CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 15, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: AMERICA’S RATING ON WARNING… Fitch warns of possible downgrade of U.S. AAA credit rating, citing risk of default from 'political brinkmanship:' “The U.S. risks being forced to incur widespread delays of payments to suppliers and employees, as well as social security payments to citizens – all of which would damage the perception of U.S. sovereign creditworthiness and the economy.”
HOUSE ‘EXPECTING’ TO VOTE TONIGHT: House Speaker John Boehner was "struggling" to come up with enough votes to pass a GOP counter-proposal to the Senate plan, a House Republican leadership aide and other sources told CNN's Dana Bash and Deirdre Walsh.
WHAT IS IN THE HOUSE GOP PLAN: House GOP sources say the they plan to bring a bill to the floor tonight that would include the following provisions: fund the government until Dec. 15 (a month earlier than a plan the Senate is discussing); raise the debt limit until Feb. 7 and not allow the Treasury Secretary to use extraordinary measures to extent that deadline; prohibit federal health care subsidies for members of Congress, their staff, the president, vice president, and administration officials and staff.
WHAT IS NOT IN THE HOUSE BILL: House Republicans have dropped two demands related to Obamacare from their proposal to end the fiscal stalemate in Washington, sources told CNN. These include a proposal to delay the medical device tax and another to tighten income verification of those seeking subsidies to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS SAY NO: “I cannot support that bill at this time,” Republican Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida told CNN’s Jake Tapper. Two key conservatives – Reps. Mick Mulvaney and Jim Jordan – were noncommittal when CNN’s Dana Bash asked them whether they would support the speaker’s deal. Heritage Action, the political arm of the political Heritage Foundation, has expectedly urged members to vote no.
SENATE ON HOLD: The Senate discussions are on hold while they await the House version, but Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who has been pushing her own version of a bill, just suggested that the Senate may also be in disarray, too. “It appears that they don’t have an agreement,” Collins told reporters, referring to Reid and McConnell.
UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS INCREASE AS SHUTDOWN CONTINUES… The number of furloughed federal government workers applying for unemployment assistance is continuing to rise as the partial government shutdown continues into its third week. In Maryland alone, almost 20,000 new applications from furloughed federal workers have been submitted, while over 5,000 applications have come in from furloughed workers in Virginia. In Washington, D.C., over 15,000 new requests for unemployment assistance have been filed in the past 15 days. – Laura Koran
THE BUZZ: CHENEY OUT-RAISES ENZI IN WYOMING PRIMARY: Senate challenger Liz Cheney tops incumbent Mike Enzi in the 3rd quarter fundraising contest, raking in $1,027,000, which beat incumbent Enzi’s haul of $847,646.
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks fall as debt ceiling deal talks hit a snag. Dow loses 134 points. NSADAQ sheds 0.6%. S&P trims 0.7%.
What president is credited with instituting the first affirmative action policy in the United States?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: For Senate leaders, bitter history morphs into working relationship on deal
Two opposing Senate leaders with a tense history are emerging as the key players in the latest deal to end the shutdown and extend the debt ceiling. With talks between House Republicans and the White House at a standstill, the negotiating spotlight's firmly on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. – Paul Steinhauser
Leading Drudge: More 'Ice Bombs' Found At Lax 'Near Planes'
Detectives Tuesday continued their efforts to find the suspect wanted for planting dry ice bombs around Los Angeles International Airport. One dry ice bomb exploded and two plastic bottles containing the dangerous material were found around 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Tom Bradley International Terminal in a restricted area, Los Angeles Police Department Det. Gus Villanueva said.
Leading HuffPo: House Chaos: 'Plan' Falls Apart
House Republicans made one last attempt to fund the government and lift the debt ceiling on their own terms Tuesday, but Democrats declared it was "doomed to failure," and it was unclear whether House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) even had the votes needed to pass it on his side. – Sabrina Siddiqui, Michael McAuliff and Luke Johnson
Leading Politico: Pressure rising on Boehner
Speaker John Boehner, who has wrestled with an unruly pack of conservatives for months, will soon be faced with an uncomfortable choice: Pass an emerging bipartisan Senate deal to lift the debt ceiling and fund the government, or don’t — and risk massive political and economic consequences. – Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan
Leading The New York Times: Senate Women Lead in Effort to Find Accord
Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, frustrated with the lack of progress on the government shutdown, put together a bipartisan group to move things along. – Jonathan Weisman and Jennifer Steinhauer
The political bites of the day
– Rush goes scorched earth on GOP –
RUSH LIMBAUGH ON HIS SYNDICATED TALK SHOW: “They think the last 15 days have eliminated any chance they've got of winning any elections in 2014 and 2016, and I am not kidding. They think Cruz and Lee and the people that led this have doomed them, and they are defeated. They are out of strategies. It's just mind-boggling that they don't have the long view, that they don't understand the seeds that they're planting right now.”
