With the Republican majority in the House continuing to be at odds with each other over how to pass fairly basic funding bills, it's looking increasingly likely that the federal government will shut down just after midnight Friday.
For many people involved .. and for the millions that will be impacted by this ... it's an especially frustrating scenario because it seems fairly avoidable.
Much of this comes down to Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, and his willingness to cede power to a handful of ultra-conservative members in his Republican caucus.
But there will be many steep real world consequences if a shutdown happens.
Marc Goldwein is vice president and policy director at the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.