October 10th, 2013
10:31 AM ET
11 months ago

Showdown lowdown Day 10: The latest

(CNN) – While there are fresh signs of movement between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, nothing is settled yet. As talks heat up, part of the government is still closed and it’s a day closer to when the Obama administration warns of a potential default on U.S. debt.

Up to speed:

"A useful and productive conversation."

That's how House Republican leaders characterized their meeting with President Barack Obama in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on Thursday.

The good news is that they're still talking, contrasted with the last White House meeting when they had little to say.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, one of the Republican leaders at the White House meeting, said "we want to move quickly" and that Obamacare did not come up in "any substantive way" in their discussion. He said that both sides were working in good faith to resolve their differences.

The Republican proposal:

Republicans earlier proposed to raise the debt ceiling for as long as six weeks to allow more time to negotiate a longer-term deal. In exchange, Republicans want a conference committee with members of both parties to work on a large deal addressing undefined “pressing problems.”

Obama has indicated that he would be open to a short-term extension but with no strings attached. The White House also said Obama wants the government reopened.

Short-term debt ceiling proposal on lawmakers' minds

Obamacare 'off the table'

House Republicans, and notably Ted Cruz in the Senate, led the fight against Obama's signature health care law. They made defunding or delaying Obamacare a demand in legislation the House repeatedly sent to the Democratic-controlled Senate, only to see it die there.

Apparently, it's now dead in the House, too.

"That's currently off the table now," Republican Rep. James Lankford said in an interview on "The Lead with Jake Tapper." "That's obviously not going to happen at this point."

Lankford did say that Republicans will now instead ask for a one-year delay on penalties for those who don't sign up for health care insurance.

Opinion: Obstructing government from Huey Long to Ted Cruz

The back story

CNN’s Chief Political Analyst, Gloria Borger, provides a must-read on how the stalemate got to this point.

“[T]he House GOP scheme, abetted by [Republican Senator Ted] Cruz and outside conservatives, will become a case for the civics classes. A study of the newly perverse politics of our time, and how a government was brought to its knees over a fight only a few wanted to wage - that everyone secretly knew could never be won,” Borger wrote.

Debt debate deconstructed

Some lawmakers don’t believe the United States will default once the debt ceiling is lifted. Among them is Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. He said the United States won’t default because it should prioritize its payments, putting payments on interest on the debt and Social Security at the top of the list.

“I wish we had a president who would take on the responsibility of the office, sit down with us, and address the fundamental problems that cause us to keep borrowing so much money,” Toomey said.

Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren, rebutted Toomey’s argument. She said paying only some of the bills is default.

“We are not a country of anarchists. We are not a country of pessimists and ideologues whose motto is ‘I got mine; the rest of you are on your own.’ We are not a country that tolerates dangerous drugs, unsafe meat, dirty air or toxic mortgages. We are not that nation,” Warren said.

Are the debt deniers right?

Stop fixating on October 17 – the date the Obama administration says is the debt ceiling deadline.

Here’s what October 17 means: Even if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling in the next week, the Treasury Department in all likelihood could continue to pay bills in full beyond that time - but not for very long.

Because at that point, it will be using the estimated $30 billion in cash it will have on hand, plus whatever daily revenue comes in. It will no longer be able to borrow to make up the difference between expenses and revenue.

The true cash crunch will come sometime by November 1, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Five debt ceiling deniers in their own words

Pay for play

The Interior Department announced Thursday it will consider working with governors who have offered to use state funds to open national parks during the shutdown.

All 401 national parks have been closed and 20,000 National Park Service employees have been furloughed because of the shutdown. States are feeling the pain because the parks are major tourist hubs that drive local economies.

Governors and local officials in several states including Utah, Arizona, California, South Dakota, and Wyoming have sought alternative solutions to keep their parks open.

Rep. Paul Ryan is back

He’s got a design for a grand bargain, but it’s getting flak from both sides, particularly the right.

The furlough update

Is your favorite – or least favorite – government agency functioning?

