CNN's GUT CHECK for October 2, 2013
October 2nd, 2013
05:08 PM ET
7 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for October 2, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 2, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle


PRESIDENTIAL MEETING: President Barack Obama will meet with congressional leaders at 5:30 p.m. ET, the first time Speaker John Boehner and the president have met face-to-face since September 3. That meeting was about Syria. Obama and Boehner last spoke on the phone Monday evening – hours before the federal government shut down. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will also be in attendance for tonight’s meeting.

TONIGHT, ANOTHER PIECEMEAL ATTEMPT: The GOP-led House planned another round of votes on specific areas of the federal government such as veterans’ affairs and national parks despite the White House’s threat of a veto. – Tom Cohen

SIDELINED: Up to 800,000 federal workers facing life without a paycheck,

THE COST: The government shutdown is costing the economy roughly $300 million per working day, or $9.5 million per hour, according to IHS Global Insight.

THE OUTRAGE: Every week, hundreds of patients are admitted to new clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health. But as of Tuesday, these patients are being put on hold until the government resumes operation. Meet Michelle Langbehn. – Val Willingham

WHO IMPRESSES THE PRESIDENT? “I have been hugely impressed with the Pope’s pronouncements,” Obama said in an interview with CNBC.

THE BUZZ: WILL 2014 BE THE YEAR OF THE GRANDCHILD FOR HILLARY CLINTON? That's the plan, anyway, for daughter Chelsea Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky. In an interview with Glamour, Chelsea Clinton said the couple wants "to start a family." "So we decided we were going to make 2014 the Year of the Baby," Clinton said.

MARKET WATCH: Fear of a looming U.S. default takes toll on stocks. Dow ends 64 points lower. Nasdaq and S&P fall 0.1%

(Answer below)
Congress still gets paid during a government shutdown. How much does the average rank-and-file congressman/senator make per year?

MARK (@PrestonCNN) & DAN (@DanMericaCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

The U.S. is incredibly close to running out of money. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Congress Tuesday that his department is using "extraordinary measures" to ensure the government does not surpass its debt limit and that the last of those extraordinary measures have already started.

“There are no other legal and prudent options to extend the nation's borrowing authority,” after that, Lew wrote in a letter to Congress.

The date the country will surpass its debt limit: October 17.

"Since daily payments and daily revenue inflows vary from day to day, it's impossible to predict exactly when Treasury will come up short and be unable to pay everything that's due, putting the country at risk of default," CNN Money's Jeanne Sahadi writes about Lew's warnings.

The debt ceiling is the second wave in Washington's economic showdown on Capitol Hill, where it is possible the House and Senate could be debating to fund the government and raise the debt limit at the same time.

Popular opinion, according to a recent CNN/ORC poll, is in favor of raising the debt ceiling – but it is not overwhelming and there is a striking partisan divide.

According to the poll, 56% of Americans answered it would be a bad thing if the debt ceiling was not raised, while 38% said it would be a good thing.

Expectedly, 77% of Democrats say it would be a bad thing if the debt ceiling was not raised, while only 40% of Republicans agreed that it was bad. Independents were basically split on this question.

The debate over the government shutdown has become messy, vitriolic and divisive – and you need to look no further than this data to see the party divide on this issue.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Democrats, Republicans and the insane leap into the abyss
Listen to Democrats, and the government shutdown is a tale of recklessly stubborn Republicans driving the country into a chasm. Listen to Republicans, and it's a story of cleverly dogmatic Democrats who would rather see calamity than make a deal. But listen to many voters and you'll hear a question: How is it possible that both parties have failed so badly in the relatively simple task of keeping the federal government open for business? – Tom Foreman

Leading Drudge: WWII Vets Storm DC Memorial
A new wave of veterans were forced to move barricades at the WWII Memorial in Washington Wednesday morning to gain access during the government slimdown, a spokeswoman from Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., told – From Fox News

Leading HuffPo: 'Pigsty': Lawmakers Feeling The Heat Over The Shutdown
Lawmakers locked in a political stare-down Wednesday were buffeted by rising anger from across the nation about a partial government shutdown that ruined vacations, sapped businesses and closed military cemeteries as far away as France. Some on Capitol Hill ominously suggested the impasse might last for weeks, but a few Republicans seemed ready to blink. – Andrew Taylor for The Associated Press

Leading Politico: Obama's price of victory
Obama tried — for far longer than most of his liberal allies wanted — to get a bipartisan health care bill. Its centerpiece — an individual mandate to buy insurance — was a Republican idea, first pushed in Congress 20 years ago by Sen. John Chafee of Rhode Island. That meant nothing to the current Republican congressional leadership, which vowed to block Obama’s bill from the start. “If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo,” said then-Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), now president of The Heritage Foundation. “It will break him.” – Todd S. Purdum

