So the US government might actually shut down (and not for the first time). A question for all you comparative government types out there: are there other governments where this sort of thing has happened–or even can happen?
I think most democracies have constitutional provisions that make the equivalent of US “continuing resolutions” more or less automatic, creating a “reversion point” of the current spending levels, rather than zero, in the event of no agreement on a funding plan. Some others make the executive proposal the reversion. Obviously these provisions matter a great deal to the bargaining positions of the various actors.
There are, of course, countries that go government-less for long periods of time. Like Belgium. But of course, in these cases of parliamentary systems with “no government” there actually is no real shut down, or lack, of government. There simply is not one that has been formed since the most recent election (or cabinet resignation). There is a caretaker, and current programs remain as authorized.
So just how unusual is the US here? Is this another case of (dubious) American exceptionalism?
(I originally typed the subject of this post with an “i” in place of the “u.” Come to think of it, that might have been appropriate!)