LIVE BLOG: The latest shutdown developments
April 9th, 2011
09:04 AM ET
3 years ago

LIVE BLOG: The latest shutdown developments

Check back here often for all the latest developments in Washington as the deadline looms for a government shutdown. Read a full story here. Click here to find out what will be open/what will be closed in the event of a government shutdown.

2:00 p.m. ET
- According to the White House, President Obama has signed the short-term measure to keep the government running through the week. The measure, known as a continuing resolution, gives Congress time to pass a long-term budget deal that will fund the government through the end of the fiscal year.

12:37 a.m. ET - The House approved a short-funding extension 348-70. The bill funds the government until the end of the day Friday, April 15th.

12:28 a.m. ET
- A senior White House official told CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian that President Obama is expected to sign the short term continuing resolution into law sometime Saturday.

12:23 a.m. ET - Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew in a memo told federal agencies to "continue their normal operations."

"While the current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires at midnight tonight, Congress has indicated that it has reached agreement on a funding bill for the rest of the fiscal year. Earlier this evening, the Senate passed a short term CR that will extend current funding levels until the full-year bill can be passed and enacted next week. We expect the House to take up the CR shortly and for the President to sign this CR no later than tomorrow. As a result, at this time agencies are instructed to continue their normal operations," Lew wrote.

12:14 a.m. ET @deirdrewalshcnn: House voting now on stopgap bill funding government until Friday 4/15 – #shutdown averted

12:03 a.m. ET
- @LisaDCNN: Technically, WE ARE IN #SHUTDOWN: for just a few minutes. Until House vote magically erases it.

11:58 p.m. ET @LisaDCNN: 2 minutes to #shutdown, House still not back in session. #arrgh

11:49 p.m. ET
- From CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian: A senior administration official says this is a "very good night for the country."

Asked "Why didn't they wage a battle early on?" the officials responded, "We did things in the interest of having a night like tonight."

The official said that means cutting spending, keeping investments for the future and not giving in to demands on social issues.

A second senior official told reporters "Every time it (the negotiations) got bogged down the president would pick up the phone" and push both sides.

The president made it clear, this official said, that "he did not want this to become a family planning bill. He wanted this to be a spending bill."

11:34 p.m. ET
- @LisaDCNN: CONFIRMED: Sen. Rand Paul voted 'no' to Senate CR. In statement, said the bill does not fix spending and debt problems. #tcot #p2 #teaparty

Paul entered a statement into the Senate record explaining his vote: "Mr. President, I voted against this short-term continuing resolution for the same reason I voted against the last one and the one before that – because it does not set us on a path to fixing the spending and debt problems our country is facing. As I have said before, there is not much of a difference between a $1.5 trillion deficit and a $1.6 trillion deficit – both will lead us to a debt crisis that we may not recover from."

11:27 p.m. ET - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi released a statement Friday night: “President Obama and Leader Reid should be commended for their leadership and perseverance to keep the government open. House Democrats look forward to reviewing the components of the final funding measure. The American people’s top priority is creating jobs, and we will continue to measure every proposal by whether it creates jobs, strengthens the middle class and responsibly reduces the deficit.”

11:18 p.m. ET - The Senate has passed a short-term budget deal that will keep the government funded through next Thursday.

The measure still has to be approved by the House of Representatives.

11:17 p.m. ET
- @LisaDCNN: MEANWHILE, House mems told to standby for a vote there, @deirdrewalshcnn has learned. GOP whip McCarthy: We hope to meet the deadline.

11:13 p.m. ET - McConnell returned the thank you to Reid but added that this is "just the beginning of what we need to do to get our fiscal house in order."

11:10 p.m. ET - Reid read the joint statement on the Senate floor and thanked Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for his work during the process.

