Washington (CNN) - The U.S. is well into the ninth day of a government shutdown. House Republicans tied defunding or delaying Obamacare to the funding of the government, effectively leading to the shutdown.
But Republicans are saying – and it seems to have some resonance – that President Obama's message is: "I’m not negotiating." That's just not how this works. Republicans point out there have been previous negotiations over both opening the government and the debt ceiling.
Is the Democratic Party doing anything to acknowledge the reality of where the U.S. is, and trying to figure out a way to get out of it together?
"There are conversations under way as to what we will discuss, you know, what we will negotiate over, what things will be on the table. But what we said is – open the government, pay our bills and let's have this honest conversation," said Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, of Illinois, who serves as Senate Majority Whip.
Washington (CNN) - A repeal of the medical device tax may be a point of compromise between the House and Senate as the two houses of Congress work to end the government shutdown, the number two Democrat in the Senate said Tuesday.
"We can work on something, I believe, on the medical device tax. That was one of the proposals from Republicans, as long as we replace the revenue," Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said on CNN's "New Day."
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday proposed an alternative way to avert a government shutdown, saying the two chambers of Congress should go to conference on the short-term spending bill at the center of the current stalemate.
"Why don't we have a conference committee on this? You could appoint one today. They could meet tomorrow and hash out the differences. That's the way it's supposed to work," he said on CBS's "Face the Nation."
(CNN) – The No. 2 Democrat in the Senate criticized the National Rifle Association for cheering the defeat of a recent bipartisan gun control measure and expressed hope that the “political sentiment” will change in the upper chamber so the legislation can be brought up again.
“The National Rifle Association can go to Texas and celebrate defeating that measure, but they certainly shouldn’t celebrate when they look at the carnage that takes place virtually every day in America because convicted felons have guns,” Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
(CNN) - Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, part of the bipartisan Gang of Eight senators pushing immigration reform, said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he agrees with Republican Sen. Marco Rubio that their bill may need some improvement but argued that they need to “stand by the basic agreement” of the legislation.
The Democrat from Illinois said, however, that he would support a same-sex provision in immigration reform, a plan that could undermine bipartisan support for the bill introduced last month.
(CNN) - Another senator raised concerns on Sunday about taking up the new bipartisan immigration reform bill following last week's terror attack in Boston. The two suspects - one of whom was killed in a shootout with police, the other is in federal custody - came to the country legally more than a decade ago.
Republican Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana said Sunday that Congress should wait until the emotional reaction to the violence subsides before tackling immigration legislation.
Washington (CNN) – Democrats apparently have one less thing to worry about as they try to keep control of the Senate in 2014: Dick Durbin isn't retiring.
A source familiar with the Senate majority whip's thinking confirms to CNN that Durbin next year will seek a fourth term in office. There was recent speculation that the Illinois Democrat, 68, would not run for re-election in 2014.
(CNN) – Maybe Congress really is going to the dogs.
A bipartisan pair of senators re-introduced a bill Wednesday that would regulate the online sale of puppies.
(CNN) - Lawmakers from both parties and both chambers of Congress agreed Sunday that if sequestration budget cuts go into effect next month, there will be a negative impact on the economy and the country as a whole.
In separate appearances on NBC's "Meet The Press," Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, both said they don't want the sequester cuts to take place. They suggested different ways to deal with the series of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts, spread out over the next decade, which are set to kick in on March 1.
(CNN) - Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, a longtime friend of President Barack Obama, said Tuesday the president was "surprised" in last week's debate against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
"He was shocked and surprised, many of us were. Mitt Romney came on that set at the first debate and said things which completely contradicted what he'd said in the campaign before. I think it caught the president a little bit by surprise. He won't be surprised again," Durbin said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."