October 15th, 2013
09:15 PM ET
10 months ago

Shutdown lowdown day 15: What you need to know

(CNN) – A dramatic day began in the Senate and ended there following a series of excruciating twists and turns in the House.

Speaker John Boehner failed to round up enough support to pass a leadership plan to end the shutdown and avert a possible debt default, so it was never put to a vote.

Emboldened conservatives want more substance, and Boehner instead kicked it all to the Senate, which had suspended its own talks on a compromise to first see if anything would pass the House.

President Barack Obama said Boehner can’t control his caucus while the President had House Democrats over to the White House where Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said her conference was buttoned up tight in opposition to the Republican plan.

As night fell and the House initiative fell apart, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell resumed talks on their effort that supporters hope will garner enough bipartisan backing to ultimately pass and pressure reciprocal action in the House – with Democrats and a strong enough helping of Republicans going along.

But things must happen quickly and there’s new and serious pressure bearing down on the Capitol. The Obama administration says it runs out of borrowing authority on Thursday and Wall Street is now pretty spooked. Stocks snapped a win streak and a major bond rating house, Fitch, is talking downgrade of the gold-plated U.S. credit rating unless Congress acts immediately.

Here’s what you need to know:

Up to speed

Boehner pulled the bill and the Senate went home – although talks continued at the staff level.

Key components of the ill-fated House bill, according to multiple sources:

-Fund the government through December 15
-Increase the debt ceiling until February 7
-Prohibit federal health care subsidies for members of Congress, their staff, the President, Vice President and administration officials and staff.
-Prohibit the Treasury Department to implement “extraordinary measures” to extend the debt ceiling deadline.

Republicans dropped demands to include two other provisions related to Obamacare. One would have delayed a tax on medical devices and the other would have tightened income verification of those seeking subsidies to purchase health insurance.

The main components of the Senate plan, which House Republicans have panned.

-Fund the government until January 15
-Extend the debt limit until February 7
-Set up a committee to address budget and entitlement issues by December 15
-Create income verification for health care subsidies

But a hand shake between the two Senate leaders is a major, but only one, step in the process.

What’s next? Deal is just the start

Watch out in the Senate. Any agreement must still clear its procedural hurdles where tea party darling, Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, might still have something to say. Boehner has to sign off and pass it through the raucous House. Then, of course, Obama, who meets with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Wednesday, has to sign off. A whole host of things – filibusters and amendments – could slow it down, bringing Congress’ action awfully close to Thursday’s debt limit deadline.

Deal decoded

CNN’s John King laid out on CNN’s ‘New Day’ the enticements for Republicans and Democrats to sign on.

For the Democrats: “They get the government reopened pretty quickly and the debt ceiling extended for a couple moths. The House Republicans… believe there are very few concessions.”

For the Republicans: “[Y]ou can reopen the government, extend the debt ceiling and put this story behind you. You hope they can make up for the political damage already.”

But King said the right wing of the Republican Party, including Redstate.com, is already advising Republicans to “reject this deal.”

Debt Refresher

Debt default fears haven’t gone away yet

If the debt ceiling is hit, the government can’t pay about one-third of the billions of dollars worth of bills it has each day. The major things at risk of being paid out include Social Security, Medicaid and interest payments on the debt.

By the numbers

$20 billion: The amount economist Mark Zandi said the government shutdown and debt ceiling fears have cost the American economy.

1,000: Number of consumer safety inspections by the Consumer Product Safety Commission that have been halted.

74: The percent of respondents who blame the Republican Party for the government crisis, according to a fresh poll from ABC News and the Washington Post.

61: The percent of respondents who disapprove of Congressional Democrats

53: The percent who disapprove of the President.

3.8 million: The number of veterans who might not get their benefits on November 1 if Congress doesn’t resolve the stalemate soon.

Wall Street: The Dow closed down 133 points.

World chastises U.S. as debt ceiling looms

Citizens stepping up

Along with the threat of losing benefits, the government shutdown has also exasperated a long-standing problem The Veterans Affairs Departments disability claims backlog has gone up, with 435,000 vets now have longer wait times as applications are slowed because the agency has had to stop paying overtime to processors working through the applications.

A coalition of 33 veterans groups holds a rally in Washington today to protest the shutdown.

In Hawaii, two weeks of the shutdown has left the Arizona Memorial grounds unkempt. Members of the military spent Monday cleaning and grooming it, KOHN reports.