– The Senate waits, debates –
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID IN A SPEECH ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “This bill that they're sending over here is doomed to failure. It's doomed to failure legislatively and it’s so awful, awful, awful for our country.”
REPUBLICAN SEN. JOHN MCCAIN OF ARIZONA IN A SPEECH ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “The speaker of the House has come forward with what we believe is a plan which would reopen the government, extend the debt limit and has several other provisions in it. And the reaction to that has been condemnation, immediate, automatic condemnation by the majority leader, by the White House, by the Democrats in the House. I don't understand that. I don't understand that visceral reaction in a most negative fashion.”
– We may have already defaulted –
FELIX SALMON, AN OPINION COLUMNIST FOR REUTERS: "Right now, with the shutdown, we’ve already reached the point at which the government is breaking very important promises indeed: we promised to pay hundreds of thousands of government employees a certain amount on certain dates, in return for their honest work. We have broken that promise. Indeed, by Treasury’s own definition, it’s reasonable to say that we have already defaulted: surely, by any sensible conception, the salaries of government employees constitute 'legal obligations of the US.'"
– Obama awards Medal of Honor, says our nations needs this –
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AWARDS THE MEDAL OF HONOR TO U.S. ARMY CAPTAIN WILLIAM SWENSON: “I think our nation needs this ceremony today. In moments like this, American’s like Will remind us of what our country can be at its best, a nation of citizens who look out for one another, who meet our obligations to one another not just when it's easy, but when it's hard, maybe especially because it's hard.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Pew Research Center (@pewresearch)
Share of voters (38%) who do not want their OWN representative reelected as high as it's been in two decades http://pewrsr.ch/16Kzcsg
Neil King (@NKingofDC)
RedState weighs in, with glee: "GOP Leaders, by caving, are signaling they want us to primary them." http://www.redstate.com/2013/10/11/get-out-your-checkbook-now/ … via @ewerickson
Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis)
Oh, the irony that the House R's final big demand is something supported by...Elizabeth Warren. http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115184/real-shutdown-winner-lobbyists …
Michael Martinez (@MMartinezCNN)
Bob Filner pleads guilty to all three charges against him in a deal with prosecutors http://lnkd.in/bsDYQMD
amy walter (@amyewalter)
yikes! new analysis finds 99.6% of visitors to http://healthcare.gov didn't actually enroll in ACA. Via @CMAGAdFacts http://us.kantar.com/public-affairs/policy/aca-open-enrollment-stats/
Reince Priebus (@Reince)
$400 million in taxpayer $. 55 contractors. Yet #ObamaCare site “isn’t even ready for beta testing.” http://cbsloc.al/17rgEKb #FireSebelius
The Fix (@TheFix)
Mitt Romney won white voters by 20 points. In new WaPo poll, 74% of whites disapprove of GOP handling of shutdown. http://ow.ly/pPZeG
Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN)
Tareq Salahi wants Virginians to write his name in for governor. His pitch to voters: He is "Not so Bad after All!" https://twitter.com/SalahiTareq/status/390123132016545792
Amanda Terkel (@aterkel)
William Howard Taft "employed a personal trainer, known at the time as 'a physical culture man.'" http://nyti.ms/171qNTw
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
The Supreme Court on Tuesday confronted one of its biggest cases of the term so far, another high-profile challenge to affirmative action in college admissions. The justices were asked to decide the constitutionality of a voter referendum in Michigan banning race- and sex-based discrimination or preferential treatment in public university admission decisions.
Since its inception, affirmative action - or the act factoring in someone’s "race, color, religion, sex or national origin" into consideration in academics and hiring – has been controversial.
The practice was first established by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, when the Democratic president issued Executive Order 10925 that mandated government contractors "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin."
It is unclear if Kennedy intended the mandate to extend beyond government contractors, however it was seen at the time as a symbol of Kennedy's efforts to provide opportunity to everyone.
In 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson recommitted to affirmative action with his own executive order.
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Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) wins two days in a row. Can someone challenge him tomorrow?
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