From Bill Matthews writing at Fedblog:
With the March 4 expiration date looming for the continuing resolution that's funding the federal government, budget expert Stan Collender offers this advice: Prepare for a government shutdown.
It is more likely than not that Congress will fail to agree on a new budget for 2011 in time to prevent the federal government from running out of money and simply closing its doors, Collender said Feb. 10.
"My strong suspicion is that the Republicans need to shut down the government once to show the Tea Party folks that they are willing to do it," he said during a discussion of the 2012 budget that's scheduled to unveiled Feb. 14. "I think there's a better than 50-50 chance that we will have one or more shutdowns, and at least one will be longer than a couple of days." ...
Layoffs are likely to happen earlier if there is a shutdown this year, he said. "I can tell you because I've talked to members of the contracting community and to [business] associations, and they've already started to prepare for this possibility."