11:08 p.m. ET – Reid and Boehner released a joint statement after the announcement of a deal: “We have agreed to an historic amount of cuts for the remainder of this fiscal year, as well as a short-term bridge that will give us time to avoid a shutdown while we get that agreement through both houses and to the President. We will cut $78.5 billion below the President’s 2011 budget proposal, and we have reached an agreement on the policy riders. In the meantime, we will pass a short-term resolution to keep the government running through Thursday. That short-term bridge will cut the first $2 billion of the total savings.”

11:05 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: #SHUTDOWN DEAL DETAILS (at last): no ban on funds for planned parenthood, but senate will have sep. vote on that.

11:04 p.m. ET - President Obama spoke from the Blue Room at the White House. The president said the agreement "invests in our (America's) future while making the greatest annual spending cut in our history." Thanked House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for their "leadership and dedication" during the negotiation process.

"The government will remain open for business," Obama said. "In the final hours before our government would have been forced to shut down, leaders in both parties reached an agreement that will allow our small businesses to get the loans they need, our families to get the mortgages they applied for, and hundreds of thousands of Americans to show up at work and take home their paychecks on time."

11:04 p.m. ET @LisaDCNN: #SHUTDOWN DEAL DETAILS more: Dems agreed to a vote on the senate floor on a repeal of the health care law. #tcot #p2 #tlot

11:01 p.m. ET - A senior Democratic source told CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett that the budget deal would cut between $38 and $39 billion dollars over the 2011 fiscal year.

10:56 p.m. ET
- @wolfblitzercnn: President Obama about to address nation from White House on budget deal. No govt #shutdown. Watch #CNN

10:54 p.m. ET - Boehner announced Friday night that Democratic and Republican negotiators have reached a budget deal that will avoid a government shutdown.

Boehner said the House will pass a short-term measure that will keep the government funded through the middle of next week, when the longer-term package will be enacted.

"This has been a lot of discussion and a long fight," he said. Republicans fought to "create a better environment for job creators in our country."



10:49 p.m. ET
- @LisaDCNN: Clock race: usually votes take 15- 30 min in each chamber. Drive to WH another 15. BUT does look good for fed workforce.

10:47 p.m. ET @LisaDCNN: REMEMBER: shutdown not averted technically until H. And Sen both pass short-term CR and pres. signs. @alivelshi

10:38 p.m. ET
- CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash reported that sources in the room say Speaker John Boehner has announced to House Republicans that a budget deal has been reached– and that there would be a stopgap funding bill averting a government shutdown.

A senior Democratic source told CNN the temporary spending bill would fund the government until Thursday and would include two billion in spending cuts, according to CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett.

CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh reported that a senior GOP aide in the meeting called it the "largest real dollar spending cut in American history" and said the proposal would cut more than $500 billion from the federal budget over the next 10 years.

10:33 p.m. ET
– CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash was told by sources in the GOP meeting that Boehner is outlining the parameters of a tentative deal, while saying there is no firm agreement yet. He is telling the GOP caucus that he believes there should be short term measure to keep the government running after midnight tonight.

10:21 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: WAITING GAME: outside GOP mtng, hearing applause. Overheard GOP member in hall say "republicans will be happy"... But no final yet.

9:33 p.m. ET - @AriFleischer: I'm glad there was no Twitter when I lived thru the Cong debate in '95 over a gvt closure. This micro-play-by-play is rough.

9:20 p.m. ET - @teapartynation: Boehner is selling us out tonight. We will primary Boehner next year. #tcot #teaparty #GOP #TPN #TPP #SGP

8:59 p.m. ET - House Republicans will meet behind closed doors at 9:45 p.m. to discuss the budget negotiations, GOP Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, told reporters as he left a GOP leadership meeting. Hensarling said that there is still no deal, CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett reported.

8:58 p.m. ET
- A spokesman for Reid said the senator is not scheduled to speak at any specific time. 10:30 p.m. is the earliest Reid could speak at this point. He was previously scheduled to speak at 9 p.m. ET., CNN Capitol Hill Radio Correspondent Lisa Desjardins reported.

