Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is already warning that GOP tactics will lead to another government shutdown this fall.
"It appears to me, [with] what the Republicans are doing that we're headed for another shutdown," he said on the Senate floor Wednesday morning. "They did it once. They're going to do it again. They don't want to do anything now. They want to wait until the fiscal year ends and then lock it up. Close up government."
Democrats recently announced their plan to obstruct all of the Republicans' spending bills, which comply with across-the-board cuts signed in a 2011 budget law known as "sequestration." If Congress can't pass an appropriations package by the end of September, the government will shut down, as it did in 2013 over Republicans' objections to the implementation of Obamacare. The new GOP-led Senate—despite passing several significant bills on free trade, human-trafficking, and Iran nuclear negotiation oversight in the first half of the year—could grind to a halt.
Many Republicans are willing to break sequestration's budget caps, but only for the military. Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain is leading a defense authorization bill on the floor that sidelines the budget law by boosting a separate war account by $38 billion, bringing the GOP budget in line with the president's, who adds the money into the base funding. Even McCain sees the move as a gimmick, but one he thinks is necessary to adequately fund the security of the country.