The government has officially shut down since Tuesday, after Congress failed to come to an agreement on the continuing resolution to keep funding the government by midnight on Monday. The House has yet to pass a funding plan that's not dead on arrival in the Senate, or on the president's desk. So the standoff continues...
What you need to know now:
- President Obama has canceled the remainder of his planned trip to Asia so that he can remain in Washington to work on the budget fight.
- The President delivered a speech at Maryland construction company on Thursday calling on House Republicans to "Stop this farce" and pass a clean CR.
- The House is continuing with its strategy of passing "mini CRs" that fund individual initiatives, veteran care or National Institutes of Health funding, and force Democrats in the Senate to vote against them. The President and his Senate allies show no sign of budging.
3:55 p.m.: GOOD NEWS: According to Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), a senior Energy and Commerce Committee member, the upcoming debt ceiling negotiations are not the time or the place to argue about climate change.
3:36 p.m.: The Democrats' attempt to force a short-term CR to fund the government failed on Friday, no Republicans voted with Democrats on a procedural vote that would have brought the CR to the floor. There are currently two plans in place to force a vote on the CR, which Democrats would very much like to do instead of continuing to vote on a series of "mini" bills to fund popular parts of the Government. For the next plan, Democrats will need 218 votes to start something called a "discharge petition." That plan would allow Democrats to bring the "clean" CR to a vote on October 14 at the earliest.
2:29 p.m.: The White House endorsed a House bill that would guarantee retroactive pay for federal workers once the shutdown lifts. In a statement, the Office of Management and Budget said that it "appreciates that the Congress is acting promptly to move this bipartisan legislation and looks forward to the bill's swift passage," adding:
This bill alone, however, will not address the serious consequences of the funding lapse, nor will a piecemeal approach to appropriations bills. The House of Representatives should allow a straight up or down vote on Senate-passed H.J. Res. 59, to fund the Government and bring the Nation's dedicated civil servants back to work.
1:10 p.m.: BREAKING: The President ordered the "Race Street" sandwich, Biden gets the "Ninth Street." Taylor is offering at 10 percent discount and free cookies to all furloughed government employees.
12:59 p.m.: DEVELOPING: They got sandwiches at Taylor Gourmet, a popular sandwich shop in D.C.
12:45 p.m.: Because the White House menu has been reduced to nothing but turkey chili, President Obama and Vice-President Biden went for a walk today in search of lunch.
Pres Obama and VP Biden (in sunglasses) stroll up West Executive Ave toward Penn Ave on lunch outing. pic.twitter.com/1I6hve7Gfc— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) October 4, 2013
11:10 a.m.: During a press conference with House Republican leaders, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has said they will vote on a bill that would give furloughed workers their back pay when the shutdown is over. During the same press conference, an angrier John Boehner than we're used to seeing said, "This isn't some damn game."
Democrat double down on curb-stomping elderly veterans RT @DRUDGE_REPORT WIRED SHUT: BARRICADE AT WWII MEMORIAL REINFORCED— Rep. Steve Stockman (@SteveWorks4You) October 4, 2013
in the past 5 minutes a GOP member of the house has accused Dems of "curb-stomping elderly veterans" and killing kids with cancer. #ntus— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) October 4, 2013
11:00 a.m.: The Wall Street Journal quoted an unfortunate White House official as saying, "'We are winning...It doesn't really matter to us' how long the shutdown lasts 'because what matters is the end result.'" Conservatives have naturally jumped on this as another example of presidential insensitivity, but he's hardly the only person focused on the potential for a big political win, as these Republican quotes from before the showdown spell out. (“We’re very excited,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). “It’s exactly what we wanted, and we got it.”)
10:50 a.m.: Our own Philip Bump looks at how Republicans are continuing with their strategy, because they feel confident that the battle is going well for them.
10:40 a.m.: The House leadership has announced that it will hold a series of votes this week to fund critical parts of the government. Again, this is more of the "mini CR" strategy, and again it's unlikely to accomplish anything. Even if they pass the House, they will never get approved by the Senate or signed by the President.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3
10:23 p.m.: The president has officially cancelled his trip to Asia, because of the shutdown. Here's the statement from Press Secretary Jay Carney:
Due to the government shut-down, President Obama’s travel to Indonesia and Brunei has been cancelled. The President made this decision based on the difficulty in moving forward with foreign travel in the face of a shutdown, and his determination to continue pressing his case that Republicans should immediately allow a vote to reopen the government. Secretary Kerry will lead delegations to both countries in place of the President.
The cancellation of this trip is another consequence of the House Republicans forcing a shutdown of the government. This completely avoidable shutdown is setting back our ability to create jobs through promotion of U.S. exports and advance U.S. leadership and interests in the largest emerging region in the world. The President looks forward to continuing his work with our allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific and to returning to the region at a later date.