8:39 p.m. ET - From CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh: GOP leaders sent an email to all House Republicans Friday that said, "We would like to clear up some confusion and relay that there has not yet been a deal reached. The negotiations are ongoing."

House Republican leaders are meeting now in Speaker John Boehner's office.

8:24 p.m. ET - From CNN Chief National Correspondent John King:

A senior Republican source close to the negotiations said that disagreements over policy riders– including the abortion rider issue– are "essentially resolved".

The source said a deal is still contingent on an agreement on the final spending numbers– but that negotiators feel they're close enough to a deal that passing a one-week continuing resolution is worth doing Friday night.

(At the same time, Democratic sources told CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash that the rider issues are not resolved)

7:47 p.m. ET - CNN Congressional Producers Ted Barret and Deirdre Walsh just walked with Boehner as he left dinner at McCarthy's office and returned to his suite in the Capitol. The exchange:

Q: How you feeling how are the talks?

Boehner: "I've been a happy warrior all day."

Q: You talked to the President – is there a deal? Close to a deal?

Boehner: "Not yet"

Q: Will you vote on short term CR (continuing resolution) to give yourself more time?

Boehner: "Only if there's a deal."

Q: Optimistic you'll get a deal before midnight?

Boehner: "You know me I was born with a glass half full."

7:44 p.m. ET - Reid is now expected to speak on the Senate floor at 9 p.m., instead of 8 p.m. as previously planned, CNN Capitol Hill Radio Correspondent Lisa Desjardins reported.

7:20 p.m. ET - CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett just saw Boehner slipping by reporters out the back door of his office and coming downstairs to Republican California Rep. Kevin McCarthy's office. Boehner entered a back door where a dinner buffet was set up.

7:12 p.m. ET - An aide to John Boehner told CNN that Boehner called President Obama at 6:30 p.m. Friday evening to talk about spending cuts, CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh reported. The aide says there is no deal yet.

6:48 p.m. ET - From CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash: A Senate Democratic source said they actually have several different versions drafted of a short term measure to keep the government running: a 3 day “clean,” a 1 week that funds the troops and more.

But I’m told no decision has been made and they’re “keeping their options open” on what to do, and when to do it. It all depends on how the talks for the long term bill go over the next several hours.

6:45 p.m. ET
- From CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry:

A senior Democratic source told CNN negotiators are now focusing on a proposal to keep the government open for three days while leaders try to finish a broader budget deal this weekend as a last-ditch effort to stave off a crisis.

The proposal would not include any controversial legislative riders on controversial topics like abortion, but the Democratic source cautioned it is not clear the plan can pass the House and Senate by the midnight deadline to keep the government running.

It is, however, important to note that the White House on Thursday said President Obama could sign another short-term continuing resolution if broader negotiations were making progress.

6:34 p.m. ET - CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett spoke to Reid at the Capitol. The interaction:

Q: Any update, sir?

A: We’re still talking.

Q: Do you feel they’re giving any on the Title X issue, which is so important to you?

A: I don’t know if they’re giving on it or not but all the pro-life senators here are saying drop the damn thing. You saw the list of them, Coburn, Ensign, the guy from Massachusetts.

Q-But in your talks with them do they seem to be easing on that at this point or are they still sticking as hard as they have been.

A-I’m sure they’re feeling what the Republicans over here are feeling, that it’s a crazy thing to do. But we don’t have it done yet.

5:52 p.m. ET – Reid is now expected to speak on the Senate floor at 8 p.m. ET instead of 6 p.m. ET as previously planned, CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett reported.

5:00 p.m. ET
- A White House source told CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian: “We are more optimistic now than we were 4 hours ago.”

The same source said there is a “good chance” that we’ll hear from the president today.

4:29 p.m. ET
– Reid is expected to speak on the Senate floor at 6 p.m. ET, CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett reported.

4:01 p.m. ET – The president has canceled a trip with his family scheduled for this weekend, CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian reported.

“The President will remain in Washington, DC this weekend as he continues to work with Congressional leaders to reach an agreement on the budget," White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said. "The First Family’s trip to Williamsburg has been postponed.”

3:55 p.m. ET - Speaker Boehner waded through a crowd of reporters as he walked from the men's room back to the House floor, CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh reported. Though he refused to answer questions on budget negotiations, when asked how he was feeling, Boehner joked, "I'm a happy warrior."

3:06 p.m. ET - In 1995, according to Congressional Research Service report, Congress appropriated funds for the troop pay before the longer shutdown in December 1995, CNN Pentagon Supervising Producer Adam Levine reported Friday.

2:47 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: PERSPECTIVE: The potential freeze of military death payments is real. But telling press about it is also part of WH pressuring GOP to deal.

2:41 p.m. ET - The $100,000 death benefit for those killed in the line of duty will not be paid during a government shutdown, a defense official said Friday. About 100-150 claims are processed a month, generally quickly, to help meet expenses in days after the death. The official, who briefed reporters about the potential shutdown impact at the Pentagon on the condition the official’s name not be used, said it could lead to families having trouble meeting death expenses, the CNN Pentagon Unit reported. The official also said the money would be paid when the shutdown is completed.

2:17 p.m. ET - @wolfblitzercnn: Except names & numbers, so much of gov't shutdown story reminds of '95 shutdown. Let's see if fallout is similar.

2:16 p.m. ET - At the same press conference, Reid insisted that Democrats can still reach a deal with Republicans.

"All we need for them to say is the agreement we made last night will be fulfilled," he said. "There's no question about the number," Reid declared. "(Speaker) John Boehner's having a difficult time in his caucus, but that doesn't mean we can't have an agreement."

Reid said if a deal cannot be reached, he will try to push through a short-term funding bill that would buy negotiators more time and fund the Pentagon for the rest of the fiscal year.

2:12 p.m. ET - At a press conference Reid said that Republicans can either agree to a deal that cuts spending or it can "shut down the government over women's access to heath care. If that sounds ridiculous, it's because it is ridiculous."

If a deal cannot be reached before midnight, it will become "crystal clear" to most people that "Democrats were reasonable and Republicans were responsible for shutting down the government," he said.

Reid made his announcement while surrounded by what appeared to be virtually the entire Senate Democratic caucus.

2:08 p.m. ET - @DanaBashCNN: Entire dem sen caucus at 11th hour presser re govt shutdown showdown.

1:45 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: FINALLY, a little good news: The Cherry Blossom parade will go on in a #shutdown. DC police stepping up, wld fill in for Park Service.

1:30 p.m. ET - As the clock continues to tick down to a government shutdown Friday night, the White House is moving forward with plans to make-do with a skeleton staff. Normally 1,781 people work in the Executive Office of the President, which staffs the White House offices, the residence, the vice president's office and residence and other critical departments like the National Security staff, the Council on Economic Advisors and the office of the National Drug Czar, CNN White House Producer Lesa Jansen reported. Read here what happens at the White House if the government shuts down.

1:07 p.m. ET
- At a press conference Boehner said the budget talks are ongoing.

"Most of the policy issues have been dealt with," he said. He insisted that the remaining key disputes revolve around spending cuts.

"When we say we're serious about cutting spending, we're damn serious about it," Boehner said.

Democrats insist that programs related to abortion and women's health - not spending levels - are the focus of the dispute at this point.

12:57 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: DHS in a #shutdown: 20% furloughed. All security staff stay. BUT e-verify – where employers check for illegal immigrants – shuts down.

12:12 p.m. ET - Democratic women senators spoke in the Senate gallery. Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski said the negotiations are a "radical agenda against women" and are about defunding Planned Parenthood.

"They want to take our mammograms away," she said.

On the Senate floor earlier Friday, Republican Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl said: "If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that's well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does. So this is a red herring to say that somehow the government's going to be shut down over the fact that Planned Parenthood won't get a $300 million gift from the taxpayers of America."

