Short Term Budget Deal Sets Stage for Heated Primary Elections

Speaking on the Senate floor Monday, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) expressed confidence that a resolution to reopen the government ahead of Thursday’s debt ceiling deadline would be reached.

Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) agreed that both sides would reach a deal before the week’s end to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. Speaking on the floor, Senator Reid said he was, “very optimistic that we will reach an agreement that’s reasonable in nature this week.”

Senator McConnell concurred, adding, “I share his optimism that were going to get a result that is will be acceptable to both sides.”

Although complete details have yet to be finalized, the deal likely to be put forth would only fund the government until December 31st, teeing up yet another showdown before the year’s end. Likewise, the bipartisan deal being considered would only raise the debt ceiling until February.

By the time lawmakers are faced with another budget deadline, negotiations will be taking place in the midst of 2014 primary election campaigns.

Most representatives will have their re-election campaigns in full swing by the end of the year, if they aren’t already. State primary elections start as early as March 2014. A time when most representatives will be attempting to appeal to their base of party supporters rather than legislate prudently.

The chances for a long-term budget package, free of the political brinksmanship that has surrounded this year’s debate seems bleak when coupled with the fact that the number of enacted bills decline going into the second year of a congressional session, according to GovTrack.

Whether or not the 113th Congress can beat the odds and find common ground before 2014 begins and re-election becomes a more pressing concern remains to be seen. However, if history is any indication, all signs point to another debt ceiling disaster.

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