9:00 p.m.: The U.S. Capitol incident today may have been the focus of the day in D.C. On the floor of the House, Representatives gave Capitol Police a standing ovation on Thursday for their work in the face of a security threat. Those same police are not being paid during the shutdown, even though they're required to come to work as "essential" employees.
Meanwhile, all signs continue to point to a prolonged shutdown as John Boehner continues to refuse a vote on an existing resolution to fund the government — even as he assures his fellow party members that the won't allow a federal default, otherwise known as the next big deadline facing Congress. The debt limit, by the Treasury's account, needs to be raised by October 17. Boehner would like to tie the reopening of the government together with a deal to raise that debt limit, possibly with a repeal of the medical device tax and some sort of tax reform there to appease Republicans.
2:50 p.m.: A shooting broke out near the U.S. Capitol this afternoon, temporarily placing the complex on lockdown. Follow the latest updates here.
2:13 p.m.: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell earned his first high-profile shutdown sideshow moment badge on Thursday by having a strategic conversation with Sen. Rand Paul on a hot mic. The two discussed the GOP's messaging strategy, even after McConnell told Paul he was “wired up:”
Paul: “I just did CNN. I just go over and over again: ‘We’re willing to compromise, we’re willing to negotiate,' I don’t think they’ve poll tested,‘We won’t negotiate.’ I think it’s awful for them to say that over and over again.”
McConnell: “Yeah, I do too. I just got came back from a two-hour meeting with them. And that was basically the same view privately as it was publicly,”
Paul: "I think if we keep saying, ‘We wanted to defund it, we fought for that, but now we’re willing to compromise on this,’ I know we don’t want to be here, but we’re going to win this I think.”
1:35 p.m.: With Tropical Storm Karen headed up the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center took its top FEMA coordinator and spokesman off of furlough and back to work. The storm is predicted to increase to a Hurricane and hit the Gulf Coast Saturday night, putting the government's ability to respond to a weather crisis during a shutdown to the test.
1:10 p.m.: Here are some links to our earlier coverage on Thursday: Polls show Obama is winning the PR fight, though not as well as Clinton did 17 years ago; some interesting, yet unlikely solutions to the problem; and GOP House members show how not to argue your case.
1:00 p.m.: There's been no progress on the budget fight, which is looking more and more likely to merge into the upcoming debt ceiling fight, setting up one larger showdown and (hopefully) one solution. But that also likely means the shutdown will continue until October 17, when the Treasury will hit the debt ceiling limit.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3
11:21 p.m.: Among the programs and initiatives that that Native Americans might not receive funding for: foster care payments, nutrition programs, health care for the elderly and disabled, bus service to rural areas, heating. Montana's Crow Tribe furloughed at least 300 workers today.
10:29 p.m.: Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)'s take on the shutdown is already famous on Twitter (h/t Political Wire): "We're not going to be disrespected, We have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is."
7:11 p.m: Boehner's 'Grand Bargain': Meanwhile, the National Review has a more detailed report out on what appears to be Speaker Boehner's plan going forward:
Speaker John Boehner wants to craft a “grand bargain” on fiscal issues as part of the debt-limit deliberations, and during a series of meetings on Wednesday, he urged colleagues to stick with him.
7:02 p.m: Obama meets with congressional leaders: The meeting between Obama and congressional leaders is over, and it doesn't sound like any sort of big agreement was reached. After the meeting, Senate Majority Leader Reid addressed House Speaker John Boehner's own post-meeting comment that Democrats still won't "negotiate." Reid, in his press conference with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, said: "What the speaker has to accept is yes for an answer." He added that the Democrats' offer is for a conference on virtually any topic on which the Republicans want to negotiate, once the government is re-opened.
Pelosi added that the parties had some "candid discussion," but "we won't go into that." Reid added, "I was happy I was there. The President of the United States was strong, strong, strong." Reid added that he told Boehner "we are through playing these little games."
6:46 p.m.: On a bill to partially fund the NIH at sequestration levels the House passed the resolution 254-171.
6:36 p.m.: A procedural vote to consider the "clean" CR to fund the government just failed, 230 to 194. The vote is a bit confusing, but it was basically a result of a Democratic plan to switch out a bill being considered to fund the parks with the CR from the Senate. The Republicans blocked that move, which led to an appeal. Then, House Republicans moved to block the appeal, which went to a vote.
The House voted to partially fund the National Parks Service, 252-173.
6:20 p.m.: For those playing along at home, nearly every count of House Republicans publicly willing to pass a "clean" CR to keep funding the government has now reached the "magic" number of 17. The Washington Post has 18 members on the record, while the Huffington Post counts 19. It looks like Republican leadership is watching that tally, too:
Boehner also met today with group of 15-20 House R centrists, urged them to hang with him, trust him as debt limit nears...— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) October 2, 2013
And they have no plans to bring that bill to the floor:
Members tell me the leadership has all but officially decided to blend any CR agreement into larger debt deal later this month/Nov— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) October 2, 2013
4:26 p.m.: The House passed a bill allowing D.C. to use its own tax revenue during the shutdown, though apparently by a voice vote only. It will go to the Senate without a roll call.
4:12 p.m.: Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.'s Democratic representative in the House, is once again pleading with her colleagues to vote for a "mini" CR bill that would allow her district to use its own money: "You have no right to pull a defenseless city into this boxing match," Norton said.
4:00 p.m.: The House Democrats, while debating the latest batch of "mini" CR bills to fund the government, are now sending up representative after representative to bring the Senate-passed "clean" CR to the floor for a vote. Those requests can't work without consent from House Republican leadership, so they're being denied.
3:33 p.m.: The U.K. updated its (already lengthy) travel warning for the U.S., because of the shutdown. As we noted earlier, it's not the only country issuing shutdown advisories:
The US federal government began to shut down certain activities on Tuesday 1 October, due to a lack of agreement regarding government funding. Air traffic control, security and immigration processes are not currently expected to be disrupted, but delays may occur
2:45 p.m.: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, has proposed a joint resolution to fund the government, in exchange for Reid's willingness to engage in a budget conference. That letter begins, "I hated the Iraq war. I think I hated it as much as you hate the Affordable Care Act." Boehner swiftly rejected that offer, instead going ahead with plans to try again on a series of bills to fund specific, popular, parts of the government.
Here's his offer:
"Before the House you have the Senate-passed measure to reopen the Government, funded at the level that the House chose in its own legislation. I propose that you allow this joint resolution to pass, reopening the Government. And I commit to name conferees to a budget conference as soon as the Government reopens. That conference can discuss the important fiscal issues facing our Nation. You and your Colleagues have repeatedly cited these fiscal issues as the things on which we need to work. This conference would be an appropriate place to have those discussions."
Meanwhile, Republicans are going to keep focusing on trying to gain as much political sympathy as possible by capitalizing on the great story of the Veterans and the WWII memorial:
12:05 p.m.: Up until this point, the fight has been over a "clean" continuing resolution, that continues normal funding of the government and does nothing else (the Democrat version); and a CR that slashes Obamacare (the Republican version.) Now the Democrats, sensing their leverage, are considering going beyond asking for a clean CR and insisting that Republicans raise the debt ceiling as well. That has to be solved by October 17 and is the looming fight on the horizon, which is why the President would like to kill two birds with one stone.
11:59 a.m.: Americans are used to State Department travel warnings when they head overseas, but now some countries are issuing travel warnings about us. Thanks to the shutdown — and the closed tourist attractions and potential paperwork — the German government is warning its citizens to watch out when traveling to the United States, according to The Los Angeles Times. Other countries are joining in, reminding travelers that a shutdown American, might not be worth the hassle.
11:47 a.m.: President Obama has invited House Speaker John Boehner over to the White House for a meeting today. Boehner's spokesperson accepted, but added, "It’s unclear why we’d be having this meeting if it’s not meant to be a start to serious talks between the two parties." The meeting, which will include all four major Congressional leaders, will take place at 5:30 p.m. ET
9:08 a.m.: If any veterans want to invade the World War I memorial, they won't face much resistance today.
Check out the barricade at the World War One memorial---> pic.twitter.com/lJEYjY3GtR— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) October 2, 2013
8:00 a.m.: The Washington Post editorial page piles on the "GOP is to blame" bandwagon, saying their methods to stop Obamacare are "beyond the pale."
We don’t come to that view as rabid partisans. On many of the issues stalemating Washington, we find plenty of blame to go around. We’ve criticized President Obama’s reluctance to pursue entitlement reform. The last time the country reached the debt ceiling, we urged both sides to compromise on revenue and spending in the interest of long-term fiscal soundness.
This time, fiscal responsibility isn’t even a topic.
7:40 a.m.: The Shutdown is now altering U.S. foreign policy (sorta) as Barack Obama is now altering his planned trip to Asia so that he can deal with the shutdown. The four-country tour, which is supposed to start on Saturday, has now been reduced to two countries. Malaysia and the Philippines are losing out, though they will get a visit from John Kerry instead. Stops in Indonesia and Brunei are still on the schedule, for now.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2
10:36 p.m.: The night readings for the end of Shutdown, Day One, are piling up. A sampling:
Buzzfeed talked to the vets involved with the occupation of the World War II memorial in D.C. today, after the shutdown led to the closure of outdoor memorials and monuments in the capital. And apparently, Veterans are planning on doing a whole lot more to express their anger at the shutdown.
