October 9th, 2013
02:28 PM ET
7 months ago

Gov’t Shutdown day 9: What you need to know

Washington (CNN) - Amid new Republican offers to reopen the government and raise the debt limit in exchange for discussing cutting entitlements like Medicare and Social Security, President Barack Obama thanked the House Democratic caucus in a meeting at the White House, praising his legislative backers for holding firm against GOP demands to piecemeal funding for the government.

Obama signals more ‘give’ on idea of short-term debt deal

In a statement characterizing the meeting, the White House said Obama and House Democrats "reaffirmed their shared belief that we cannot let one faction of the Republicans in the House demand a ransom for doing its job and paying the bills we have already incurred."

The White House read out of the meeting portrayed a president solely focused on "fighting for working families" and gave no indication that Obama intends to cave to Republican demands, which have now evolved from "defunding" the president's signature health care law to slashing, in their minds, the true drivers of America's swelling debt.

Up to speed

Obamacare out, entitlements in: Republicans seem to be shifting the shutdown/debt ceiling battle line from an argument over Obamacare to one over entitlements.

After spending the first week of the shutdown trying to tie anything that would fund the government and end the impasse to President Barack Obama's signature health care law, the word "Obamacare" hasn't come up as much in recent days.

GOP dropping Obamacare in shutdown debate?

Republicans are saying they would be willing to talk about raising the nation’s borrowing authority so long as it includes a discussion on cutting entitlements, which they say are at the core of the country's debt problem.

At a news conference on Monday, Obama indicated Republicans could essentially set the agenda for budget negotiations, but only if Congress agrees first to a short-term spending plan to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling.

Four ways for Obama to lead U.S. out of crisis

Meanwhile, both the Senate and the House are moving forward without regard to the other. The House will vote to create a negotiating committee and on a bill to ensure “essential” federal workers don’t miss a paycheck. The Senate is expected to reject that and will instead debate a proposal to raise the debt ceiling, which is expected to go nowhere in the House.

Meet the new face of the House gym

In an interview on the Bill Press Show (and gleefully pointed out by a conservative group), Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, defends keeping the House gym open because it is where members can actually speak to each other. The House gym, he argues, could solve this crisis.

(He might have a point here. Remember what Eric Massa said Rahm Emanuel did in the House gym showers?) (refresher)

But things are getting pretty rough. Braley, who's running for the Senate in 2014, complains there’s no towel service (which we pointed out on Tuesday), but then he says, “We’re doin’ our own laundry down there.”

Finally, he says members pay $260 per year to belong to the gym. Quick back of-the-envelope math suggests members of Congress pay something less than $22 per month to belong to the gym that usually includes towel service and has a heated pool and whatnot.

Find a YMCA or church gym that’s that cheap.

Paul Ryan emerges

Remember Rep. Paul Ryan? The Republican budget guru who was on the losing ticket in the 2012 election? Right, him. Well, he’s still a member of Congress and still sits at the top of the Budget Committee. The budget wonk at the center of budget and spending battles in previous years broke his months-long silence Wednesday morning. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, he took a measured tone, saying “both sides should agree to common-sense reforms of the country’s entitlement programs.”

Missing from his piece? The word "Obamacare."

Any Cruz is good news for Democrats

That’s a different tact than what many of his tea party-aligned colleagues want, which is the dismantling of the health care law. And Sen. Ted Cruz’s speechwriter noticed the omission.

Biden sidelined

Remember Vice President Joe Biden? The 2012 Democratic vice presidential candidate who sat on the winning ticket? The guy who negotiated the last fiscal stalemates? Well, he’s still the vice president. But his silence is deafening.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is making sure Biden remains silent, CNN’s Gloria Borger reported. He’s made that point very clear, both inside and outside of the White House. As one administration official put it, “Reid is convinced he needs to stand his ground.”