Decay

The shutdown is having a deleterious effect on Michelle Obama’s Veggie Garden, according to the Obama Foodorama blog.

Outrage(s) of the Day

Senator Barbara Boxer, D-California, on the Senate floor “I have to say, when you start acting like you’re committing domestic abuse, you’ve got a problem. ‘I love you dear, but you know, I’m shutting down your entire government. I love you dear, but I’m going to default and you’re going to be weak.’ Something is dreadfully wrong.”

Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch at weekend tea party rally: "I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up.”


Filed under: Congress • Debt • Government Shutdown
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    "House Republicans have already said that they won’t support the Senate’s concoction."

    Pretty much all you need to know right there. Obama will have to (illegally, but correctly) pay the bills himself, or throw the "tea party" cabal in gaol for threatening the security of the United States.

    Welcome to war.

    October 15, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are “this” close to a deal to reopen the government and extend the debt limit. "
    -------------------------–
    Is Sen. McConnell speaking for Ted Cruz if and when he shakes hands on a deal with Sen. Reid?

    October 15, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "But King said the right wing of the Republican Party, including Redstate.com, is already advising Republicans to “reject this deal.”

    Redstate.com? Larry Klayman? Might just as well add Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck to the list. These are the shakers and movers of the Grand New Republican Party. Anti-American ... each and every one of them.

    That being said, I don't see an "agreement" between the two party's in the near future. Ted Cruz is betting on no deal emerging. The moderate Republican, you ask? Ha. Too busy shaking in their shoes for fear Cruz and Company will target them next.

    THIS is what happens when one party has spent the past three decades running on nothing but fear and anger. They begin to scare themselves.

    October 15, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. Gurgyl

    No touching Obamacare. Be careful. GOP thugs are crazy. CNN, publish all. Do not be bribed from GOP idiots.

    October 15, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. Jules

    If I'm the Senate and the President, I take the part of the House bill that says that the president and the cabinet members and the legislators use the exchanges and get rid of the rest from the House bill and send it back,. Let's see what the House GOP does with that – it would be really interesting.

    October 15, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. Keith ..... in Oregon

    I knew right away I was going to read an unbiased "report" instead of an opinion when I read the first sentence.

    "On the 15th day of this manufactured crisis". Way to go CNN, might as well get your bias right out in front. Although I guess you could make a good case for the President having made this into a crisis.

    October 15, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. rs

    The GOP has declared war on the U.S. The ACA is off the table and they are determined to make the U.S. default on its financial obligations. Meanwhile, these fools parade around under confederate flags. Time for handcuffs and federal marshalls. The GOP is now an enemy combatant.

    October 15, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. Leo

    Looking at what this article states what the House Republicans would add on, it's actually not that bad. Semi reasonable given everything that has happened so far, but I doubt the reality is that simplified?

    October 15, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Keith ..... in Oregon

    I knew right away I was going to read an unbiased "report" instead of an opinion when I read the first sentence.

    "On the 15th day of this manufactured crisis". Way to go CNN, might as well get your bias right out in front. Although I guess you could make a good case for the President having made this into a crisis.
    ---------------------------
    It became an undeniably manufactured crisis the day Senators Paul and McConnell were caught on an open microphone discussing false talking points to make the shutdown seem to be the Democrats' fault.

    October 15, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  10. carol green

    This whole thing is a joke and something that the Republicans are pushing saying the House will vote against it. I say that if this is not passed, that EVERYONE in the Senate, House, etc. NOT get paid either until a resolution has been found. Let them see how it is going to feel without getting a paycheck like hundreds of thousands of people will have to go through. If they stop social security and disability payments, they are going to have a revolution on their hands and then the people are going to speak and get rid of everyone in the White House.

    October 15, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  11. mark

    It is time to get rid of the house. We need only the senate. 427 members in the house are useless. We can save some money.

    October 15, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  12. Larry in Houston

    what a Joke – Just heard baynor & cantor on the mike – saying the same thing they've been saying for weeks.
    what a pitiful bunch – they are going to hold out – till the last hour – so they don't scare the Dow – LOL –
    what a farce those guys are – Hope Reed & company holds their heads in a Vise, as worthless as they are.

    October 15, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. NameJone Jonds

    Why aren't they reporting on this impeachment hearing headed by Michelle Bachman????

    October 15, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. Tucson Vet

    I do not understand why folks don't want others to have affordable health care. We are not a Christian Nation!