Meanwhile, Politico thinks that the shutdown could go all the way into the next big deadline for Congress: the debt ceiling: "the two issues will become intertwined — and potentially intractable. House Republican leaders and top Senate Democrats privately began discussing this increasingly likely possibility Tuesday."
And The New Republic analyzes the non-role of "partisanship" in the current debate over funding the government: "In fact, 'partisanship' isn’t the cause of the shutdown. And we’d probably be better off if politicians—that is, Republicans—were thinking more about the interests of their own party...Politicians motivated by the interests of a political party wouldn’t do this."
8:35 p.m.: Now that a bunch of Democrats have voted against a stopgap measure to provide partial funding to veterans' services, the Republicans have a new talking point:
Democrats just curb-stomped veterans. Because Obama told them to.— Rep. Steve Stockman (@SteveWorks4You) October 2, 2013
House Democrats just voted to block our bill to honor our promise to America's heroes and provide immediate funding for veterans benefits.— Eric Cantor (@GOPLeader) October 1, 2013
8:22 p.m.: So, what happens now? We'll have to see what the House's next move is. However: Robert Costa explained in the National Review (and also to the Washington Post in an interview) on Tuesday why bringing up the "clean" CR to keep funding the government hasn't been an option for Speaker John Boehner, even after the "mini" bills to fund parts of the government failed to make it out of the House:
Now, Boehner is aware that, on paper, potentially more than 100 House Republicans would be open to a clean CR should he bring one to the floor. But the internal chaos such a move could cause could be devastating, and with a major debt-limit battle approaching, he can’t let a CR vote divide his conference.
Costa explained to the Post that the 100 on paper number of Republicans wouldn't necessarily side with the "clean CR" should the vote actually come up, thanks to pressure to vote against it from the House hardliners and outside groups.
8:02 p.m.: The third "mini-CR," pertaining to national parks, fails. 252-176.
7:52 p.m.: House Republicans also fail to get enough votes to pass a bill continuing D.C. operations during the shutdown, 265-163. Again, any bill up for a vote under suspended rules — the case right now — needs a 2/3 majority to pass. 34 Democrats sided with all Republicans on the bill. Last up, a bill to keep funding the national parks, and a handful of D.C.-area attractions.
7:43 p.m.: The House fails to pass a bill for veterans funding. Because of the suspension of the rules, Republicans need a 2/3 majority to pass each of the mini-CRs up for a vote tonight. 33 Democrats joined the Republicans to support the veterans bill. The total was 264 for, and 164 against.
7:30 p.m.: The House is currently voting on a resolution to provide funding to ending veterans benefits' delays. Meanwhile, on Twitter:
Should president leave country?— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) October 1, 2013
7:11 p.m.: Some notes on the debate over the veterans' funding bill, one of three bills up for a vote to partially fund the government.
Republicans are, over and over, referencing the WWII vets' occupation of their own memorial in D.C. earlier today, arguing that the Veterans, D.C.'s funding, and the National Parks Service should be funded outside of the continued standstill on the clean continuing resolution. These three areas happen to be some of the nicest, and most visible, parts of government. Their continued closure doesn't look good for whoever is currently bearing the brunt of the blame for the shutdown. According to Tuesday's polling, that's currently the GOP.
Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen probably gave his party its best response so far to the GOP argument by noting that the "clean" continuing resolution from the Senate that House leadership has still declined to bring up for a vote contains more funding for veterans than the separate bill currently under consideration does.
Democratic Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents D.C., has split from her party on the trio of bills, and for good reason: the continued funding of her entire district is on the table. She told her colleagues:
“I understand the resentment on my side to what is being done here. But carry out your resentment without putting us in the position of a thing — nothing but another piece of appropriation that you have something to do with!”
6:40 p.m.: While the military may be funded through the shutdown, the AP notes that not all of the services used by military family members will be there for them until the government reopens: the commissaries, or tax-free grocery stores where as many as 12 million people are eligible to shop on the cheap, are shutting tomorrow.
6:30 p.m.: As the House continues debating the three bills to fund a handful of very visible victims of the shutdown, the list of Republicans in the House publicly willing to support a "clean" resolution to fund the government is growing, a bit. The Washington Post has added Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) and Rob Wittman’s (R-Va.) to their list, bringing that number to 10. The Post identifies four more "amenable" Republicans to a "clean" vote: Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Steve Womack (R-Ark.), Dennis Ross (R-Fla.), Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.).
5:40 p.m. Another point of contention for Republicans: whether or not those furloughed should receive back pay once the shutdown is over. The Huffington Post reports that Senators are split, with several unwilling to take a position. On the House side, twelve representatives proposed a bill to ensure retroactive pay including three Republicans — all of whom represent areas around D.C. with a large constituency of federal workers.
4:40 p.m.: The House is now going back to work in order to debate three bills to partially-fund the government. Those bills would fund the national parks, the Smithsonian, the holocaust museum in DC, and other capital attractions. Other bills would provide funding to the District of Columbia and to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Senate Majority Leader previously called this idea "just another wacky idea from the tea party Republicans."
3:53 p.m.: Speaker Boehner has an op-ed out, sketching the timeline from his perspective on the current shutdown. As you'd expect, Boehner argues that Democrats, along with President Obama, are to blame. Boehner refers to "the president's scorched-Earth policy of refusing to negotiate in bipartisan way on his health care law, current government funding, or the debt limit." He concludes:
"[Republicans] will continue our efforts to keep the government running and deal honestly with the problems we face. We hope that Senate Democrats – and President Obama – change course and start working with us on behalf of the American people."
Read the whole thing here.
3:03 p.m.: According to the Washington Post's count, eight House Republicans now publicly support a "clean" continuing resolution. They are Reps. Rigell (R-Va.), Pat Meehan (R-Pa.), Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), Peter King (R-N.Y.), Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Jon Runyan (R-N.J.), Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) and Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.).
2:32 p.m.: The press briefing got a little testy as ABC's Jonathan Karl asked repeatedly whether the president "bears any responsibility" for the current government shutdown. Carney refused to answer either way, essentially answering that the president already put a compromise budget to continue to fund the government on the table, while the GOP "chose" to shut the government down by asking for more.
Also, sorry, sports fans:
BREAKING: Defense Department: All sports at service academies temporarily suspended— The Associated Press (@AP) October 1, 2013
2:15 p.m.: At the (ongoing) daily press briefing on Tuesday, Press Secretary Jay Carney declined to address a GOP proposal to fund individual parts of the government in lieu of a continuing resolution, calling it a demonstration of the GOP's "utter lack of seriousness."
2011 called, it wants its fake conference committee presser back. pic.twitter.com/fHl6e7SYc2— Adam Jentleson (@AJentleson) October 1, 2013
12:50 p.m.: Below is a two-page letter from Barack Obama to all federal employees, saying (among other things) "None of this is fair to you." His address has now been pushed back to 1:30 p.m., which you can watch above.
11:30 a.m.: Just a reminder, it's illegal federal workers to do anything for free today, including checking their work email.
10:45 a.m.: Here's a helpful roundup of what people are seeing — or not seeing, mostly — out in the real life world of the government shutdown.
9:35 a.m.: Just FYI: President Obama will give an address from the Rose Garden at 12:30 today.
9:09 a.m.: A lot of people will be sharing their person shutdown stories today. Here's
Today my wife was scheduled to begin 2-yr suicide prevention study for returning vets. Guess that will have to wait. Well done Congress.— danprimack (@danprimack) October 1, 2013
9:02 a.m.: Here's how the big newspapers broke down today's top story. The New York Daily News seems to be the one that (understandably) grabbed the most people.
1:25 a.m.: The House has adjourned until 10 a.m. The Senate convenes at 9:30 a.m.
12:46 a.m.: The House is currently voting on whether or not to go to conference with the Senate, although it is of little consequence as Harry Reid has preemptively shut that possibility down.
12:40 a.m.: John Larson yells at the House to "Stand up for America!"
12:00 a.m.: Happy October. Also? The government is now officially shut down.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 1
11:57 p.m.: With three minutes to go, the U.S. Capitol Building's Twitter account shuts down.
Due to a lapse in government funding, this account will not be active until further notice.— U.S. Capitol (@uscapitol) October 1, 2013
11:53 p.m.: According to a spokesperson for the House Majority Whip, the GOP leadership have set their next vote series for some time between 12:30-12:45 a.m., post shutdown.
11:47 p.m.: Less than 15 minutes to go, and the White House's Office of Management and Budget has ordered executive departments and agencies to execute their shutdown plans. "Agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations." reads the memo.
And the Pandacam is down.
11:40 p.m.: With 20 minutes to go until shutdown, the House debates a resolution to go to conference. That resolution is going nowhere in the Senate.
11:31 p.m.: In response to a reporter's question, Pelosi says that Democrats will not consider even small changes to Obamacare in the continuing resolution. "Not in this setting," she adds.
11:29 p.m.: Rep Pete King has had enough.
I'm hanging w/ Pete King right now. He tells me this "whole thing has become madness"— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) October 1, 2013
11:22 p.m.: With less than 45 minutes before shutdown, the House Democratic leadership is holding a press conference. This is "not a good evening," says Nancy Pelosi, before handing over the lectern to Rep Chris Van Hollen, who says that House Democrats have been calling for a conference committee since April. "The reason we're here today is that the Speaker of the House refused to name budget negotiators...because you have to compromise" in a conference, he says.
