As the Republicans in Washington effectively draw everyone’s attention toward ‘recalcitrant’ and ‘unreasonable’ Democrats concerning a perceivable impasse over the Affordable Care Act, one story is going unreported in the mainstream media. At the end of the day, when the government reopens, Republicans will have won.

Of course, this Republican victory will have nothing whatever to do with the Affordable Care Act and their repeated attempts to defund and delay the legislation. Even most Republicans in the House of Representatives acknowledge that President Obama has neither the inclination nor the will to sign a bill that includes a delay of his signature piece of legislation. No, the Republican victory will have everything to do with money.

This hostage scenario, as conceived and carried out by the House Republicans, will come to an end when they vote on a ‘Clean CR,’ which only means a temporary government funding measure. When that happens it is crucial to remember that a certain amount of money has already been allocated in government spending. But let’s back up for a minute.

When President Obama came into office in 2009 he put forward a budget that dictated the spending of 1.2 trillion dollars for the year 2014. While this budget was not adopted, the Democrat-controlled House did pass something practically equal (about 1.19 trillion dollars.) Republicans then took over the House in 2010 and launched a squabble over the debt ceiling in the summer of 2011. This resulted in significant spending cuts and in many ways laid the groundwork for the demolition strategy that currently lies before the American people.

That debt ceiling deal, however, had a condition. The Republicans wanted even more cuts, and so insisted on adding a catch. If a comprehensive budget agreement could not be reached by the Spring of 2013, then across-the-board cuts would go into effect. Known as the ‘sequester,’ this amounted to an 85 billion dollar cut in the year 2013 alone. In real terms, spending was further reduced to 986 billion dollars due to the sequester.

Now, the untold story hiding behind lofty Republican rhetoric about Obamacare-inspired Armageddon is that the ‘Clean CR’ which will end the government shutdown allocates sequester spending levels for the federal government. When the government finally reopens it will do so at sequester levels. Even the 2014 Paul Ryan budget is a mere 19 billion dollars less than the amount proposed in the CR currently before the House. In other words, Republicans have already won the spending battle. The rest is just political showmanship.

The recent posturing over NIH funding has provided an excellent example for what this untold story will mean in practice. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), due to the sequester, was forced to cut 1.7 billion dollars from its budget by the end of September, which sharply diminished its purchasing power by about 25%. As a result hundreds of grants have been sacrificed and scientific research has been stagnant. Further, this all occurred prior to the government shutdown. It is only now, after the shutdown, that patients applying for clinical treatment are being turned away.

Now that the NIH is in the headlines with cancer patients in bold, Republicans have been quick to offer spending solutions. It is worth recalling, however, that the NIH was struck with budget setbacks before the shutdown due to sequester cuts. This is important because when the federal government reopens for business it will do so at sequester spending levels, which equally applies to the NIH.

The NIH is only one example among many. The fact of the matter is that across-the-board spending cuts mean something, and they will continue to resonate even after the shutdown. One may wish to think twice before exhaling with relief after Republicans cave in and allow government to function once again.