Philip Klein is betting against it:
The nation now has more than two and a half years of experience with divided government during the Obama presidency. And each time there has been a major crisis, it’s followed a familiar pattern. The sides are far apart. It looks like the crisis may hit. Then, at the last minute, there’s some sort of deal that’s able to pass the Senate that Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is able to get through the House of Representatives with a lot of help from Democrats.
Cohn mostly agrees:
Most informed observers I know would agree with his assessment and, for the record, I would too. The conflict over financing government operations—and, weeks from now, raising the debt ceiling—is all about Boehner and his lieutenants waiting until the last possible minute, so that he can extract the biggest concessions from Democrats while telling the conservative base he did the best he could. One way or another, the two sides will come together before the government runs out of money and before it taps out its borrowing authority. In fact, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announcing that he won’t support Senator Ted Cruz’s call for a filibuster, the chances of a shutdown just diminished a little more.
But if the chances of either a shutdown or a debt ceiling crisis are modest, they aren’t modest enough. And there’s a chance the confidence all of us feel could actually make a last-minute deal less likely.
Most in Washington and on Wall Street hold to a serene faith that the two parties will figure something out. And that’s probably right. But in interviews with both Democratic and Republican staff from the House and Senate leadership, as well as the White House, I have yet to hear a plausible story for how they figure something out. The tales range from the unlikely — Republicans expect Senate Democrats to force the White House to delay the individual mandate, while Democrats expect Boehner to simply fold and absorb the backlash from his party — to the nonexistent.
“I don’t know the end of this movie,” says Rep. Chris Van Hollen, ranking member on the House Budget Committee. “I don’t think anybody knows how it ends. And that’s a very dangerous place to be in.”