CNN later contacted his office and received this statement: "His remark was not intended to be a factual statement, but rather to illustrate that Planned Parenthood, an organization that receives millions of dollars in taxpayer funding, does subsidize abortions."

12:11 p.m. ET – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will continue to conduct its “core mission” of preventing and investigating violent crime, including combating gangs and gun-running, in case there is a government shutdown, Senior Justice Department Producer Terry Frieden reported. The ATF says “most” of its 2,400 agents will be on regular duty, but some of the 1,700 support personnel and 800 regulatory inspectors will likely be categorized as “non-essential” for furlough purposes, according to agency officials.

11:57 a.m. ET - Following their caucus meeting, all Senate Democrats are expected to hold a news conference on the budget around 2 p.m., CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett reported.

11:55 a.m. ET - GOP sources familiar with the negotiations confirm what Reid said on the record this morning, that negotiators have agreed on a $38 billion cut from current spending levels for the rest of the fiscal year. Sources in both parties caution the exact figure could go up or down, CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash and CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh reported.

11:53 a.m. ET - Local governments and communities across the country are preparing for a potential federal government shutdown and CNN television affiliates are monitoring the potential affects. New Hampshire community leaders are worried housing initiatives will be left unfunded. One Connecticut mayor has already declared an economic emergency and a wife of a service member in Florida is worried her family will not receive a paycheck. Families at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC, especially those with deployed spouses in Iraq and Afghanistan, are worried about getting paid and national parks across North Carolina, from Cape Hatteras to the Appalachian Trail are making contingency plans as they wait to see if their gates will be locked this weekend. And federal workers in Utah, where tens of thousands of people draw a paycheck from the federal government, are preparing for the worst.

11:50 a.m. ET - Boehner announced Friday he will return his pay to the U.S. Treasury in the event of a shutdown, CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh reported.

In a letter to House members Friday, Boehner wrote: "In the event of a lapse in appropriations for fiscal year 2011 causing a government shutdown, I will return any and all compensation that I would otherwise be entitled during such a lapse in appropriations. During such shutdown, all members would be paid pursuant to the provisions of the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution which states that no law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened. This requirement of the Constitution does not bar individual members from refusing to accept their compensation for any time when a lapse in appropriations occurs. Should you desire to have your compensation returned to the United States Treasury, you may do so and House Administration Committee can assist in executing your decision."

11:48 a.m. ET - In a statement obtained by CNN Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said discussions are "continuing."

"This morning, the President spoke separately to Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Reid. Discussions between the leaders and the White House aimed at reaching a budget agreement are continuing," Carney said in the statement.

11:23 a.m. ET - Senate Democratic caucus meeting was pushed back one hour to 1 p.m. ET, CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett reported.

11:19 a.m. ET - Female Democratic senators are scheduled to discuss the budget impasse at noon ET, CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett reported.

11:08 a.m. ET - Reid on the Senate floor said "as a legislator I'm frustrated... as a father and a grandfather, I'm appalled." He talked specifically about his wife, his daughter and his nine grandchildren, accusing Republicans of threatening "women's health."



11:00 a.m. ET
- @LisaDCNN: IF YOU BLINKED: You missed @SpeakerBoehner. No ?s. 55 secs if you count his "Good morning" One reporter just called it "surreal".

10:59 a.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: HERE WE GO – BOEHNER: Only one reason we don't have a deal – spending. "We are close to a resolution on policy issues"

10:58 a.m. ET - The third branch of government—the federal judiciary—is the one area of government that plans to operate normally through at least the first week of a shutdown, having secured “non appropriated” funds to handle such an emergency, CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears reported. The money comes from fees gathered from bankruptcy and other filings, which the courts now have the discretion to spend s they see fit.

10:53 a.m. ET - In an off-camera briefing with reporters Reid said "women's health" remains the sticking points in the negotiations, CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett reported.

