line.

    February 22, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    Predictably indeed. I'll bet my left arm that the next time there's a Dem POTUS, the GOP will resort to this yet again. That is, if there's a USA left at that point. The way things are going, it wouldn't be suprising to find out that Haliburton, Exxon, Eli Lilly, Morgan Stanley and some insurance giant like AIG are sitting on the Supreme Council of the Americas and dictating to us directly instead of using their GOP proxies through the clumsy veil of a puppet government.

    February 22, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. DAVE

    go ahead GOP please shut down the goverment! it will do nothing but help the middle class! the shut down will have the effect of lowering the value of the dollar. #1 it makes american goods cheaper to buy and makes import cost more. #2 it makes paying for labor by american companies to other countries cost more because the dollar buys less at lower values.#3 it puts republican in the position of putting it right to the rich they hold so dear because their value is based on the dollar and the value of their futunes would be much less. this democrat wants the GOP to shut the goverment down to help the middle class.

    February 22, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. confused

    Okay, I am confused. Didn't the Republicans get elected to make cuts. I know the cuts are pennies on the dollar but you have to start somewhere. This is how democracy works, run on a platform and get elected and carry out those promises. If you don't like it, then as the President said "You can sit on the back of the bus." Now that the tables are turned, "negotation" is the buzz word. Really, how about doing what the American people voted for and not what you think is right.!!!!!!!!

    February 22, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. LIsa Desjardins

    Tony in Maine and Video Guy: A few Dems in the House and Senate (handful) have intro'd bills to ensure Congress does not get paid during a shutdown. Just 8 people are on board so far and doesn't look like the bills are going anywhere.

    Here's are the bills. House version: HR 819: Senate:

    To all on this thread: So far, I show just one Congressman (Moran) and 8 Senators (Boxer, Bennet, Casey, Manchin, Ben Nelson, Tester, Wyden) have signed on to the ldea of blocking their salaries in a shutdown.

    - Lisa

    February 22, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Actually, the American voters were duped into thinking that the GOP really cared about getting people back to work. It was not until after the election, we learned the #1 proiority was attacking women's rights.

    February 22, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. moderate voter

    One way to avoid excessive cut is to raise taxes. How bout a 1% federal sales tax. Be buy stuff all the time. Or better yet do a complete over haul on taxes and tax just what we buy not what we earn.

    February 22, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. Northeast PA

    I work for Social Security and obviously rely on my money to live, i don't make a 6 figure salary or anything close for that matter..... what annoys me is that hard working people like me are doing the same work as people in the private sector but we always get grouped with those bums in congress. Then they come out that they will be shutting government spneding and all the mindless rubes in this country cheer, but little do they know that nothing congress proposes effect their salaries it alway effects the normal working people. Congress uses things like this to grandstand and make it seem like they themselves are taking a hit in the wallet for the country, but it is really the little guy.

    February 22, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  19. John G

    Why do democrats have a problem with using a CR? You demcorats think you're smart so I know you know what a CR is but then again if you did you wouldn't keep screaming about a government shutdown just to try and make your opposition sound bad when it's obviously YOU!

    February 22, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. ed bailey

    All of the whiners of republican heritage need. To a.stop your crapp hole politics.the pill popping rush boy is a pristine example.the fat slob attacked the first lady's dinner choice because of her stance on an obvious child health issue.that pig has to seach at the urinal for obvious reasons and the magnificent woman he degraded on air is beautiful in every way. This is a republican policy that is revolting!!!! B. They are doing a horrible job for the lower 80% of this country!!!!

    February 22, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. willie floyd

    Reps. ran on JOBS-get it?? They haven't done a blessed thing to create jobs. One of their cuts was to be on cutting Job training! What kind of sense does that make?? I agree with those who say they wouldn't have extended the tax cuts for the wealthy if they were SERIOUS about debt reduction. Just the same old lying Reps.

    February 22, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. Katie

    The Republicans are such babies! They don't like what's going on so they are stamping their feet and refusing to cooperate. One could expect no less from a party known for having absolutely NO IDEAS.

    February 22, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |