Who’s actually to blame for the looming government shutdown, explained

Let’s get ontological.

The prevailing question on Capitol Hill Thursday was not whether the federal government would shut down at midnight on Friday — most people seem to believe it will — but who is going to take the blame for it.

Democrats say that Republicans control both chambers of Congress and the White House — of course it’s their fault if they can’t keep the government open. Republicans, meanwhile, are accusing Democrats of withholding their needed votes in the Senate in...


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