A disconcerting reminder: The federal government is only funded for the next 49 days. The money runs out exactly seven weeks from Wednesday, on Jan. 15 to be exact. But no one is thinking about this as holiday time bustles in - or are they?
The public is poised for the worst, apparently: 70 percent of Americans now believe it is “likely” that the government will shut down again, according to a new Harris poll released Tuesday. Republicans are more apt than Democrats to agree with this, 79 percent to 64 percent, respectively.
Memories of national parks and historic monuments unceremoniously shuttered for the duration of the the last shut down must be still fresh.
No one has forgotten that pesky debt ceiling, either. Fifty percent of the respondents say it should not be raised again, while one-quarter disagree.
“There is a huge partisan difference here,” reports Regina Corso, senior vice president at Harris, who notes that 72 percent of Republicans believe the debt ceiling should not be raised compared to 32 percent of Democrats.
“While another government shutdown appears likely to Americans, defaulting does not,” Ms. Corso adds. “Almost half of Americans - 46 percent - say it is not likely that the government will default and not raise the debt ceiling, while one-third say it is likely the U.S. will default. Nineteen percent are not sure.”