Afternoon Round Up: The Government is Closed, Satan Lives and the Debt Ceiling is Coming

What you need to know today, what you’ll need to know tomorrow.

National Journal
Dustin Volz and Patrick Reis
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Dustin Volz and Patrick Reis
Oct. 7, 2013, 12:33 p.m.

TODAY IN ONE PARA­GRAPH: No pro­gress was made on Wash­ing­ton’s twin crises Monday, as neither Re­pub­lic­ans nor Demo­crats showed signs of budging on a budget deal to re­open the gov­ern­ment, and the Hill con­tin­ued to di­gest John Boehner’s week­end prom­ise that House Re­pub­lic­ans are “not go­ing to pass a clean debt-lim­it in­crease.” The House is sched­uled to vote this even­ing on a bill that would re­open parts of the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion, but Sen­ate Demo­crats — who are already sit­ting on a pile of piece­meal budget bills — have said they’ll re­ject the meas­ures while de­mand­ing that the House pass a budget ex­ten­sion for the en­tire gov­ern­ment.


OBAMA OPEN TO SHORT-TERM NUDGE OF DEBT LIM­IT: So says Na­tion­al Eco­nom­ic Coun­cil Dir­ect­or Gene Sper­ling, who ad­ded that the amount to raise the debt ceil­ing is a de­cision for Con­gress to make, though the White House would prefer a long-term solu­tion. “Longer is bet­ter for eco­nom­ic cer­tainty and jobs, but it is ul­ti­mately up to (Con­gress).” The Treas­ury De­part­ment main­tains that the lim­it must be raised by Oct. 17 to avoid risk­ing de­fault. (Kev­in Cir­illi, Politico)

BOEHNER LINE (FROM WEEK­END) STILL GET­TING PLAY: “We’re not go­ing to pass a clean debt-lim­it in­crease.” The House speak­er con­tin­ues to sur­prise. (Cas­sata/Crut­sing­er, AP)

WHO IS REALLY RE­FUS­ING TO NE­GO­TI­ATE? Re­pub­lic­ans in­sist that Obama and Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id have re­fused to budge one inch on the budget talks, but that’s only true for those who have really short memor­ies. In fact, Demo­crats have tried 19 times to ne­go­ti­ate, mak­ing the GOP’s biggest talk­ing point of the shut­down val­id only if everything that happened be­fore last week is ig­nored. (Alex Seitz-Wald, NJ)

GOP CON­TIN­UES TO SUF­FER POLIT­IC­ALLY AMID SHUT­DOWN: A new WaPo-ABC News poll out today finds 70 per­cent of re­spond­ents dis­ap­prov­ing of the way Re­pub­lic­ans are hand­ling the budget fight. Obama’s ap­prov­al on the is­sue has in­creased slightly to 45 per­cent from last month’s meas­ure of 41 per­cent. (Clem­ent/Craighill, Wash­ing­ton Post)

WOR­RIES MOUNT AS SHUT­DOWN TRUDGES IN­TO WEEK 2: So far, “signs of eco­nom­ic dam­age are mostly lim­ited to stalled con­tracts and lost tour­ism rev­en­ue. But the risk of a pro­longed clos­ure that morphs in­to a battle over the na­tion’s bor­row­ing lim­it is rais­ing con­cerns among eco­nom­ists and ex­ec­ut­ives…. Eco­nom­ists say a quick res­ol­u­tion in com­ing days could spare the eco­nomy a ser­i­ous blow, mim­ick­ing pri­or shut­downs. But the con­flict drag­ging on for a couple more weeks — which some law­makers have sug­ges­ted could hap­pen — risks re­strain­ing key parts of the eco­nomy that had been ex­pec­ted to ac­cel­er­ate in the com­ing months” (Reddy/Cronin, Wall Street Journ­al)

CHIEF EN­ERGY AND CLI­MATE AD­VISER LEAV­ING WHITE HOUSE: The White House con­firmed this af­ter­noon that Heath­er Zichal will step down as Obama’s top en­ergy and cli­mate ad­viser, a job which she has held since 2011. A re­place­ment has not been named, and it is not im­me­di­ately clear where Zichal, 37, is headed. Zichal played a cent­ral role in de­vel­op­ing Obama’s plan to cut car­bon emis­sions from power plants. (Ruck­er/Ma­son, Re­u­ters)

TO­MOR­ROW IN ONE PARA­GRAPH: The House will meet at 10 a.m. for morn­ing-hour de­bate and at noon for le­gis­lat­ive busi­ness. The Sen­ate is also in ses­sion. Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry is in Brunei for the U.S.-ASEAN Sum­mit and the East Asia Sum­mit. The Sen­ate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee holds a full hear­ing dis­cuss­ing the im­pact of se­quest­ra­tion on na­tion­al de­fense.


SYR­IA: John Kerry called the As­sad gov­ern­ment’s quick com­pli­ance with a U.N. res­ol­u­tion to elim­in­ate its chem­ic­al-weapons stock­pile that began over the week­end “ex­tremely sig­ni­fic­ant.” (Domin­ic Evans, Re­u­ters)

LOCK­HEED FUR­LOUGHS: Only 2,400 staff — not the pre­vi­ously an­nounced 3,000 — are be­ing told to stay home by the de­fense con­tract­or. (Doug Camer­on, WSJ)

BAGH­DAD EX­PLO­SIONS: At least 38 are dead after a series of bombs ex­ploded across the Ir­aqi cap­it­al. Sunni Is­lam­ist mil­it­ants are sus­pec­ted. (Kareem Ra­heem, Re­u­ters)

SU­PREME COURT: For a third straight term, SCOTUS is set to tackle some ex­traordin­ar­ily im­port­ant and con­sequen­tial cases. Ex­pect the justices to ask ques­tions. Lots of ques­tions. (Adam Lip­t­ak, NYT)


ANT­ON­IN SCALIA LOVES SEIN­FELD’S SOUP NAZI, FEARS SATAN: The fam­ously sharp-tongued Su­preme Court Justice cel­eb­rated his 27th an­niversary on the bench by by open­ing up to New York magazine’s Jen­nifer Seni­or to dis­cuss his ca­reer, ori­gin­al­ist philo­sophy, and me­dia fa­vor­ites (hot on Wall Street Journ­al, cold on New York Times), be­lief in the dev­il, love forSein­feld (who doesn’t?) and how he is “not a hater of ho­mo­sexu­als at all.” (NYMag)

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