In a unified government, this is not supposed to be a thing. But Republicans in charge of the House, Senate and White House doesn’t actually qualify as “government” because they are both too incompetent and too venal for that. So, largely because House Speaker Paul Ryan has no control over his conference, and because Donald Trump is an impulsive, erratic, would-be autocrat, it’s not entirely clear that the government will still be open after midnight, Friday. Yes, there’s another possible government shutdown looming in which Ryan will have to figure out what he can get his fractious colleagues to agree to that will also pass muster in Mitch McConnell’s Senate, where Democrats have veto power.

As usual, that’s going to be a fight. There’s a lot to fight about.

Democrats and Republicans have fought over whether to restore subsidies aimed at shoring up the Affordable Care Act and bar subsidies for insurers who cover abortion services. Also at issue are funding for immigration enforcement, a host of tax provisions and funding for a new rail tunnel into New York City—a fight that pits President Donald Trump against some Republicans from his region. […]

Conservatives […] have balked at the bill’s boost in funding above limits that Congress established in 2011 to try to rein in federal spending. The budget deal passed in February lifted overall spending levels above those limits for both military and domestic spending by almost $300 billion over two years, in addition to nearly $90 billion in disaster aid for states and territories hit by last year’s destructive storms and $140 billion in emergency military funds.

“Republicans don’t know how to stop spending money,” said Jason Pye, vice president of legislative affairs for FreedomWorks, a conservative group that is expected to oppose the spending bill.

Republicans pretending to care about the deficit will scream about spending money on anything, never mind that they passed a deficit exploding $2 trillion tax cut law months ago. That’s Ryan’s and McConnell’s regular fight and the Freedom Caucus maniacs and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) are screaming as usual. Whether Paul will reprise his one-day shutdown grandstanding again this time around remains to be seen.

But of course that’s not all they’re fighting about. Democrats are still looking for a path to citizenship for Dreamers as well as the Affordable Care Act stabilization efforts. Republicans certainly won’t offer those things without poison pills, so again it’s going to be an issue of Democrats trying to keep the worst stuff from happening.

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