Budget Extender Passes; No Government Shutdown

The budget extender just passed 34-27, a comfortable margin even with one Democrat, Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., voting against the bill.

The Democrats picked up a few Republican votes, as it seems the argument that a government shutdown hurts incumbents of both parties resonated enough to change the GOP strategy of voting “no” against controversial bills pushed by Democrats.

Given that three Republican votes are three more than many Democrats ever expect to get for a full budget, maybe the vote today leaves lawmakers with a lesson: That a few Republicans will refuse to play with fire, and will actually vote for tough budget cuts when faced with the reality of a government shutdown. If it is indeed that simple, then that would seem to portend more extenders with cuts, and no budget deal.