11:00 p.m.: Harry Reid takes to the Senate floor. "We will not go to conference with a gun to our heads," he says. "The first thing that the House has to do is to pass a clean 6-week CR." The House Rules Committee continues debating the idea of a conference.
10:56 p.m.: Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings, at the Rules Committee: "You all have just lost it."
10:45 p.m.: "These things happen about 17 years or so. Avoiding them requires great skill," says Rep. Pete Sessions. Also, GOP aides are now telling reporters that there will, in fact, be more votes from the House tonight. At the committee meeting, Ranking Democrat Rep. Louise Slaughter is having it out with Sessions over the conference plan. Following Sessions's explanation for the GOP's blocking of a House Rule that would allow any member to bring up the Senate bill for a vote in the House, Slaughter says, "oh, mercy."
10:43 p.m.: Meanwhile, the House Republicans are in the process of appointing negotiators for a conference committee. At the Rules Committee meeting, Rep. Pete Sessions indicated that the Republicans would continue to try and work in Obamacare delays into the measure.
10:38 p.m.: President Obama has signed a bill into law that will exempt the military from the effects of the shutdown.
10:08 p.m. A somewhat unexpected move, as reports surface that House Republicans will call for a conference committee to draft compromise legislation with the Senate. In other words, an apparent end to "CR volley." This with about 110 minutes until the end of the fiscal year.
10:03 p.m. Another Republican senator weighs in, via Dave Weigel. Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona: "Obamacare's not popular, but we've managed to find the one thing less popular than Obamacare."
10:00 p.m. Pressure on the House to pass a resolution without any amendments — that is, a clean CR which maintains government funding at sequestration levels — is growing. Senators John McCain and Rand Paul, representing very different ends of the Republican Party spectrum, both called for such a move. McCain's proposal came with a rationale: "We can't win. That's going to happen sooner or later." Paul's proposal would only be for a short period.
There is at least some indication that it won't happen tonight, according to CNBC's John Harwood.
9:50 p.m. Ted Cruz, who is more responsible for the current stalemate than perhaps any other member of Congress, returns to his late-summer, anti-Obamacare mantra.
9:30 p.m. The Senate killed the House's amended version of the continuing resolution, 54-46. Now, back to the House which will need to either pass another resolution or give up. For those keeping score at home, that's three House attempts to spike Obamacare, three Senate rejections of the same.
9:06 p.m. For those on Congressional boozewatch, it looks like it could be an active evening:
About every other House lawmaker I just talked to smelled like booze. It's only 9pm. Wheeee!— jennifer bendery (@jbendery) October 1, 2013
8:50 p.m. The GOP nays on the bill were Reps. Bachmann, Barton, Broun, Dent, Diaz-Balart, Gohmert, Gingrey, Granger, King, King, Massie, and Rogers.
8:40 p.m. The House passed its third version of a continuing resolution to keep the government funded past midnight. It includes provisions to delay Obamacare for one year, and to remove a subsidy for Congressional members and staffers' health insurance. The vote was 228-201, with nine Democrats voting with Republicans for the bill, and 12 Republicans voting with Democrats against the bill. It will now go to the Senate, where it's dead on arrival.
8:12 p.m. Both House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor spoke to defend the House's anti-Obamacare/government funding bill, just before a vote. Essentially, both argued that the bill amounted to "equal treatment." Cantor condemned a "stubborn refusal to work across the aisle, apparently referring to Democrats instead of his own party. Boehner, speaking of his phone call with the president earlier today, also managed to pull out a somewhat unflattering impersonation of Obama.
7:54 p.m. Sen. Ted Cruz went on CNBC Monday evening, where Larry Kudlow called him "heroic." But as the deadline approaches, Kudlow asked whether the GOP might want to think about a different approach, for now: "Is it time for the Republican party to...just kind of pull out before something nasty happens?" Cruz said no, of course. "If in a few hours ... all Senate Democrats vote lockstep" against the bill making its way through the House right now, he said, Senate Majority Leader will "force" the government into a shutdown. That House bill contains a provision that will delay Obamacare for one year, which is a non-starter for Democrats. Cruz also argued that Reid "want[s] to threaten" a debt default.
7:40 p.m. Some Republican staffers are not happy about their bosses' plan to strip health insurance subsidies for Congressional staffers. One of those unhappy Republicans spoke to Mother Jones, characterizing the measures as "Congress literally threw staff under the bus on this…You're hurting staff assistants who are sorting your mail." Low-level Congressional staffers get paid as little as $28,000 annually.
7:16 p.m. Rep. Peter King apparently failed to get enough votes against the Continuing Resolution rules vote. Just six Republicans voted with all of the House's Democrats. The vote on the rules for debate was 225-204.
