Remember Ted Cruz. He's the guy who shut the government down and might be president now given the way we forgive people who steal from us. He got beaten by someone more adept than Cruz at the art of obfuscation and survival. Now the man who pulverized Cruz by alleging that his father was there with Lee Harvey Oswald when JFK was killed, is about to be put to the most serious test of his presidency.

To work the government must have enough consensus on Capitol Hill to pass what is called a spending bill or continuing resolution to keep the wheels turning.

The elephant in the room is the nuclear option. Mitch McConnell like a choirboy says that it will take 60 votes to pass the spending resolution. He is confident there will be no shutdown. But there may be reasons to be not so sure.

Who says there could not be a shutdown?

April 29 is the deadline. In trump time that is years away. News time is becoming Trump time. The story has some grip online now but it has not landed in the NY Times yet. Therefore speculation is as fresh as it can be. It could go like this. The context is that we do not have a budget agreement.

Congress could not agree last year. The vote is to keep the government operating. Failing an actual budget the vote raises the debt ceiling via a continuing resolution. The reasons for a possible shutdown are many.

Democrats could balk

The democrats will probably call for a clean bill with no fancy little gotcha provisions, like defunding Planned Parenthood.

Suppose the GOP insists on a provision to spend billions on Trump's fabled wall. Suppose the GOP wants to throw in a tax-related provision that benefits the rich. Then the democrats, fresh from a bruising Gorsuch defeat, might just take their votes and go home.

Or do quid pro quos

Why not insist Trump reveal his tax returns. Or submit to a special counsel who could investigate Russia matters.

It might even come down to insisting on a clean bill if the GOP tries to load it up with extraneous provisions.

The nuclear option is unresolved

The reason why the nuclear option, changing the Senate rules so a simple majority can call the shots, is not off the table is because the entire Trump agenda cannot possibly pass without it. Nio one wants to say it. No one wants to even look at it. But the genie is out of the bottle.The Gorsuch confirmation changed everything. We are in the middle of the Perfect Storm. It is the conundrum of a minority government with majority power. It is when the nation throws up its hands and says, OK, what now?

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