Who is not working and not getting paid? And who is getting paid?

66,000: The number of additional unemployment claims filed last week. The highest single week increase since Superstorm Sandy.

The Dow posted its biggest gain of 2013 on hopes of a debt ceiling deal. It surged 323.09 points, closing at 15,126.07.

What’s closed and what’s not

Obamacare. Is that still around?

Yep. The Republicans haven’t dismantled it. The Internet black hole hasn’t swallowed it. And the White House is simultaneously working to beat off Republican critics and software glitches.

CNN’s Brian Todd reported that a government official defended the administration’s decision to launch the healthcare.gov despite warnings that it wasn’t ready to go live. “When you launch a new piece of technology, regardless of testing, there are bound to be issues, and we are working vigorously to correct them,” the official said.

Subject closed...again

The Senate closed an ugly chapter in the shutdown fight on Thursday although some thought it was already closed.

It unexpectedly approved House-passed legislation to restore military death benefits for survivors that were cut due to the shutdown.

Republican senators pushed to have the bill passed despite a plan finalized by the Obama administration the day before Fisher House, a private charity, cover the cost of the benefits until the shutdown is resolved.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the push by Republicans was "unnecessary" because benefits were now flowing, but said he would not block a unanimous consent agreement proposed by Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas.

"This issue is largely moot. It's clear the action on this legislation is just for show," Reid said.

Citizens step up

Some citizens aren’t standing by and complaining about a government shutdown. Instead, they are filling the void.

– A South Carolinian mowed parts of the National Mall and picked up trash.

– A food bank delivers food to stranded workers inside the Grand Canyon.

– Food Lion donated $500,000 to families locked out of food stamps in North Carolina

– A restaurant in Indiana is allowing IOUs and temporary jobs to furloughed government employees.


Filed under: Government Shutdown
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Wilson

    Not that I'm a big fan of republicans anymore but:
    Responding to the people's will, House Republicans first voted to fund all of government – except Obamacare. Obama refused to negotiate and Senate Democrats refused to pass it.

    Then the Republicans voted to fully fund the government, but merely delay the implementation of Obamacare for one year. Obama refused to negotiate and Senate Democrats refused to pass it.

    Finally, the Republicans voted to fully fund the government, but added a requirement that everyone live under Obamacare. No more special waivers for Congress and their staff, and no waivers for big business without the same waivers for individuals.

    Obama refused to negotiate and Senate Democrats refused to pass it. So as you can see, Republicans are the big holdup here.
    $

    October 10, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. Peoples State of Illinois

    If you are in the minority of Americans not already unalterably opposed to Obamacare, keep in mind that the only reason the government is shut down right now is that Democrats refuse to fund the government if they are required to live under Obamacare.

    That's how good it is!
    $

    October 10, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  3. rs

    The latest? GOP favorability rating at an all-time low of 28% (lower than their last big shutdown gambit in the '90s), and has a blanket unapproval rate of 62% according to yesterday's Gallup poll.They're through.
    *Mission Accomplished!*

    October 10, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. Data Driven

    "A government was brought to its knees over a fight that only a few wanted to wage - that everyone secretly knew could never be won"

    Everyone except CNN, apparently, which has treated the whole thing as a "debate".

    Anyway: "Shutdown lowdown Day 10"? Why am I reminded of those introductory graphics for those mock Onion newscasts, in which F-14 fighters fly over D.C. landmarks dropping bombs?

    October 10, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    -Peoples State of Illinois

    If you are in the minority of Americans not already unalterably opposed to Obamacare, keep in mind that the only reason the government is shut down right now is that Democrats refuse to fund the government if they are required to live under Obamacare.

    That's how good it is!
    $
    ********************
    people also are unalterably opposed to the tactics the GOP has employed to get their point across, which explains why the GOP is not winning this fight, no matter how much they try to spin it. When they refused 17 times to negotiate with the Democrats regarding these issue last Spring and Summer, and allowed Cruz to block thie idea of a conference committee, the GOP/TP revealed itself for what it is: selfish, short-sighted, manipulative.