7:07 p.m. President Obama and Speaker Boehner reportedly talked within the last hour, on the phone, about the impending shutdown. No breakthrough. For his part, Boehner is circulating on the House floor, talking to some of those pesky moderate Republicans.
6:34 p.m. The National Review and the Washington Examiner have reports from the GOP front on just how divided the party is over the shutdown it's about to force. According to the Examiner, just 30 House Republicans (out of 233) are more or less responsible for the House's refusal to pass any sort of continuing resolution that doesn't include a substantial jab at Obamacare. Among them? Bachmann:
"This isn't just another bill," Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., one of the most vocal of the 30, told me. "This isn't load limits on turnip trucks that we're talking about. This is ... an extremely consequential bill that will impact every American, and that's why you have such passionate opinions."
Meanwhile, that vocal thirty have prompted a revolt among moderate Republicans as House Speaker John Boehner continues to go along with the conservative insistence on passing loaded bills. That moderate charge is led by none other than Rep. Peter King, according to the Review:
King wants to pass a clean continuing-resolution bill. “This is going nowhere,” he says about the standoff with Senate Democrats. “If Obamacare is as bad as we say it’s going to be, then we should pick up a lot of seats in the next election and we should win the presidency in 2016,” he says. “This idea of going through the side door to take something you lost through the front door — to me, it’s wrong.”
6:10 p.m. A surprising call from one of the most vocal advocates in the push to defund Obamacare, Red State's Erick Erickson. He advocates a funding bill with no amendments whatsoever.
At this point, the House should just go on and pass a clean CR. They've already embarrassed themselves and done requisite head pats.— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) September 30, 2013
This differs significantly from the Senate Conservatives Fund, which staunchly opposes any compromise. It's far closer to the position of fairly moderate Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, who's called repeatedly for a clean resolution.
6:00 p.m. Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland calls out Boehner from the House floor. "Mr. Speaker," Van Hollen said, lamenting the conservative dominance during this deabate, "why don't you just quicken it up and pass Senator Cruz the gavel and let him run the House?" See also.
5:50 p.m. Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachussets rails against the amendment that would eliminate the co-pay for insurance for Congress and its staff, which, he worried, could mean losing good employees. "If you want to see this place get even dumber," he said, "then vote for the Vitter amendment."
5:30 p.m. Rep. Pete Sessions, introduces the Republican proposal in his heavy drawl. "Will someone stand up for the American people? Dad-gum right. The Republican party."
5:25 p.m. The House Rules Committee advanced the new House proposal to the floor on a party line vote. According to ABC's John Parkinson, a vote from the full House on that proposal will happen at around 8 p.m. The influential Heritage Foundation opposes that effort, as do some conservative members of Congress, as articulated below.
As shutdown looms, many Rs aren't welcoming it, but they're hardly sweating. Think base will be plsd, political pain will be brief— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) September 30, 2013
5:10 p.m. As the president spoke, NPR aired the first part of an interview with the president. Asked what he might offer as part of a negotiation with Republicans, Obama responded:
"They're not doing me a favor by paying for things that they have already approved for the government to do. That's part of their basic function of government; that's not doing me a favor. That's doing what the American people sent them here to do, carrying out their responsibilities.
5:05 p.m. During a statement this afternoon, the president called on Congress — specifically, the House — to keep the government open. "Of all the responsibilities the constitution endows to Congress," the president said, "two should be fairly simple. Pass a budget, and pay America's bills." He outlined what would remain open or available in the event of a shutdown: Social Security, Medicare appointments, mail, and public safety efforts will continue. NASA will close on its 55th birthday, but mission control will remain active to guide those in space.
What would be offline are parks, offices, permitting, efforts to rebuild from disaster — and the communities that rely on those efforts. And, he noted, Obamacare exchanges will come online, as planned. "The Affordable Care Act is moving forward," he said. "That funding is already in place. You can't shut it down."
You don't get to extract a ransom for doing your job, for doing what you're supposed to be doing anyway, or just because there's a law there that you don't like. The American people sent us here to govern. … They've worked too hard, for too long to recover from previous crises just to have folks here in Washington manufacture yet another one that they have to dig themselves out of.
4:50 p.m. According to the Washington Post's Suzy Khimm, Rep. Devin Nunes of California blasted his Congressional colleagues, calling them "lemmings with suicide vests … because jumping to your death is not enough." He then made a questionable analogy.
4:20 p.m. A White House staffer confirmed to Time's Zeke Miller that the president would sign legislation maintaining military pay during a shutdown.
4:15 p.m. All Speaker Boehner has to do, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said from the Senate floor, is allow a vote on the clean resolution that cleared that chamber last week. It would pass "big time," Reid insisted — since it would be backed by Democrats, too.
