Periodically; and frequently since Barack Obama has been President, the specter of a federal government shutdown has been raised. Typically it happens when the Republican-controlled House of Representatives talks about refusing to fund something the president wants funded.
Whenever this occurs the national mainstream news media runs stories about how the Republicans are threatening to force a government shutdown. In point of fact what the Republicans are actually doing in such circumstances is threatening to exercise the Constitutional right of the legislative branch to control the nation’s purse strings. Nonetheless, the public in general always seems poised to swallow the line that: “the Republicans want to shut down the government” – and that’s what creates the GOP’s dilemma.