I honestly don't know what all these temporary stop gap budget bills are accomplishing. It's like the NFL labor talks; they just keep putting off the inevitable.
Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, predicted a House GOP proposal to cut spending by $6 billion over three weeks would pass the upper chamber.
"I think it will pass, in the House this week and later in the Senate," Durbin said Sunday morning on CNN's "State of the Union, dismissing the possibility of a government shutdown at the end of this week. "It buys us about three weeks and includes cuts which we've offered on the Democratic side in an effort to find a reasonable compromise here.
"I hope that the Republican leadership in the House will see this as a signal of good faith," he said. The current stop-gap spending measure will expire after March 18.
The proposal, introduced by House Republicans Friday, would fund the federal government through April 8 and cut $6 billion.
The cuts were suggested just over a week ago by Vice President Joe Biden, making it difficult for Senate Democrats to oppose the House GOP's latest package.
Neither side seems willing to gamble on a government shut down at the moment, fearing voter backlash. But the threat of a shutdown will probably be the only thing that galvanizes the two sides to pass a budget. At this point, it's about 50-50 among voters of who they would blame for a shutdown.
Until it happens - and given the determination of the GOP to cut and the Democrats not to it would appear to be a near certainty that there will be a shut down - both sides will posture and seek to position themselves to emerge the winner. Who comes out on top is anyone's guess at this point.