Afternoon Round Up: Gridlock in Congress, Good News for Your iPad

Plus: Pen pals that aren’t friends, a White House summit, and a look at what Harry Reid and Grover Norquist have in common.

A plane flies past the Lincoln Memorial, October 1, 2013 in Washington, DC. The National Mall and all monuments and large sections of the government will close due to government shut down after Congress failed to agree on spending. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
National Journal
Dustin Volz and Patrick Reis
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Dustin Volz and Patrick Reis
Oct. 2, 2013, 12:17 p.m.

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.

TOP NEWS

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.

TOP LINES

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)

TOP READ

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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