House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and senior Republicans are wringing their hands over how to not have a government shutdown this fall, after Freedom Caucus Rep. Bob Good spilled the beans last month when he declared, “We don’t fear the government shutdown.” To be clear, the extremists’ intent to force a shutdown has been obvious from the beginning. Literally the beginning: Shutting down government is part of the DNA of the Freedom Caucus, and here we are years later with the rest of the Republicans baffled as to how to deal with them.
The solution this time around is staring them right in the face: Work with Democrats. That’s what the Senate did this summer. Together, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Sen. Susan Collins crafted and shepherded through committee all 12 of the 2024 funding bills that are due Oct. 1. It’s the first time in five years that all 12 of the separate funding bills were passed by the Appropriations Committee instead of being bundled together in omnibus bills.
It’s a joyous week in Wisconsin, where Janet Protasiewicz’s swearing-in means that the state Supreme Court now has its first liberal majority in 15 years. We’re talking about that monumental transition on this week’s episode of “The Downballot,” including a brand-new suit that voting rights advocates filed on Protasiewicz’s first full day on the job that asks the court to strike down the GOP’s legislative maps as illegal partisan gerrymanders.