The Numbers

159: The Dow’s dip on Tuesday; it rose 24 points Wednesday with the expected nomination of Janet Yellen to be chair of the Federal Reserve
.355: The interest rate of Treasury bill sold at auction Tuesday
300: The percentage increase of the rate of Treasury bills a week prior
2,000: Number of workers stranded at the Grand Canyon
27,000: Number of furloughed workers collecting unemployment insurance in the D.C. area

D.C. crisis could jump-start the case for reform

Time of Need

On Tuesday, we reported that the $100,000 government benefit to assist each family with burial and reclaiming the body is going unpaid because of the shutdown. Obama promised prompt action to pay benefits to survivors of military men and women killed in action.

On Wednesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president was "disturbed" to find out that it was not being paid and has directed the Pentagon and other officials to figure out a way to address the problem. Obama expects it "to be fixed today," Carney said.

Recipients in North Carolina who have not yet picked up their food stamps for October are out of luck. The state announced that it doesn’t have the money to provide the 20% of benefactors of the Women, Infants and Children food program who have yet to collect this month’s supplement, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Time of do-with-what-you-have

CIA agents responsible for undercover work, counterintelligence and intelligence gathering are being called back to work because of the “threat to the safety of human life.” Director John Brennan wrote in a memo to CIA employees: “This does not mean that we can recall all of our employees. We only have the ability to recall workers involved directly in our core missions.”

A small business that fights wildfires in the western United States has laid off a dozen workers since the shutdown. With 80% of its business coming from government contracts, Mark Masters, owner of Chloeta Fire, said he lost tens of thousands of dollars in the last week.

Look Back: Shutdown day 8: What you need to know


Filed under: Government Shutdown
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Hector Slagg

    I don't know why Joe Biden is put out of site. Obama is yapping enough in Public for the both of them. Time Obama got a deal done with the Republician's. Hint. Get rid of Obama Care.

    October 9, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. Data Driven

    While it appears that Ryan is off the sedition reservation by not making hysterical comments about Obamacare in his op-ed, don't worry, rebels - he's just playing the "statesman" game, keeping an eye on 2016. Don't hate the playa, rebels - hate the game!

    October 9, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  3. kirk

    One thing is very clear, the gop will absolutely not miss this opportunity to harm the working class .their entitlement reform is more of the same, tax cuts for the rich, and our social security will take the hit to make up for lost tax revenue, there are much more sensible solutions, but the rich want out of paying taxes, period: and they will get what they want, and give you talking point that have historically proven false, they know that, its all about lip service at this point were going to pay, or the gop won't act, sad but true

    October 9, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  4. Sniffit

    “The long and short of it is there’s going to be a negotiation here.”

    Aaaah, the echo chamber, such a wonderous invention. I suppose we can put this statement right up there with "we're being blamed more than anyone else but the spread isn't as big in 1996 so it means we're winning." GOPers/Teatrolls do such a good job of desperately weaving rationalizations to convince themselves that reality coincides with what they want to hear, even when it truly truly doesn't. Too bad for them that it doesn't really do that great of a job of convincing people outside their echo chamber. It's like that old adage about fish having no idea that they're in water.

    October 9, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. Sniffit

    "Republicans may be open to a short-term extension of the debt ceiling if the president agrees to negotiate, a Republican source said. "

    Boehner telegraphed this by assuring CEOs and other big business people in private meetings last week that there would be no default and that the debt ceiling would be raised. He then publicly proceeded to talk extremely hard line about not budging on the GOP/Teatroll demands because he got a ream of crap from the radicalized nihilist RWNJs. The long and short of it is that for his own self-serving reasons, he's going to have to bring it to the brink and only cave at the last minute. Boehner's desire to remain speaker and survive in November 2014 outweighs his desire to do the right thing.