"When I left the White House last night, as I said on the Senate floor, I felt comfortable, cautiously optimistic that something would happen because the number had been agreed on. The president said, okay we'll do the number. The only issue left was women's health. Title X. That's it. There was no other issue. I want an agreement but this has been a moving target. But now we've come to realize that the moving target is focused like a bull's eye on women in America," Reid said.

"I'm concerned and upset that this government is going to shutdown because of wanting to take away protections that my nine grandchildren have in this country. We can't accept that. That's an issue, as the president said last night that we're not bending on. The number, we bent on that. We agreed on a number. We are not, we are not bending on women's health."

Reid said the agreed upon number is $78 billion from Obama's proposed 2011 spending or $38 billion from current spending.

"The Speaker is the one who came up with the number, we didn't invent it," Reid said.

10:40 a.m. - Reid is expected on the Senate floor at 11 a.m. ET to make remarks on the budget.

10:29 a.m. ET – Senate Democrats are set to caucus at noon ET.

10:24 a.m. ET @DanaBashCNN: Sen dems now trying to raise money off poss shutdown w/ their political mantra: repubs willing to shutdown over abortion. Gop says spending

10:15 a.m. ET – The last time there was a government shutdown, Bill Clinton was president and Republicans controlled both the House and Senate. Read more here.

10:08 a.m. ET - House Speaker John Boehner is expected to address reporters at 10:25 a.m. ET, CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh reported.

10:05 a.m. ET – Rep. Michele Bachmann remained confident that an agreement will be reached Friday over the budget.

"In all likelihood they will reach an agreement today," Bachmann said on CNN's "Newsroom" Friday.

The Minnesota Republican said she will not vote for the funding bill because she said it fails to reform the current health care law.

9:15 a.m. ET - A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, disputed an assertion by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, on Friday that abortion is the final stumbling block for negotiators trying to reach a budget agreement that would prevent a government shutdown.

"While nothing will be decided until everything is decided, the largest issue is still spending cuts," spokesman Michael Steel said. "The American people want to cut spending to help the private sector create jobs - and the Democrats that run Washington don't."

9:00 a.m. ET - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, indicated Friday morning that a dispute over abortion is the only issue holding up a budget deal that would prevent a government shutdown.

"This all deals with women's health. Everything (else) has been resolved. Everything," he said.

8:15 a.m. ET - President Obama is likely to get a phone call from congressional leaders in the mid-morning to get an assessment on whether there has been any progress to avert a government shutdown, according to senior officials close to the talks.

–The officials stressed there is no specific time set up for the call yet because Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, are waiting, in the words of one official, for “when there’s progress to report rather than an arbitrary time.”

–Late Thursday night, Obama set a broad deadline for the leaders when he told reporters he was expecting some sort of an update long before the midnight deadline for a shutdown.

–“What I’ve said to the Speaker and what I’ve said to Harry Reid is because the machinery of the shutdown is necessarily starting to move, I expect an answer in the morning,” said Obama. “Any my hope is, is that I’ll be able to announce to the American people sometime relatively early in the day that a shutdown has been averted, that a deal has been completed .”

–Various officials in both parties close to the talks said such a breakthrough did not come overnight, though they’re still hopeful it can happen later today.


Filed under: Budget • Government Shutdown
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. Kurt

    They're missing the forest for the trees – getting it done and keeping 100,000s of Americans working and earning is more important than the final number or the final issue; neither the number nor the issue are worth the billions of dollars pulled out of the economy without compromise.

    April 8, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  2. rs

    Is it only me, or do the rest of you remember? Back in FAll 2010, many Republican/Tea Party candidates warned the Administration NOT to do anything with the budget until they came to town. They ran on HAVING a government shutdown- it was part of their platform.

    Well here we are a bit more than 6 month later and lo and behold- we're having a shutdown. The Republicans want this. They would rather hurt federal workers, and crash the economy than come up with ANY real solutions for the budget- or just about anything else, or to work with the President.