Leading The New York Times: In Bid to End Crisis, Obama Summons Top Lawmakers
On the second day of the government shutdown, President Obama planned to urge passage of a stopgap spending measure and a debt-ceiling increase. – Jackie Calmes and Jonathan Weisman

Leading CNN Opinion: Taxpayers, you deserve your money back
So, when can we expect our refund checks? Because two can play this game. On the one side of the federal government shutdown are the people whose job it is to run that government: the Congress and the White House. Democrats, Republicans, conservatives, liberals - no one forced any of them to take those jobs. They wanted them. Then ran for them. They got them. On the other side - at least in a rational world, which this isn't - is us. The taxpayers. – Bob Greene

The political bites of the day

- For Obama, debt ceiling is about the precedent -
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNBC: “Until we make sure that Congress allows Treasury to pay for things that Congress itself already authorized, we are not going to engage in serious negotiations and the reason, John, is very simple. If we get in the habit where a few folks, an extremist wing of one party, whether it's Democrat or Republican are allowed to extort concessions based on a threat of undermining the full faith and credit of the U.S. then any president who comes after me, not just me will find themselves unable to govern effectively and that's not something I'm going to allow to happen.”

- Someone who has been accused of politicizing the shutdown, accuses Obama of doing the same… -
REPUBLICAN SEN. TED CRUZ OF TEXAS IN REMARKS AT A CONGRESSIONAL HEARING: "I don't believe President Obama should be playing politics with this. He shouldn't be refusing to negotiate or compromise. He should be stepping forward to correct this problem right now."

- … Schumer: Boehner is Ted Cruz’s puppet -
DEMOCRATIC SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER OF NEW YORK AT A PRESS CONFERENCE ON CAPITOL HILL: “Speaker Boehner's in this position because, sadly, he's become a puppet with Ted Cruz pulling the strings. When Ted Cruz told Speaker Boehner to take up a crusade to defund Obamacare, the speaker did it. When Senator Cruz told the speaker to delay Obamacare for a year, the speaker did it.”

- Texas Gov: Obamacare implementation is a "criminal act" -
TEXAS GOV. RICK PERRY AT A FUNDRAISING EVENT: "If this health care law is forced upon this country, the young men and women in this audience are the ones who are really going to pay the price. And that, I will suggest to you, reaches to the point of being a felony toward them and their future. That is a criminal act, from my perspective, to put that type of burden on them, to mortgage their future like that. America cannot stand that. America cannot accept that.”

- Comics seize on shutdown -
DAVID LETTERMAN ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “It's shut down, it's closed, it's out of business. U.S.A. is no longer a country. Put your flags away. We don't exist. I don't know, are there states anymore? I don't know.”
JAY LENO ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “I am glad the government has shut down. Think about it. For the first time in years, it's safe to talk on the phone and send e-mails without anybody listening in.”
CONAN O’BRIEN ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “You know almost everyone who is employed at the FCC is not at work today. So who's up for an all nude episode of Conan.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Jonathan Cohn (@CitizenCohn)
Obamacare website glitches were neither isolated nor trivial–and they still matter less than the successes

Kevin Smith (@KG_Smith)
Batting avg ZERO ... #glitches in every single state #ObamaCare website ... Mendoza himself would be embarrassed

Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff)
Kentucky's marketplace by the far most aggressive in releasing traffic stats: Now up to 1M page views, 4,700+ completed insurance apps.

Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery)
We have arrived. 17 House Republicans now publicly ready to support a clean CR to fund the government.

Evan Pérez (@evanperez)
In #govtshutdown perhaps TSA shud cancel VIP svc for members of Congress to skip airport lines. Healthy to hear fm constituents waiting.

Joseph Weisenthal (@TheStalwart)
Today, everyone on Wall Street is passing around the same debt ceiling warning chart.

Taegan Goddard (@politicalwire)
Greg Abbot leads Wendy Davis by just 9 points for TX-Gov

Callie Schweitzer (@cschweitz)
Cannot stop laughing: Texting-while-slouching is causing an ‘iPosture’ epidemic


Despite the fact that most of their staff will go unpaid during an extended government shutdown, members of Congress will continue to collect their paychecks while the government is shutdown.

"The 27th Amendment to the Constitution restricts any Congress from changing its own pay," writes Lisa Desjardins. "While many may have wanted to restrain Congress from increasing its pay, the amendment also blocks Congress from freezing or cutting its compensation."

So how much are they paid?

According to the Congressional Research Service, rank-and-file members of the 113th Congress are paid $174,000 a year.

That does not include, however, congressional leadership. Speaker John Boehner makes $223,500 and the President pro tempore of the Senate and the majority and minority leader in the House and Senate make $193,400.

