TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: The fundamentals of the shutdown stand-off are largely unchanged. Harry Reid is still demanding House Republicans pass Democrats “clean” continuing resolution to reopen government, but John Boehner is standing his ground. Instead, House Republicans — with the help of a handful of defecting House Democrats — are sending the Senate piecemeal bills that would fund parts of the government, including the Veterans Affairs Department and the National Park Service. Off the Hill, President Obama is calling congressional leaders to the White House, where he hopes to broker a compromise, but Mitch McConnell is already expressing skepticism that the meeting will produce a breakthrough. All is not so dark and dismal, however: the FAA came one step closer today to ending the ban on using electronic devices during flight touchdowns and takeoffs.
HAPPENING NOW IN THE HOUSE: Members are debating the shutdown on the House floor as they prepare to vote on bills that would re-open certain parts of the government. Votes are tentatively scheduled for between 5:30 and 6 p.m.
ALL THE SHUTDOWN THAT’S FIT TO PRINT: The shutdown’s second day has produced congressional chaos, with proposals floating from all corners. Get the latest from National Journal‘s live blog, featuring Republicans at the WWII Memorial, a small, brief insurrection among House Democrats, Sen. Joe Manchin’s stints as his own secretary, and lots of accusatory Twitter hashtags.
PEN PALS BUT NOT FRIENDS: Harry Reid sent John Boehner a letter explaining his hatred for the Iraq War was similar to Boehner’s current distaste for Obamacare. “I could have taken the steps that you are taking now to block government funding in order to gain the leverage to end the war,” Reid wrote. “I faced a lot of pressure from my own base to take that action. But I did not do that.” Boehner’s response indicated he still isn’t about to budge.
OBAMA BECKONS TOP LAWMAKERS TO WHITE HOUSE: Congressional leaders are heading to the White House later this afternoon to attempt to hash out a way to end the funding impasse in what will be the first such meeting since the federal government shutdown. Obama also said today he was cancelling part of his planned Asia trip, but he still might make it to Indonesia and Brunei next week. (Calmes/Weisman, NYT)
A SILVER LINING OR A PIPEDREAM? Could plans for a “grand bargain” be emerging elsewhere? “There’s a discussion about a grand bargain, that the talks are about some deal that will tie in the debt ceiling and a [continuing resolution],” said one conservative after leaving an afternoon Republican Study Committee meeting.
NSA CHIEF ALEXANDER ADMITS TO TESTING CELL-PHONE TRACKING: Gen. Keith Alexander told the Senate Judiciary Committee his agency attempted to learn whether it could track cell locations of Americans. (Dozier/Braun, AP)
AS IT TURNS OUT, YOU CAN’T CRASH AN AIRPLANE WITH A KINDLE: An FAA advisory committee has deemed hand-held electronic devices OK to use during the entirety of flights for most U.S. airliners. (Jon Brodkin, Arstechnica via WSJ)
TOMORROW IN ONE PARAGRAPH: With the shutdown still on, don’t expect monthly job numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel attend the second day of meetings at the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee summit in Tokyo. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Rand Beers is scheduled to testify at 10 a.m. about threats to homeland security before the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
JOBS: With the shutdown, we likely won’t have our monthly report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics tomorrow, but a hiring report from Automatic Data Processing estimates 166,000 jobs were added by U.S. businesses in September. (Madigan/Mantell, WSJ)
SYRIA: Putin said world powers are “on the right track” with plans moving forward to remove Syria’s chemical-weapons arsenal. (Steve Gutterman, Reuters)
HEALTH EXCHANGES: The more demand, the more glitches. Customers logging on to healthcare.gov are still encountering some problems, which the administration says is due to high traffic levels. (Carla Johnson, AP)
D.C. METRO: Fewer passengers because of the shutdown means shorter trains. Yesterday’s morning commute saw a 22 percent drop in ridership. (Hedgpeth/Shaver, WaPo)
TWITTER: Once referred to as a “blogging-like tool for quick updates” in 2006 by The New York Times, the “leading social network” has had a tortured history of descriptions during its seven-year infancy. (Matt Phillips, Quartz)
TOM CLANCY: The best-selling novelist who penned high-stakes military yarns like The Hunt for Red October died in a Baltimore hospital at 66. (Julie Bosman, NYT)
FURLOUGH PARTIES: They’re a thing, and they come with themes mocking the suddenly unemployed nature of the attendees. (Alyson Krueger, NYT)
WHO BROKE WASHINGTON?: More from NJ‘s ongoing look at the people most deserving of blame for the mess we’re in today. Today’s lineup: Harry Reid, who started the filibuster fire, and Grover Norquist, father of the first blood oath. (Cooper/Goldmacher, NJ)
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The Commission on Presidential Debates put out a statement today that gives credence to Donald Trump's claims that he had a bad microphone on Monday night. "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," read the statement in its entirety.
"A video of Donald Trump testifying under oath about his provocative rhetoric about Mexicans and other Latinos is set to go public" as soon as today. "Trump gave the testimony in June at a law office in Washington in connection with one of two lawsuits he filed last year after prominent chefs reacted to the controversy over his remarks by pulling out of plans to open restaurants at his new D.C. hotel. D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman said in an order issued Thursday evening that fears the testimony might show up in campaign commercials were no basis to keep the public from seeing the video."
No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."
Speaking at the funeral of former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, President Obama "compared Peres to 'other giants of the 20th century' such as Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth who 'find no need to posture or traffic in what's popular in the moment.'" Among the 6,000 mourners at the service was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Obama called Abbas's presence a sign of the "unfinished business of peace" in the region.