4:00 p.m. The current plan from the House — an amended resolution that delays Obamacare and revises Congressional health care — may not even have the Republican votes it needs to pass. Business Insider notes that the measure "would not achieve the top goal of conservatives: Defunding Obamacare," while it would make life much more difficult for staff and members. According to Huffington Post's Sabrina Siddiqui, Rep. Michele Bachmann said she would not vote for the bill, because it "doesn't go far enough." Nor would Rep. Peter King, who wants a resolution without amendments. According to Yahoo's Chris Moody, King assigns blame: "Ted Cruz should be blamed and any anybody that follows him."
3:40 p.m. While Sens. David Vitter and Mike Enzi (whose been much more active on Capitol Hill in the wake of his primary challenge from Liz Cheney) address the media, a draft of the next proposal submitted by House Republicans was released, via MSNBC's Benjy Sarlin. It contains what was expected: a one-year delay in the individual mandate and Vitter's amendment to revamp Congressional healthcare coverage. Rep. Paul Ryan indicates that a "clean" resolution — without amendments — isn't going to happen. Speaker John Boehner agreed: "That's not going to happen."
The plan above came from the Republican caucus described below. Apparently, not every member enjoyed the meeting.
Member txts from inside mtg: "this sux" I respond: "why?" Member doesn't respond— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) September 30, 2013
Meanwhile, the Senate approved a corollary measure passed by the House over the weekend, ensuring that the military would be paid in the event of a shutdown.
3:15 p.m. As House Republicans meet to plan their next step, they asked staffers to leave the conversation. The NRO's Jonathan Strong explains.
One reason GOP kicked staff out of mtg: they're talking about their healthcare!— Jonathan Strong (@j_strong) September 30, 2013
In other words, Republicans are talking about the Vitter amendment, which would revise (and weaken) coverage for those staffers. But even that measure might not pass the House. Strong quotes Rep. Don Young: "Right now they don't have the votes to do anything."
2:30 p.m. House Republicans, meeting this afternoon, tell the NRO's Costa that the next proposal will be an amendment to a funding resolution including the Vitter amendment and a one-year delay on implementing the mandate of Obamacare. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who seemed open to such a delay last week, tells Slate's Dave Weigel that he no longer is.
2:15 p.m. With a vote from embattled Arkansas Democrat Mark Pryor, the Senate got its 51st vote to reject the House proposal passed early Sunday morning. The final tally was 54 to 46, strictly along party lines. "Well," said Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland after the vote, "we're at the brink."
This puts pressure on the House to either agree to the Senate proposal passed last week — funding government until November 15 with no other qualifications — or come up with another proposal. Among the possibilities, a proposal including the "Vitter amendment," a measure that would dramatically affect the health insurance coverage for Congress itself. Read more.
2:00 p.m. The Senate is currently voting on rejecting the House resolution.
Meanwhile, the Parks Department in Washington, D.C., seems pessimistic about a resolution.
"Parks Closed" These signs are currently going up on the national mall pic.twitter.com/a3Zh7AXUM5— Matt Ackland (@mattackland) September 30, 2013
1:56 p.m. The possible extension, reported by The National Review's Robert Costa, may be the last-minute salvation preventing a shutdown. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is talking to his Republican members about the prospect of ensuring funding for the next seven days at current levels in order to buy more time for a deal (something that is itself optimistic). Those current levels, it's worth remembering (as Greg Sargent does), are the sequestered levels that Democrats broadly oppose. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he opposes such a move.
Barring that can-kicking, the Senate will consider the House resolution passed over the weekend, which is is decribed below. In his daily press briefing, White House spokesman Jay Carney called the House's amendments "just blatant extortion." The House, he said, is trying to do "through threat and extortion what Republicans were unable to do through the legislative process."
The Senate is poised to reject that extortion, pushing for a "clean" continuing resolution, or CR. In other words, a resolution continuing current funding that carries no amendments. One member of the House Republican caucus, Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, suggested to The Washington Post that there were enough votes in the House to pass a longer-term clean CR.
For his part, President Obama seems hopeful, telling the press on Monday afternoon that he is "not at all" convinced a shutdown will necessarily occur. But he's not willing to give ground, despite demands from Republicans. Carney: "It is not a concession to keep America open. It is not a concession to pay our bills. It is a responsibility."
- Fund the government until December 15th.
- Delay implementation of Obamacare for one year.
- Delay a mandate that employer health coverage include contraception.
- End a tax on medical devices
An amendment that would ensure members of Congress and their staffs participate in Obamacare exchange (as mandated by an amendment to the original bill) and then limits employer contributions to the selected plans. That would have the effect of being a pay cut for staffers. The conservative National Review and the not-conservative Slate excoriate it. Democrats consider it a non-starter.