>> We couldn't quite get there.>> President Trump's failure to repeal ObamaCare is raising questions about whether his Republicans will even be able to keep the government functioning as the budget deadline looms next month. I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington. Where, after last week's healthcare belly flop, people both inside and outside the Republican party are looking ahead to the next looming disaster.
Not tax reform, but a potential government shutdown at the end of April. You've seen this movie before. Get ready for the sequel. Now there's a twist. In the past, Republicans could point a finger at President Obama when they took Washington to the brink. Now they'll have no one to blame but themselves.
Trump now hoping to pivot to tax reform. But some think he might have an even bigger problem when government funding runs out on April 28th. Which also happens to close out the first 100 days of his presidency. Congress is supposed to pass new spending bills annually but they were unable to get that done last year.
They're now operating on a temporary extension of a budget that was passed in December of 2015. On top of that, there is a debt ceiling. Congress is gonna have to vote to extend the government's borrowing authority by July to avoid defaulting on its debts. If the script goes like it has gone before, hardcore conservatives will hold out for major spending cuts and then vote no when they don't get what they want.
That leaves Republican leaders short of the votes they need to avoid disaster, so they'll have to deal with Democrats. That means Planned Parenthood wouldn't get defunded. The Environmental Protection Agency wouldn't get dismantled. And the dream of Trump advisor Steve Bannon, deconstructing the administrative state, slips further and further away.
Another scenario is that Republicans shut down the government and put America's credit rating at risk. That would be a huge black eye for a party that controls all of the levers of power in Washington. Big picture here, last week's defeat on healthcare means that the Republican party has less time to spend on the things that they wanna do like overhauling the tax code and easing financial regulations.
And they'll have to spend more time on the things that they have to do, like keeping the government running. Valuable time is slipping away.