October 9th, 2013
02:28 PM ET
12 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. Doctor Fine

    Obama should show some guts and have the Republicans arrested for treason. They are in clear violation of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution which says that holding hostage to the debt obligations of the US is treason.

    Send the Justice Department over tho Congress and put on some handcuffs. That would get this garbage nonsense moving...

    October 9, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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.
    -------------------------------------------------
    There is only one way to look at it Lynda and that way is the sum total of 1,2, 3, and 4, combined.
    Same goal different method: take THIS President down with complete disregard to the impact it has on the nation.
    You know it, I know it, and evidently they don't care who knows it.
    We get it.
    I think that it is good for the President to continue to take every possible opportunity to plant his face in front of a tv camera and keep us abreast. It completely neutralizes the GOP's most effective weapon, the dissemination of misinformation, aka as lies, and the promulgation of fear.
    People are emulating the President in remaining relatively calm in the face of what could prove to be catastrophic for our domestic and global economy; the GOP has not been able either through the media or their usual mouthpieces to get folks worked up and blurry-visioned. We're focused, we know who's f'ing things up, we know why,and what we're going to do about it just as soon as we somebody puts a ballot in our hands.
    The President is leading us through this unnecessary recklessness courtesy of the cray-cray minority in the House and John Boehner's ineffectiveness in a leadership position.

    October 9, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. Mike

    The GOP is not FOR anything. They are only against what the Tea Party tells them to be against.

    October 9, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    The president again said he would not negotiate on the debt ceiling or government funding. Boehner’s retort: “The long and short of it is there’s going to be a negotiation here.”
    ----------------------------
    Republicans are being totally dishonest by making the accusation that Pres. Obama will not negotiate. It would be more accurate to say that the Democrats will not re-negotiate. House Republicans had passed their original bill that fully funded the government at the spending level that they desired, and the Senate Democrats agreed to it without a fight over the numbers.

    The Senate did remove the amendment that defunded the ACA because the Republicans were not giving up an inch on anything. The Tea Party wanted a fight over the spending levels, which they feel they can easily win, but they didn't get one. I guess someone said, "That was easy. Let's go for more. Obamacare. Go for it"

    Democrats refused to re-negotiate the funding bill over Obamacare. Hopefully, you will now understand why Harry Reid made the remark, "Speaker Boehner cannot take 'yes' for an answer." What he should have also said was that the Tea Party had reneged on the deal, and wanted to renegotiate a bigger bite.

    October 9, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Ol' Yeller

    Why should President Obama negotiate with Boner? He cannot deliver the votes, he is not the leader of the House at this time (Cruz is calling the shots), and Boner has not proven that a clean bill will not pass. What is there to negotitate? Either send a bill for the President's signature or veto and quit playing politics.
    This is not a game (didn't somebody already say that?)

    October 9, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    "People are emulating the President in remaining relatively calm in the face of what could prove to be catastrophic for our domestic and global economy; the GOP has not been able either through the media or their usual mouthpieces to get folks worked up and blurry-visioned. We're focused, we know who's f'ing things up, we know why,and what we're going to do about it just as soon as we somebody puts a ballot in our hands."

    Oh absolutely. Great post. It is beginning to remind me of October – November 2012. We talked. We planned our strategy. We voted.

    October 9, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  7. Ol' Yeller

    @Henry Miller
    "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.)"
    No we haven't... we re-elected Obama. If we had changed our mind, Romney would have won by a landslde like he did in FAUX World.
    Quit living in FAUX world. Either face reality or get some meds. You can sign up online for some affordable insurance to help you out if needed.

    October 9, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. kay

    Doctor Fine wrote:

    "Obama should show some guts and have the Republicans arrested for treason. They are in clear violation of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution which says that holding hostage to the debt obligations of the US is treason.

    Send the Justice Department over tho Congress and put on some handcuffs. That would get this garbage nonsense moving..."

    I AGREE. Besides, the argument that most people don't like obamacare (so get rid of it) is ridiculous. Most people don't like congress either and I see no one trying to get rid of them.

    October 9, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
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