Washington, D.C. – Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is confident there will be no government shutdown this fall because Republicans are in charge on Capitol Hill, he said Friday. “I’m not worried about that because we control both sides of the rotunda, the House and the Senate,” Ryan, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said in a briefing with reporters.
Ryan is optimistic despite the fact that the House has only passed about half of the 12 appropriations measures that are required to keep the government running through September, the Senate hasn’t passed any yet, and Congress is on vacation for most of August.
Democrats in the upper chamber are blocking the funding measures there because they are angry that the GOP decided to boost military spending above levels set by the 2011 Budget Control Act and its sequestration rules, while leaving in place steep cuts to domestic programs that are Democratic priorities.
President Barack Obama has threatened to vet appropriations bills that don’t deal with both military and domestic programs, and his allies in the Senate are demanding that Republicans open up a process now to resolve the impasse. Ryan managed to cut a deal with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) two years ago, when both were chairs of their respective budget committees, that eased sequestration cuts evenly.
Neither Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) nor House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have suggested any willingness to do something similar this time around, and Senate Democrats are vowing to stand firm until Republicans start negotiating.