Insiders are warning that if neither party wins control of the Senate on election night, Republican driven chaos and gridlock could grip the Senate and cause a government shutdown in December.
As the likelihood grows that there will be two Senate runoff elections (Georgia and Louisiana), the Hill reported that an election night that ends with neither party winning control of the Senate could unleash a nightmare scenario,
The runoffs pose challenges for both parties, not just coordinating logistics and new spending, but motivating volunteers and voters all over again, along with crafting an effective message and strategy under untested and unusual circumstances.
The uncertainty, however, is a nightmare scenario that could throw the Senate into chaos and cause continued gridlock at a time when Congress must again pass a government funding bill to pick up when the current stopgap measure expires on Dec. 11.
The worst case scenario is that the control of the Senate ends up hanging on the runoff elections. Democrats have a better chance of winning a runoff in Georgia than they do in Louisiana, but both parties will not want to pass any legislation if they each think that they have a chance of winning the majority in January.
Republicans and Democrats in the Senate assumed that control of the body would be decided on election night. This assumption was behind the passage of the most recent government funding bill that runs through December 11. An uncertain electoral outcome means that Republicans won’t be willing to agree on a new funding bill until they know if they will be holding majority.
The political gamesmanship will immediately hurt the American people. Government offices will close, and retailers could take a hit as it would be very small Christmas for workers impacted by the shutdown. Anyone who regularly utilizes government services would also be impacted severely.
The immediate worse gas scenario isn’t Democrats or Republicans winning on election night. The absolute worst thing that could happen would be gasoline being thrown onto the current fire of political dysfunction by neither party winning a majority on November 4.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association