    Truth is, the Republican/Tea Party has NOTHING. They can't even agree among themselves what they want except to not work for the majority of the American people, or with the President.

    The Republican/Tea Party has become the mda-dog enemy within.

    April 8, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  3. Helen Young

    The issue around the government shutdown is a fundamental difference in opinion: do you want big government (the monster the republicans and tea party warn about) or big business which no party is willing to take a stand against because of the personal financial implications for them. Personally, I want big government because then I have some say through voting – my vote enables me to name legislators as 'non-essential' personnel because of their self-preservation attitude.

    April 8, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  4. Chuck

    I could care less as to "why" none of you have done what you ALL were voted in office to do, it is that you HAVEN'T. You all have failed the American population, which got you where you are in the first place. You have forgotten WHY you are where you are and what you job is. It is unacceptable for me to forget what my job is, why are you different?

    April 8, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. Ferret out the B.S.

    The Republicans seem to have forgotten that there is a whole, quite large, segement of Americans that don't agree with their ideology. They all love to say " The American People" or "We Speak for Americans" when they only speak for a small percentage. They want to ram their ideological agenda dowwn everybody's throat and that just isn't the American way. Many fail to see anything but their myopic conservatism and believe this is how all Americans should feel or believe. I got news for you clowns, wake up your actions must be in the best interests of the country and all Americans, not just your own special interests.

    April 8, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. Joan Wright

    How dare our reps in Washington close our country down and THEY still have their payroll honored!!! How I wish I had every one of their e addresses.

    April 8, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  7. Kathy

    I would like to point out that Planned Parenthood is indirectly using government funds to fund abortion. I worked for a non-profit homeless shelter and am very versed on how desiginated funds work. You use the funds that are desiginated for certain items as required and use undesiginated funds for everything else. Unless all of Planned Parenthood's funding is designated then they can do what ever they please by this method. I am against abortion and don't believe in telling other what they must believe, just don't do it on my dime. Planned parenthood should not receive federal funds unless they stop all abortions. If they are not willing to do this, then they should be funded 100% privately.

    April 8, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  8. Sgt Schultz

    Too chicken to cut defense spending, yet it accounts for a huge % of the budget. The Republican Robber Barons want to protect their corrupt lobbyist pals like Duke Cunningham did. What a joke GOP...you need to have the backbone to cut defense
    not just vengeance cuts against NPR. NPR is not not even half a %...get real!

    April 8, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  9. Peter DiMarzio

    I'm I hearing right that Congress will still be getting paid while over 800,000 federal workers, their families, and military families will suffer because of their incompetence to come up with a budget? Let them go without a paycheck and see how face a budget is passed... I say the people of this country need to wake up and clean house and elect people to Congress that will work for the people and not against them or hurt them. Countries around the world are watching our school yard antics, and this is our leadership, God help us all.

    April 8, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  10. Ken Kass

    Speaker John Boehner should be thinking for the good of the majority of the people rather than a select few. It is too bad that he cannot be fired or impeached from his position. He is hurting the U.S with his own personal agenda. Boo for him.

    April 8, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  11. Kino

    As usual the media is failing here...what is the truth...Does planned parenthood use federal funds for abortion...Yes or NO..if NO then why do YOU CNN keep repeating that its about abortion. also what are the details of what was already agreed to...You are not providing any real news

    April 8, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  12. Anonymous

    We should all stand together and refuse to pay Federal income tax until the federal government does its job.

    April 8, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  13. oregonian101

    Just listened both Senator Reid and Representative Boehner. If they were one person they would be diagnosed bi-polar.
    Mr. Boehner talked about the lack of the Democrats committing to "real" spending cuts. Well, if the GOP/Tea Movement concentrated on spending cuts rather than trying to make abortion illegal via ryders on their bill the Democrats would move a bit more to the House's concept. The GOP/Tea Movement is not serious about spending cuts unless they can get their social agenda into the picture and only if the cuts benefit their wealthy members and constituents.