The last pay increase occurred in January 2009.

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Elizabeth Wiley (@ewiley) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    And, after the meeting, Boehner will rush to a podium and give a speech characterizing the meeting, but written before it even was held. Just. Watch.

    October 2, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    No piece meal and nothing for the domestic terrorists.
    They are destroying the country from the inside like the cancer they are.
    It's funny that the weeper do the house hasn't shed a rear while he continues to lie that the American people don't want health insurance . Easy to do when the taxpayers pay yours and you don't have to worry where your next drink is coming from.

    October 2, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    Boehner is like Bagdad Bob, delusional. All republicans should be brought to trial for treason.

    October 2, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Out tea bagging representative from Lee County, Florida, needs to go. Trey Radel has been instrumental in bringing our government to the brink of destruction.

    October 2, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. rs

    Boehner better be prepared to listen, a lot! He's failed to deliver on ANY of his promises made in the past, and so he (and his crazy party) are in no position to dictate terms. I hope the President holds his feet to the fire on this one. The GOP needs to either fix their little "problem", or resign, or face some jail time.

    October 2, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  6. Geilan Ismail

    The discussion over NIH funding for clinical trials vs ObamaCare is Republican sophistry. Somehow the House Republicans want you to believe that blocking NIH funding is denying care to children and that is more important than funding ObamaCare. They are both critically important, not one more so than the other. A reasonable argument would be, by funding ObamaCare we will be able to get the millions of currently uninsured Americans the health care to detect and prevent the advanced cancers the NIH trials are targeting. Isn't that more important!! Preventing disease!

    October 2, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. Larry in Houston

    4.7 million people in the last 24 hours ???? Are You Kidding Me ?? LOL SO, the republicans have been saying What ?? The ACA is no good ? The ACA is a train wreck ?? LOL – yeah, right . . . . imagine how many of those 4.7 million that are (or is to be potential Voters) when 2014 mid – terms rolls around.

    October 2, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    These fox news idiots still say doctors shortages–we have PLENTY OF PAs, NPs. They see the patients. They are better Doctors than these bums. The other premiums go up–tea troll drama.

    October 2, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  9. norma jean

    IN THE PLACES WHERE "SMART" MONEY FLOWS..........THE MONEY IS ON THE DEMOCRATS FOR 2016,,,,,,,, The republicans have put their feet and everything else in a hole from which they WILL NOT be able to crawl out of... they cannot be trusted ........THE BIG MONEY IN THIS COUNTRY...........FAR AnD WIDE........... IS ON THE DEMOCRATS IN 2016

    October 2, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  10. Joan

    What part of a 10% approval rating does John Boehner not understand? He had the perfect opportunity this evening to propose a clean CR and raise the debt ceiling with the understanding that both the House and Senate have to get together with their respective budgets and work something out in say 2-3 months, Everyone could be back to work tomorrow. He could have almost been a hero (I'm stretching that a bit) but he would have gained back some respect. The longer this drags out the more people are checking into the health care web site and learning that it is not as bad as Republicans said. Also, the approval rating of the Republicans is going to keep tanking. What is he thinking?

    October 2, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  11. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Radel was on tv tonight saying he will get the funds to fix the callahachee river problem. How???? When you teabafoons keep the government shut down??? Radel , your gone in your next election with the rest of the GOP worthless teaparty stooges!!!!!

    October 2, 2013 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  12. RJ

    Liberals have lost all creditability with the terrorist comments. Such rhetoric is an embarrassment to us all. There is absolutely no excuse for these comments. None!

    October 2, 2013 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  13. Tabeth

    Afghanistan has Taliban
    Lebanon has Hezbollah
    Egypt has Muslim Brotherhood
    USA has Tea party to shut down the government
    Why can't we start fighting extremism first at Home?

    October 2, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  14. Geilan Ismail

    To say that the Speaker yelled at report Bash is grossly inaccurate. He stated the obvious, that was a question designed to provoke a response that could be misconstrued as letting a child die. See the post above! Blocking ObamaCare puts many more lives at stake. A child's life is not going to be in jeopardy from NIH research unless the Republicans keep the government closed for weeks! No chemo or miracle cure is going to keep a child from dying from cancer in 48 hours. Geilan (JillAnn) MD, MBA

    October 2, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  15. Robert Gould

    Why doesn't the Senate send the CR back to the House with an amendment including gun control or immigration reform...or both. Rediculous, no? Sorry folks, there's now a 3 party system...the Democrats and the Republicans and the Tea Party. And unfortunately the Republicans need the Tea Party to maintain control of the House. But the cost is getting pretty high and messy. Shame on the Republicans.

    October 2, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |