Experts pessimistic about averting a shutdown

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Some Republicans have been threatening to shut down the government if they don’t get their way on defunding Planned Parenthood, but what are the real chances that a shutdown is coming at the end of September?

Pretty good, according to several different analyses.

Here’s a sampling:

“This is a different situation than the recent shutdown crises because it involves a social policy issue—Planned Parenthood—instead of the typical fiscal and sequester issues. It might be harder to resolve because of that,” said Roger Altman, CEO of Evercore, in an article at CNBC.com. Altman held Treasury Department positions in the Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton administrations.

Peter Orszag, former budget director during President Barack Obama’s first term, put the chances of a shutdown at “well over 50 percent,” as quoted in the Washington Post. It has become the norm in recent years for the opposing parties to fail to agree on a budget by the end of the fiscal year; usually a continuing resolution keeps the government operating at the previous year’s funding levels while negotiations continue. The Planned Parenthood fight changes the odds though, Orszag said.

Meanwhile, budget analyst Stan Collender puts the changes of a shutdown at around 75 percent, in a column he authored for Forbes. Collender described the fighting between Republican groups in Congress, some drawing a hard line, some more open to compromise, as “increasingly intense Republican-on-Republican political violence.”

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