    October 10, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. Larry in Houston

    I'll bet a dollar against anybody's Dime – the Boehner will finally get the deadbeats that are in his party – ( the extremists) Boehner will end up agreeing to raising the debt limit –

    He's going to end up agreeing to raising the debt limit – he has to, & he knows it.
    according to all the polls – he knows that his party is going to take the biggest hit.

    I think one of the biggest reasons that his party is going to take the "hit" so to speak)
    is because when Obama made that speech the other day – (remember that almost 60 minute speech) it carried on all the networks + CNN + Fox.

    When Boehner gave his re-buttal, it only carried on CNN + Fox.
    Bottom line : Obama not only had more coverage, but it had an impact on the so called "polls"

    October 10, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Rep. Paul Ryan is back - He’s got a design for a grand bargain, but it’s getting flak from both sides, particularly the right."

    Paul Ryan will be lucky if he is still employed by the United States government after November 2014.

    "Obamacare. Is that still around?"

    Oh, indeed it is. As the article states ... Obamacare hasn't yet been gobble up by the powerful Brothers-Koch 6,000 strong paid talking point brigade.

    October 10, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  8. Data Driven

    @Wilson,

    "Responding to the people's will"

    LOL. The election last year, in which Obama was reelected handily, the Senate stayed Blue, and the GOP lost 8 seats in the House, was a far truer indication of the people's will.

    Too bad for you! Please try again! Win an election next time!

    October 10, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  9. Malory Archer

    Any temporary "deal" should include language that states in no uncertain terms that NOBODY on DC goes home for the holidays if this matter isn't settled PRIOR to the end of the extension.

    October 10, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. Bessy

    No temp. fixes. Lets get this thing fixed permanently. Temp. fixes just continues to play a game.

    October 10, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  11. Sniffit

    "Then the Republicans voted to fully fund the government, but merely delay the implementation of Obamacare for one year. Obama refused to negotiate and Senate Democrats refused to pass it."

    No. The Senate put the bill through the proper Senate processes and procedures, voting to remove the provision delaying the ACA, and then properly returned the amended "clean" bill to the House for the House to vote on it, as they should. Knowing that the "clean" bill would pass, with every Dem voting for it and several GOP members voting for it, Boehner has refused to allow it to come to the floor for a vote. Get that? Let it sink in: The Speaker of the House is refusing to allow a proper vote on legislation because it would receive a majority of the votes and pass, working the will of the majority of Americans as represented by their congressmen.

    October 10, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. Sniffit

    "added a requirement that everyone live under Obamacare. "

    No they didn't. The House were the ones trying to give federal employees "special treatment"...special NEGATIVE treatment. "Living under Obamacare" is not defined as "you have to buy your insurance from the exchanges without subsidies available to everyone else and your large employer is legally prohibited from contributing to your health insurance." "Living under Obamacare" is in fact defined as "your large employer is required by law to provide and contribute to your health insurance or pay a penalty and if you're stuck buying on the exchanges, you are eligible for subsidies if you qualify."

    October 10, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. Amy

    Best Teachers

    The best teachers most of us ever had were not always the nice ones who let the class do as they please and assign no homework, the best ones are the ones who pushed us to be better to do better and they didn't care if they were well liked by the class. This is what the government needs to be. Throw out the chance of re-election, after this mess it may not even be an issue. Concentrate on what is best for the country, not each person, each political party, each economic range of people. For the COUNRTY, not the company's who put money into your campaign. The COUNTRY. You are making yourselves and OUR COUNTRY look bad.