    April 8, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. R. Stonerock

    I guess Congress still believes they are the "essential" part of government. A recent poll on this topic would be a real eye opener.

    April 8, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  15. Patricia Reid

    Congress, can't you do basic math? I know most of you have college degrees, please use it.. One of these days I would like to get a tax DECREASE. Pass a budget and stop spending trillions that we do not have.

    April 8, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  16. Susan

    No member of Congress seems to get what to do as far as the budget cuts are concerned. First, STOP the 14.8 billion in oreign aid (no brainer); STOP the two wars we are involved in and bring our troops and money home; STOP rebuilding countries when you are not even worried about rebuilding your own! This is not a difficult choice. Do they really think that cutting DOMESTIC programs (100k here, 50m here) that tax dollars are used for is wise? The American people should not hav to pay again and again for our government lack of common sense spending!

    April 8, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. Veteran

    Something is terribly wrong with this picture; Congress never works functionally or effectively but they still get paid in a shut down. Not trying to minimize all the hard working Americans but we got Soldiers, Marines Airmen and Sailors, serving our country and a lot of them are in harm’s way. Following the orders of our elected officials but they may not get there next check.
    If we were that fucked up we would get FIRED. D.C. needs cleaning up but we can’t leave it to them to govern themselves. New guy comes in cuts what the other guy did, wasting billions of dollars that were already spent canceling programs, hurting every industry, increasing unemployment. Just to spend that money somewhere else, that sure enough the next guy will come in and reverse everything again. We waste money electing officials just to start all over again.

    April 8, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. JANE

    This is a classic example of why the US version of democracy no longer functions. Politcs rules common sense.

    April 8, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. Markus Lindley

    I think it is time to amend the Constitution to say that no elected federal official gets paid if there is not a balanced budget in place by the October deadline. And they do not get paid until that balanced budget is in place. It is ridiculous that the people that are not meeting their deadlines get paid while those that are doing their job are put on the street without compensation. I also believe we need laws that prevent lobbyist from giving any type of gift to our congressman, congresswomen and senators. It amounts to nothing but bribery of our government officials and skews the laws to the favor of the companies that can pay the most for the congressional vote.

    April 8, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  20. melody

    This is the most ridiculous situation. My husband is currently deployed and now I am having to try to explain to two little boys not only why Daddy is still gone but now, I have to try and make then understand why Daddy might not be getting paid?! I won't even play the "it's not fair" card. It's not RIGHT. I never thought that I would lose faith in a country than my husband has send his entire adult life defending.

    April 8, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. Becky

    I am appalled that our congress could in good concious, accept wages during a shutdown. Especially while our men and women in the military would receive no pay. With all they're complaining about with potential budget cuts and whats on the table, they should be the first ones to offer up a weeks worth of their wages (they can afford it) to ensure that our heroes at home and abroad, the education of our children, and the care of our elderly comes first and does not suffer. SHAME ON YOU ALL!!

    April 8, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  22. Tahmina

    I think if the shut down happen it should be only temporary

    April 8, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. Chris

    I am in the military and I am soooo sick of the government. I wish Americans would pull together and revolt against our government just like the Middle East is doing.

    April 8, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  24. Cameron

    I know the military going to have a tough time, but you're leaving out the citizens of this country called federal workers. With BOTH my parents as federal employees being threatened by Congress' inability to organize themselves to get jobs done, house payments, taxes, and simple food is threatened. And now, I'm not going to college. All thanks to the simple fact that Congress doesn't realize what their job consists of. God Bless America!

    April 8, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  25. Matt

    If Government shuts down, Not one member of congress (Republican nor Democrat) will receive any votes in the next election. Senators; You have a responsibility and an obligation to represent the interests of the American public. Get it resolved. If you can't, then quit and get out of the way. This is leadership. If you can't lead then move out so we can get someone who can. Your jobs are on the line. However, that should not be your primary motivation. Your responsibility is to the public. Have that motivate you. If not, Get out!!!!!

    April 8, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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