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- "Senate Republican leaders and Democratic aides ... said there is a growing likelihood that non-essential parts of the federal government" will "remain shuttered for more than two weeks until lawmakers agree on how to increase the debt ceiling." (Wall Street Journal)
- House Republicans "suffered embarrassing losses on Tuesday night" when "three bills -- to finance veterans' programs, national parks and museums, and federally financed services in Washington -- failed to get the two-thirds majorities required to pass under fast-track procedures." But the House GOP is "likely to try again on Wednesday" in simple-majority votes, though that means "Democrats are likely to be granted procedural votes of their own, which would be an opportunity to test how many Republicans would defy their leadership and vote to reopen the entire government without crippling" the 2010 health care law. (New York Times)
- President Obama "has canceled two stops on his long-planned trip to Asia because of the partial government shutdown, the White House announced Wednesday." (AP)
- "Millions of Americans flooded government Web sites Tuesday to get a long-awaited look at insurance options available under the health law, but the high traffic contributed to widespread computer problems on what ... Obama hailed as a historic day." (Washington Post)
- In the NJ SEN Special, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) campaigned Tuesday with former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan (R). (Bergen Record) In the pre-general fundraising period, from July 25-Sept. 26, Lonegan raised $1 million and had $241,000 cash on-hand. (Newark Star-Ledger)
- In VA GOV, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) launched a new TV ad on Tuesday, featuring Richmond School Board member Tichi Eppes, voicing her support for Cuccinelli's education plan. (release) On Wednesday, Cuccinelli launched a radio ad airing on WTOP-FM/WWWT-FM, which argues that former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe (D) "deserves part of the blame" for the shutdown of the federal government. (release)
- "For the first time," McAuliffe "said he supports the recently-proposed Environmental Protection Agency emissions rules for future coal-fired power plants. ... Cuccinelli quickly pounced on McAuliffe's remarks." (WRC-TV) The McAuliffe camp launched a new TV ad, hitting Cuccinelli on contraception. (release)
- Rev. Mark Harris (R) is launching his NC SEN campaign on Wednesday, beginning in Wilmington, then flying to "New Bern, Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro and the Asheville area. He'll wrap things up at night with a reception at a Charlotte hotel." (AP)
- Businessman Bruce Rauner (R) announced on Tuesday that his IL GOV campaign raised "more than $1 million" during the third quarter. (Hotline reporting)
- 2012 AZ-02 nominee Martha McSally (R) on Tuesday announced a second run at the seat currently held by Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ). (Green Valley News)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• The latest sign that the government shutdown will become the leading issue in the Virginia governor's race? Cuccinelli is out with a radio ad proclaiming his opposition to the shutdown, while accusing McAuliffe of intransigence. Cuccinelli is trying to go on offense, but the preemptive strike underscores how great the risk is for him. As significant: he's holding a rally on Oct. 5 with Ted Cruz, in Richmond.
• The government shutdown is grabbing the headlines, but eyes are already starting to turn to Oct. 17, the deadline for raising the debt ceiling. In 2011, negotiations over raising the debt limit were long-running enough for Vice President Biden's bipartisan group to break down more six weeks before a deal was needed. Now, we're two weeks out with few talks and little agreement on the subject. There are two ways to view the situation: We haven't hit the real deadline yet, and Congress will still get it together in time. Or, yet again, the major political issue of the year still lies further down the road, even though we're distracted at the moment.
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Woman gets prison time for gun hidden in pot of chili" (Lincoln Journal Star)
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's camp, angry after "the House GOP decided to try to undermine a secret deal" made between Reid's office and House Speaker John Boehner's office "to save congressional staffers from losing their health care benefits," leaked "a private email exchange" between Reid chief of staff David Krone and Boehner chief of staff Mike Sommers. (Roll Call)
- "One faction, of one party, in one house of Congress, in one branch of government, shut down major parts of the government -- all because they didn't like one law." -- Obama, speaking Tuesday in the Rose Garden (release)
- "We have arrived at a government shutdown because the Senate has refused to make the tough decisions." -- House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) (USA Today)
- "Doing what they're doing is not being a conservative. ... Conservatives know how to count, and there has to be some game plan where you're going to get to the end or you're going to score." -- Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), on conservative members of the House GOP conference driving their strategy (Washington Examiner)
- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) "has apologized to a group of Filipino military veterans for his comparison of his 21-hour Senate floor speech to the Bataan death march." (The Hill)
- "In a surprising announcement scheduled for Wednesday morning," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will appoint former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) and 2002 NY GOV nominee Carl McCall (D) "to head a task force charged with finding ways to cut between $2 billion and $3 billion in taxes next year, a source with ties to McCall said Tuesday night." (New York Daily News)
- Amazon.com founder/CEO Jeff Bezos "formally took over as the owner of The Washington Post on Tuesday, officially ending 80 years of local control of the newspaper by the Graham family." (Washington Post)
- "Fox News hires George Will" (Daily Caller)
- "The Inside Story Of One Website's Defense Of Assad" (Buzzfeed)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- Plant City, Fla., is home to the largest strawberry shortcake.
- The winner is Leslie Rath, and here's her Swizzle Challenge: "In what city can you visit the original London Bridge?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Can Reid's Shutdown Strategy Hold?
- How Harry Reid and Grover Norquist Paralyzed Congress
- Playing Ping-Pong With Federal Workers
- Americans Think GOP's Top Priority Is Troublemaking
- How Steve King Will Kill Immigration Reform
"Now they're kind of playing with no cards in their hand, but they don't know that yet." -- Nunes, on House conservatives (National Journal Daily)
"I'll just pretend I was playin' with somebody else's money." -- "Annabelle Bransford" ("Maverick")
Josh Kraushaar, Editor-in-Chief
Steven Shepard, Executive Editor