    October 9, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. Paul J Sweeney

    It is time! It is time for “We the people” to demand to know, by a public vote, whether our representatives to our government’s Congress believe that our government should be shut down and our country default on the debts voted on and incurred by prior representatives. If that’s what is best for us as a county, so be it.
    Our Representatives should no longer hide behind the Senators that we elected to represent us as a whole or the President that is the chief executive officer of our country. They are called Representatives for a reason! Our constitution states that “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives”. It’s time for those that represent us most directly to do the job the Constitution bestows upon them and stand up publicly and vote their conscious, whatever that is, before those of us that elected them. “We the people” should demand that now!
    The ‘me’ alone will not affect much change, but millions of ‘We’ will. Join me demanding such a vote by contacting your Representative by phone, email, tweet, or better yet, in person. Put the “We” back in our government!

    October 9, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. Andrew

    Sadly, I rent my home in Ohio to a member of the military (I am temporarily posted to NYC) and have not received my rent check from the government. You've got to wonder if there are others out there that may default on their mortgage because the government will not pay on obligations to private citizens. Shame on both parties for not behaving as they used to. I am a native Washingtonian and remember fondly leaders of their respective parties meeting with their counterparts on the Hill and away from the Hill to ensure dialogue remained healthy and focused on our country, instead of their party agenda.

    October 9, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. Peter Weikel

    Obama and the Democrats are trying desperately to make an emergency out of this. He is trying to bully the American people into accepting an oppressive and far reaching law, while hoping we don't notice he's overstepping his constitutional rights. And if we don't lie down and let him, he'll make it hurt! So bring it on, let the government shut down. Americans know how to take care of themselves.

    October 9, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    –Rick McDaniel

    That's what happens when you elect the most devisive President since Lincoln.
    ******************
    DING DING DING!!!!!!!!!!! Secession Boy is back, and wins the Revisionist Prize!!!!!!!!!!!! Still blaming Lincoln for not letting the South rip the country apart? Why not blame Jews for the Holocaust?

    October 9, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    All that "I" need to know is that previously John Boehner was all giddy because the President of the United States (who according to John Boehner doesn't negotiate) gave Boehner 98% of what Boehner wanted back when he most wanted it.

    Now, we look at this in many different ways:

    (1) President Obama DID in good faith negotiate for compromise when compromise with the GOP was needed.
    (2) John Boehner doesn't have a clue what he wants, thus HE is incapable of negotiating.
    (3) John Boehner is a liar.
    (4) This is all fantasyland anti-Obama blah, blah, blah much as it has been for the past 5 years.

    President Obama is aware (having been – there done that nearly every other month for the past 5 years) that no matter what Boehner wants today ... tomorrow will bring a entirely different set of demands.

    Thus, I say .... get your House in order John Boehner.

    October 9, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. Mike

    How can anyone not think Boehner is the problem here? The votes to pass a clean CR are there. He needs to let the vote happen and stop holding the democratic process hostage.

    October 9, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. Jeff Sandstrom

    President Obama did in fact say he would negotiate, provided that the government was reopened at least temporarily.

    October 9, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    -Hector Slagg

    I don't know why Joe Biden is put out of site. Obama is yapping enough in Public for the both of them. Time Obama got a deal done with the Republician's. Hint. Get rid of Obama Care.
    **************
    Right. Denying people for pre-existing conditions, hitting those who can get insurance with annual double-digit increases, and paying full shot for the poor to visit emergency rooms was working out so well for everyone. Hint: no deal, and it's constitutional, courtesy of John Roberts, so suck it up and deal with the republican plan the President put forth and passed.

    October 9, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  14. Thomas

    @Hector Slagg
    I don't know why Joe Biden is put out of site. Obama is yapping enough in Public for the both of them. Time Obama got a deal done with the Republician's. Hint. Get rid of Obama Care.

    ====

    Did you and Rick Perry first meet at Texas A&M ?

    October 9, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. Lynn Highland

    In Colorado there are so many veterans and military contractors that 3 of the GOP reps are coming to their senses

    Coffman (R – Aurora) wrote an op-ed today in the Denver Post stating that we need to pass a clean CR without Obamacare as hostage.

    He was always a good rep when I was in his district, despite our differences. Kudos to Mr. Coffman – a veteran himself.

    October 9, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. Helen Troy

    From the comments on this board it does appear that the lefties are worried that they will be blamed for this constitutional crisis... never in the history of the US has a sitting president attacked a group of Americans in such a manner.. we expect better from this position.. we deserve better from this position...

    October 9, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  17. Dave

    If obama were to buy a vacation home in Hawaii, would he give the seller the full asking price and expect to negotiate the actual price after the closing?

    October 9, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  18. Sniffit

    "That's what happens when you elect the most devisive President since Lincoln.
    ******************
    DING DING DING!!!!!!!!!!! Secession Boy is back, and wins the Revisionist Prize!!!!!!!!!!!! Still blaming Lincoln for not letting the South rip the country apart? Why not blame Jews for the Holocaust?"

    Seriously hahaha. This is all nothing more than secession by another name.

    October 9, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  19. lunchbreaker

    For any of you who have not noticed, Obamacare has already passed both houses of congress and stood up under review of the supreme court. Boehnor is trying to overturn a law that is already in place, by trying not to fund it, or anything else. I suppose that would work. No gov't, no Obamacare.

    October 9, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  20. Sniffit

    "From the comments on this board it does appear that the lefties are worried that they will be blamed for this constitutional crisis"

    Rest assured that we are not worried about it one bit. The polling is consistently and increasingly laying this all at the GOP/Teatrolls' feet. You better go get some "unskewers" to help you fix that if you want us to worry. Maybe Rove and Rasmussen will help you out.

    October 9, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  21. tom l

    61% disapprove of dems. 71% disapprove of repubs. Bascially, both sides are losing, actually all 3 sides if you include the American public. Seeing Piers Morgan lay some blame on the dems, and especially President Obama, is a tectonic shift. A huge huge supporter of Obama who was berating repubs last week, still blames repubs, but adds dems into the mix now. Interesting.

    October 9, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  22. HenryMiller

    Love that "ALL FEDS ARE ESSENTIAL" sign in the photo. Yeah, right... At least 800 thousands "feds" are daily proving themselves to be useless parasites without whom the country is getting along fine.

    October 9, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  23. Sniffit

    "It is time for “We the people” to demand to know, by a public vote, whether our representatives to our government’s Congress believe that our government should be shut down and our country default on the debts voted on and incurred by prior representatives"

    We had that vote in November 2012. The shutdown/debt default mess, as shown by documents widely available online, is in fact the GOP/Teatrolls' planned "strategery" response to not having won the Senate and/or WH and trying to find a way to make an end-run around the election results, and their legislative powerlessness that resulted from it, by taking the gov't and world economy hostage.

    October 9, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. HenryMiller

    "For any of you who have not noticed, Obamacare has already passed both houses of congress..."

    Well, it wouldn't pass now. We've changed our minds. (Actually, that's not true—a majority of the American people never wanted Obamacare.)

    October 9, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. Ol' Yeller

    Gov’t Shutdown day 9: What you need to know...
    John Boner (and all you other Boners) need to quit blaming Obama for the failure of leadership in the House. Let's have a quick civics lesson... Congress votes on a bill and sends it to the President for his signature, or he can veto it. John Boner has NOT sent the President a bill to either sign or veto as he refuses to bring it to a vote (hint; see step one).
    Where does it say in our Constitution that Congress has the right to NOT vote on a bill until their demands are met? If they don't vote on a bill... that is completely their fault- namely the Speaker. Boner is Speaker. Therefore Boner is to blame (it ain't rocket science, ya'll)
    Quit blaming Obama for John Boner's failure to vote on a bill and send it to him for his signature or veto.
    You can proceed with your whining about Obama when Boner passes a bill and the President vetos it (that's pretty funny... republicants not whining... hee, ha,ha... Whew, I crack myself up sometimes)

    October 9, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
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