|A shutdown probably wouldn’t have accomplished much, politically or otherwise. “We know from history that shutdowns don’t really save money,” wrote Boehm over the weekend. “After the record 35-day shutdown that ended in January 2019, the Congressional Budget Office found that about $18 billion in federal spending was delayed—less than half of one percent of the $4.4 trillion spent that year. The actual savings were even less, since half of that total was the result of not paying federal employees for five weeks, which means they were immediately wiped out when the government reopened and those workers got their back pay.”
Of course, it’s highly unlikely that members of Congress, still tasked with approving the budget for fiscal year 2024, will do anything to touch giant entitlement programs such as Social Security—one of the real culprits responsible for our nation’s financial woes—over the next month and a half.
Fire alarms, how do they work? Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D–N.Y.) pulled the fire alarm in a House office building on Saturday, in what was widely perceived as an effort to delay the vote on Republicans’ stopgap spending bill. “I was rushing to make a vote; I was trying to get through a door. I thought the alarm would open the door,” Bowman said to reporters, oddly acting as if he didn’t know how a fire alarm works.
Then he kept going: “I want to be very clear, this was not me, in any way, trying to delay the vote. It was the exact opposite—I was trying urgently to get to a vote, which I ultimately did.”
Unfortunately for Bowman, the whole incident was caught on camera. “This should not go without punishment. This is an embarrassment,” said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R–Calif.), who knows a thing or two about being embarrassed in public these days.
Dianne Feinstein’s replacement: California Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to appoint Laphonza Butler, the president of the abortion rights group EMILY’s List, to the Senate seat made vacant by the death of Dianne Feinstein. Back in March, the Democratic governor had vowed to replace Feinstein with a black woman. Appointing Butler, who is black, makes good on that promise.
But there’s a problem: She literally doesn’t live in California.
“Butler is registered to vote in Maryland but will switch her registration to California,” reports Politico.