Let's first acknowledge the reason Republicans even have this opportunity in the first place: Democratic cowardice, plain and simple. Democrats, who controlled everything, could have passed an actual 2011 budget last year. With a tough election looming, they elected to punt
rather than repulse voters with another bloated, irresponsible monstrosity. Now they're reaping the immediate consequences of their own abdication of leadership. Namely:
The Pence Amendment, defunding Planned Parenthood - Passes 240-185.
The King Amendment, defunding Obamacare implementation - Passes 241-187, along with three additional anti-Obamacare provisions.
The Poe Amendment, blocking funding for EPA enforcement of greenhouse gas regulations - Passes 249-177.
A slew of additional conservative-backed amendments will face votes later today, including a move to strip funding from PBS and NPR. Soon enough, this showdown will shift to the Senate.UPDATE
: A measure supported by the conservative Republican Study Committee to cut $22 Billion in additional CR funds was defeated 147-281, with 92 Republicans voting no.UPDATE II
: Politico reports
that a top aide to Nancy Pelosi is predicting that a government shutdown is "more likely than not." If that's the case, Democrats will rush to blame the mess on GOP intransigence. Madame ex-Speaker might be reminded that it was her own caucus that refused to even offer a budget last year, purely for political reasons. That is the only
reason a government shutdown is even remotely possible in the coming months. She made this bed by allowing her party to shirk its responsibility.