    October 10, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. rs

    If you are in the minority of Americans not already unalterably opposed to Obamacare, keep in mind that the only reason the government is shut down right now is that Democrats refuse to fund the government if they are required to live under Obamacare.
    ____________________________
    Funny how the Right feels itself immune to the laws of the land. The ACA was written, debated (including the GOP's "Individual Mandate", and having the single payer option removed), voted on, signed by the President and affirmed by the Supreme Court- yet it doesn't apply to them. For people who claim to rvere the U.S. Constitution, and the processes of government, taking the funds of the government hostage is at best a strange and irrational response (echoed by many on the Right). Sir, I think you have drunk too deeply from that little pot of radicalism, and simply fail to recognize you are no longer a patriot, but simply anti-American, and anti-government rabble.

    October 10, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. Gunderson

    Dang,
    Old Gunderson have go welfare office, collect Government Funny Money 'fore they cut water off. Old Gunderson no want be like Pain in rain with no brain. Glad you all listen old Gunderson.

    October 10, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. rs

    If you are in the minority of Americans not already unalterably opposed to Obamacare, keep in mind that the only reason the government is shut down right now is that Democrats refuse to fund the government if they are required to live under Obamacare.
    ___________________________________________
    Hey Ray- You PAY for your ACA insurance. You still haven't answered: So what is healthcare system in the "Olde Country", eh?

    October 10, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. the hippies were right

    @Wilson & Peoples State of Illinois, Give up. ($)

    October 10, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Wilson

    Not that I'm a big fan of republicans anymore but:
    Responding to the people's will, House Republicans first voted to fund all of government – except Obamacare. Obama refused to negotiate and Senate Democrats refused to pass it.
    -----------------------------
    No, there was an agreement in place for a clean bill that used the Republicans' spending levels. Let me repeat that another way, the Democrats conceded to the Republican spending cuts in exchange for a clean bill. But the initial bill that came out of the House reneged on the deal. The Tea Party got greedy. They added an amendment to "defund Obamacare", which the Senate Democrts removed and sent back to them. That initial clean bill from the Senate, which reflects the orignal agreement with Boehner, awaits a House vote.

    The agreed upon bill

    October 10, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. Boomer in Mo

    Too much money is the root of most evil and there way too much money in American politics. It has made both parties and most elected officials evil. This is all about lining their pockets with special interest money. Nothing less and nothing more.

    October 10, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. Dan Hill, Veteran

    Congressional pay protected by 25th or 27th Amendment. That said, we could lose our retired pay, disability pay, and social security unless they wake up and stop bickering over who gets the last slice of pie. Wake up America!!! Write your "elected" and send them copies of your bills demanding they pay them because you don't have the money to. Then come election time, vote them out office for someone who is sincerely for the people. Stand up and be counted.

    October 10, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  21. are122

    Obama gave businesses an extension on Obama care...refusing to offer the same to the public (I suspect pressure from insurance companies). Republicans should have let it go thru. It needs modifications but time will take care of that. Obama care cannot survive as is.

    October 10, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  22. Sniffit

    The GOP/Teatrolls actually changed the rules of the game so they could make sure the gov't was shut down.

    The normal procedure in the House, written right into the rules, is that when there is disagreement between the House and Senate bills any member of the House could force a vote on the Senate's bill (it's called "privileged," because all members have the "privilege" of moving to force the vote). On September 30, 2013, right before the shutdown, the GOP/Teatrolls in control of the House Rules Committee CHANGED THE RULES for the continuing resolution so that only the Speaker or "his designee" could do that, GUARANTEEING that the GOP/Teatrolls would be in control of whether the Senate bill received a vote in the House. They did this so they could make absolutely sure that they could force the gov't to shutdown by preventing any votes on a "clean" bill.

    October 10, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  23. Thomas

    Mr Speaker , put a clean spending bill up for a vote NOW !

    Where is Ted Cruz , Green Eggs An Ham ?

    October 10, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  24. Sniffit

    Oh, and the best part? When the Dems on October 2, 2013 appealed the change of the rules, Boehner tabled the appeal, refusing to let even that come to a vote.

    October 10, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. obotmama

    obama said to be in tears and ready to agree to anything after missing vacations two weeks in a row!!the only thing keeping him from quitting is the nightly celebrity parties at the white house!!

    October 10, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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