House defeats funding bill; shutdown looms

Reuters editorializes that the country is "rattled" and "unnerved" by these budget battles in Washington. Given the choice, I'd rather be rattled than broke and  desperate when the economy collapses because of massive debt.

The vote could further rattle consumers and investors who have been unnerved by the high-stakes budget battle that has played out in Washington this year. Congress pushed the government to the brink of a shutdown in April and the edge of default in August.

Republican leaders said they would figure out a way to pass the spending bill and avoid disrupting everything from national parks to scientific research.

"There is not going to be a shutdown. Everybody needs to relax," said Representative Eric Cantor, the No. 2 House Republican, as he emerged from a meeting with other top Republicans after the vote.

Later in the evening, a panel approved a measure that would allow the House to quickly reschedule another vote. But it was not clear how the substance of the bill might be changed.

The bill would have funded the government at an annual rate of $1.043 trillion, in line with a bipartisan agreement reached in August. Many conservatives want to stick with the lower figure of $1.019 trillion that the House approved in April.

The measure failed by a vote of 195 to 230, with 48 of the chamber's most conservative Republicans joining Democrats in opposition.

And so the battle continues. The GOP leadership will find a way to keep the government going while Democrats reap the political benefits of seeing the Republicans in disarray.

This fight is over a measley $24 billion. Imagine what it's going to be like when Congress has to wrestle with nearly $2 trillion in reductions.