Congress cuts town despite no deal to end shutdown
October 12th, 2013
04:53 PM ET
9 years ago

Congress cuts town despite no deal to end shutdown

Washington (CNN) - And on the twelfth day, Congress rested.

Despite the continuing government shutdown and the looming debt limit, many members of Congress headed out of town Saturday for the Columbus Day weekend.

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The House has adjourned until noon Monday, and while the Senate will convene tomorrow, members are not required to stay in town because no votes are scheduled.

Washington's Reagan National Airport was full of members from both parties fleeing the nation's capital for a couple of days in their home states and districts.

"It's gonna be a very quick trip," said Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, as CNN caught up with him at the airport. "And it's very disappointing to be going home, having to turn right back around and come back, with no progress being made. I had hoped that we could resolve this thing."

Many said they were going home to see family for a day but could quickly return if there was a vote. In the House, there are no votes scheduled until Monday at 6:30 p.m.

"I'm going home for one day to see my children because there are no votes tomorrow, on Sunday. And that's the only day I'll have with them," Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, told CNN before boarding his flight, adding that he could get back to Capitol Hill within a 12-hour notice of any votes.

The trips come after another deal fell through Saturday morning, with both sides blaming the other. On Friday, Republicans in the House proposed raising the debt ceiling for six weeks, but leadership informed the caucus that President Barack Obama rejected that proposal.

Hours later, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that Sen. Susan Collins' plan also died.

Collins, a Maine Republican, and a bipartisan group of Senators had called for a longer extension of the debt limit and government funding. Her proposal would have repealed the 2.3% tax on medical devices, which is used to help pay for Obamacare, and given federal agencies greater flexibility to deal with the forced spending cuts known as sequestration.

With many Senators and Representatives out of town, no major activity is expected in either chamber.

Leadership on both sides will remain in Washington and continue talks. Reid said he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are involved in "cordial" and "preliminary" negotiations to reopen the government and extend the debt ceiling.

For the hundreds of thousands of furloughed workers, the shutdown is just starting to hit home as the first partial paychecks arrived Friday.

–CNN's Paul Courson and Dana Bash contributed to this report.

Filed under: Congress • Government Shutdown
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. rs

    I don't remember who on this blog said it, but I agree with the sentiment that "we should lock these idiots in a room and not let them out until there is a deal". The only good part is that they will get an earful at home.

    October 12, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. Tampa Tim

    When the going gets tough, republicans leave town.

    October 12, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. kat

    while were all "hating" on the government...what about all us that got screwed by the comptroller with the foreclosure review. I got it straight from rust consulting that they just looked the other way -thus-we all got screwed again

    October 12, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. kat

    when is cnn going to address the whole bio-chip issue in obamacare?

    October 12, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. Liz the First

    Because their barbecue or whatever is sooooo much more important than the fate of the country. disgusting. the house rethugs should be ridden out of town on a rail!

    October 12, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. Stuffit

    Fast and furious is about three years old now, Benghazi is over a year and the IRS about 8 months. All of the Obama regimes response have been proven to be lies. When is the mainstream, liberally biased media going to demand some answers from their corrupt puppet master.

    October 12, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  7. Larry in Houston

    """And on the twelfth day, Congress rested""" LOL –
    well, after reading this post – – about all I can say is : no wonder their favorability rating is at an all time low – @ 5%.

    Guess the way I look at it is like this – – – If I was paying someone to work for me, and they decided to "cut out" so they can go home for "Columbus day" I would tell them : ""don't come back" and ""look for another Job"

    October 12, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. Thomas

    Why didn't the speaker of the house put the clean spending bill on the floor for a vote .

    That would be a great starting point for democracy , an actual vote !

    October 12, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  9. Winston Smith

    Do any of you really believe in your elected officials, anymore? If you do, you've just made the list for top pigeon in your area.

    October 12, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  10. Len

    Wow!! Leaving town say they will feel better when they go back to their districts and hear the disgusting meanness and hate from their Ultra Christian Conservatives.

    Last NBC/Gallup Poll: GOP/Tea Party favorable rating is 28%....lowest in our history. Leaving town, will go down even lower.
    What values do the GOP/Tea Party have? Not Jesus's teaching that is a fact. All they want to do is take everything away from the poor and needy children. Wow, what a group!

    October 12, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    This would have been a good weekend for congressional republicans to hold a drink fest like they did the night they shut the government down.

    October 12, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  12. buongiorno


    October 12, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  13. Doyle Wiley, MI

    What a bunch of idiots.

    October 12, 2013 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  14. Thomas

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor urged Republican Senators to stick with House Republicans.

    "Right now I'm hoping that the Senate stands strong," said Cantor, R-Va. "We as Republicans can speak with one voice on behalf of all the Americans that we want to relieve the pain that they're going through."

    Eric Cantor is like a doctor who gives you a disease so he can cure you !

    Make Obama a one term president ?

    October 13, 2013 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  15. Alan S.

    They just don't get it! They all are so self-absorbed they refuse to listen to the people who voted them into office. Recent polls; 70 % of Americans want to fire every Congressmen! My Question: what's with the 30 % ?

    October 13, 2013 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  16. Jill-IN

    Boehner must have had a big date, golfing or otherwise in Miami this weekend.

    October 13, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. Jill-IN

    Here is to Eric Cantor, John Boehner, Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, You as a group and as individuals DO NOT speak on behalf of all the American people. Why can't you get that through your thick sculls!

    October 13, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |