The budget battle: Why this time is different

The budget battle: Why this time is different

Because the government shutdown of 1995–96 hurt Republicans more than Democrats, the GOP hesitated to risk a government shutdown over Obamacare. But in the House, the troops have now rallied. The House has once again sent to the Senate a bill that would fund the government without Obamacare. That was the right thing to do — and the House should stand its ground, because it could well win this time.

There is a crucial difference between what’s happening now and the budget battle between House Speaker Newt Gingrich and President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Clinton repeatedly vetoed budget bills that contained measures he vehemently disagreed with. Had he done otherwise, he would have been accepting GOP policy on crucial items such as how regulations are enacted. From his point of view, the House bills contained poisoned pills he couldn’t swallow.

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