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Jonathan Bernstein

Another Government Shutdown? Don't Rule It Out.

Donald Trump doesn’t seem to learn from past mistakes. Will Republicans in Congress?

This again?

This again?

Photographer: Jim Watson/AFP

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And just like that, we’re into another countdown to a government shutdown, with President Donald Trump refusing to rule out the possibility.

This time, the details are proving problematic. The broad outlines for 2020 spending were already agreed to over the summer. But the fiscal year started on Oct. 1 without passage of the spending bills that were supposed to be signed into law — once again, the holdup was over Trump’s border wall — so Congress put funding on autopilot up until Nov. 21. If there’s no agreement by then, and if there’s not another temporary bill, the government will shut down. Again.