    October 15, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. rs

    Keith ..... in Oregon

    I knew right away I was going to read an unbiased "report" instead of an opinion when I read the first sentence.

    "On the 15th day of this manufactured crisis". Way to go CNN, might as well get your bias right out in front. Although I guess you could make a good case for the President having made this into a crisis.
    _____________________
    Sorry, sir. The GOP forced this crisis on America- and worse for the GOP 75% of Americans believe that fact.

    October 15, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  16. w l jones

    It appears a certian segment of a party need take a refeasher course in how a two party system in a Democratic country work. Stand back absurd might learn something. Bless.

    October 15, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  17. NJD

    Funny how Senator Cruz and the man who controls votes on the floor of House the majority leader Mr. Cantor (not, by the way Mr. Boenher who is 'only' the House Speaker) have close relationships with people in the investment banking business, like Goldman Sachs. Wonder if they are 'shorting' in some money market funds...

    October 15, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. Sniffit

    "Force members of Congress, the Cabinet and the President into the government health exchanges with no employee contribution or government subsidies."

    That is just spiteful nonsense and designed to deter would-be employees from becoming employees, i.e., more of the breaking gov't to prove it's broken. Forcing them to use the exchanges and not receive subsidies would make them the only employees of a large employer in the country whose employer is not only not required to provide their insurance (or pay a penalty), but actually prohibited from doing so AND leaves them ineligible, even if they otherwise qualify, for the subsidies. It is out of SPITE and constitutes an attempt by the GOP/Teatrolls to exempt the those employees from the benefits of the ACA and to exempt the gov't, with respect to those employees, from the requirements of the ACA.

    October 15, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  19. rs

    Facts:
    1. There were some in the GOP campaigned on shutting down the Government in 2010
    2. There were some in the GOP who ran on shutting down the Government in 2012
    3. The House GOP member who wrote the letter demanding a shutdown of the Government by Boehner in September was signed by 80 GOP House members
    4. procedural rules were re-written in September to allow a shutdown vote to occur
    5. On Oct. 1st, the House GOP shut down the Federal Government
    6. Between Oct. 1 and Monday, GOP approval ratings fell from 38% to 28%, with evidence it is even lower now. More imprtantly, more than 75% of Americans disapprove of the shutdown

    The GOP planned this little coup d'etat, and they executed it, and now they are paying the price. If they push our nation into default, they will not like the results.

    October 15, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  20. Sniffit

    The GOP/Teatrolls are attempting secession by destroying the federal gov't...nothing more, nothing less.

    October 15, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  21. Sniffit

    Bottom line and all you really need to know: The GOP/Teatrolls will do anything...ANYTHING...to keep the economy bad and cause dysfunction in the gov't while a Dem is in the WH and they don't control the Congress.

    October 15, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Theresa

    All of Congress be they Democrats or Republicans and the President don't really care at all. Why should they...they have paychecks, catered food, fitness center and golf course. The rest of us are trying to figure out how to pay our bills! " We The People" are paying for their inability to do the job we hired them for and our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves. The first clue should have been noted when they were allowed insider trading and the rest of us go to jail for doing it! They make laws and rules that most of us don't even know about. They are more interested in their political party lines and their own personal advantages. They give us lip-service about "this is what my constituents want". I doubt seriously if any of them have consulted any of the real people they represent, just the ones that give campaign funds. Actions speak louder than words! We as Americans boast we are so special and yet we can't even control our own government. Look at history, we are following the same pattern of other civilizations' downfall. Rome is burning and Nero is fiddling....and we are all standing around and watching.

    October 15, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  23. rs

    It is now time- Arrest the members of the TEA Party. They are extortionists and terroists working to harm the majority in America.

    October 15, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. Theresa/MD

    Congress and the President have their paychecks, catered meals, fitness center and golf courses. The rest of us are trying to pay our bills! We the People are suffering for their inability to do the job they were hired for and our Founding Fathers are rolling over in their graves! They give us lip-service that they are representing their constituents. Actions speak louder than words! Our country is following the historical down fall of other great civilizations. "Rome is burning and Nero is fiddling"....and we are watching.

    October 15, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  25. Ann C

    The House Republicans just don't get it....they are willing to shut down everything for what? Nothing, Obamacare is a fact get over it and move on. This country is far more complex than one law. Every House Republican and any Democrat who goes along with them should be impeached...Yes Tea Party talks about impeachment...let's IMPEACH the HOUSE!

    October 15, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
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