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The Government Shutdown Gets More Likely

Naftali Bendavid  grasps a point that the first wave of coverage missed -- the Republican plan to extend government operations makes a shutdown more, not less, likely. Republicans are demanding domestic discretionary spending cuts at an annualized rate of $100 billion. They have been willing to keep spending going temporarily only as long as it maintains that annualized rate, breaking the past practice of keeping the government going at status quo levels while negotiations are worked out. But the Republicans' latest offer simply front-loads all the spending cuts Democrats find acceptable. After this two-week extension passes, reaching a a mutually acceptable deal will get all the more difficult.