America's Government May Just Survive for Another Few Weeks

Maybe you news junkies have been paying so much attention to the actual major news events in Japan, North Africa, the Middle East and various state governments that you forgot about the incompetent dumpheads in Washington, who haven't been able to accomplish anything beyond funding the government every couple of weeks after days of serial posturing about nothing. So let's get this update out of the way and then return to the news: The federal government will probably get funded for another three weeks. Thank your members of Congress!

The three-week continuing resolution would start on Friday, when the current two-week funding measure expires. Congressional leaders and the White House are still trying to negotiate out a resolution that would cover spending until the fiscal year expires in September. That probably won't happen until Democrats agree to give Republicans 100% of the spending cuts they want in exchange for nothing, which is How Washington Works. Still, leaders of both parties are calling this three-weeker the last short-term measure they'll consider, and congressional leaders always keep their word.

The three-week extension is likely to pass the House today. It will include approximately $6 billion in cuts, a pro-rated figure based on the $61 billion Republicans want from the time they took control of the House to the end of the fiscal year. Since the current, expiring two-weeker has cut about $4 billion, Congress will soon reach the $10 billion "limit" in discretionary cuts that Senate Democrats supposedly would allow. Before a full budget deal covering many months is even reached! This is going to be a long two years.

Oh, and the debt ceiling needs to be raised in the next month or two. But maybe the government will have already shut down by then and no one will care.

[Image via AP]