Day 3 of the Shutdown: House Passes Partial Funding Bills, Senate Holds the Line

Shutdown closes military grocery stores, Rep. retreats from controversial remark.

House Majority Leader Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA) speaks next to a poster of Senate Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) during an event on the government shutdown on Capitol Hill October 3, 2013 in Washington, DC.
National Journal
Patrick Reis
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Patrick Reis
Oct. 3, 2013, 7:15 a.m.

BREAK­ING NOW: Con­gres­sion­al ac­tion was sus­pen­ded after an in­cid­ent at the White House led to a car chase end­ing at the Cap­it­ol build­ing. The sus­pect has re­portedly been shot and killed. The Cap­it­ol is no longer on lock­down. The House has re­sumed ac­tion, but the Sen­ate plans to ad­journ for the day, ac­cord­ing to mul­tiple re­ports. More up­dates here.

Be­fore the gun­shots shut down Con­gress, con­gres­sion­al Demo­crats were hold­ing the line on their de­mand that Re­pub­lic­ans pass their bill to re­open the gov­ern­ment, but House Re­pub­lic­ans were mak­ing every ef­fort de­term­ined to make that po­s­i­tion pain­ful.

The House is hold­ing a series of votes Thursday aimed at restor­ing gov­ern­ment fund­ing for the some of the coun­try’s most pop­u­lar pro­grams. The latest came Thursday af­ter­noon the House passed le­gis­la­tion to re­store fund­ing for cer­tain pay­ments to Na­tion­al Guard and Na­tion­al Re­serve mem­bers, adding to a cue of bills in the Sen­ate that already in­cludes meas­ures passed Wed­nes­day that would re­store fund­ing for Na­tion­al Parks, the Vet­er­ans Af­fairs De­part­ment, and the gov­ern­ment of the Dis­trict of Columbia.

But Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id has said he and his caucus have no in­ten­tion of back­ing off their ori­gin­al de­mand: that the House pass the Sen­ate bill that would ex­tend fund­ing for the en­tire gov­ern­ment without mak­ing any policy changes. And so when Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell re­ques­ted the Sen­ate pass the House meas­ures by un­an­im­ous con­sent Wed­nes­day morn­ing, Re­id blocked the move.

We’ll keep you up­dated throughout the day as the ac­tion pro­gresses.

UP­DATE: 2:31 p.m. — Gov­ern­ment Shut­down Puts Con­gress Between Sol­diers and Their Gro­cer­ies

Amer­ica’s sol­diers may be earn­ing their pay dur­ing the gov­ern­ment shut­down show­down, but they aren’t able to buy gro­cer­ies at mil­it­ary com­mis­sar­ies. All 175 com­mis­sar­ies in 46 states and the Dis­trict of Columbia were closed in­def­in­itely on Wed­nes­day, a De­fense Com­mis­sary Agency spokes­man con­firmed.

The com­mis­sar­ies are mil­it­ary gro­cery stores that sell food items to sol­diers, re­tir­ees, and their fam­il­ies at cost plus a mod­est sur­charge. Pat­rons save about 30 per­cent on their food bill com­pared with com­mer­cial gro­cer­ies; little won­der the com­mis­sary be­ne­fit is con­sist­ently rated the most pop­u­lar perk of mil­it­ary ser­vice in cus­tom­er sur­veys.

UP­DATE: 1:13 p.m. — With Debt-Ceil­ing Dead­line Fast Ap­proach­ing, Boehner May Be Get­ting Des­per­ate

House Speak­er John Boehner, R-Ohio, has told col­leagues that he is dead-set on pre­vent­ing the gov­ern­ment from de­fault­ing on its bills, a risk that be­comes real­ity when the debt ceil­ing is reached on Oct. 17, re­ports The New York Times. One House Re­pub­lic­an said Boehner is will­ing to vi­ol­ate what’s called the Hastert Rule, which keeps any meas­ure that doesn’t have a ma­jor­ity of Re­pub­lic­an votes off the floor, to avoid fed­er­al de­fault. (By Mar­ina Koren)

UP­DATE: 1:03 p.m. — Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­an Skep­ti­cism About a Grand Bar­gain

There is no sign yet of a break­through among con­gres­sion­al lead­ers over end­ing the shut­down. 

Even so, ru­mors about a grand bar­gain swarm around the Cap­it­ol, as Billy House re­por­ted yes­ter­day

But Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors don’t see that hap­pen­ing. We’ve been here be­fore, they say and lead­ers have come up short. 

“No doubt about it,” said Sen. John Mc­Cain, R-Ar­iz. “That ap­proach has failed so many times that no one can have a lot op­tim­ism about it.

Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id, D-Nev., also said that he ex­pects the Sen­ate to be in ses­sion this week­end. (By Mi­chael Cata­lini)

UP­DATE: 12:10 p.m. — Oops! He takes it back.

Rep. Marlin Stutz­man, R-Ind., has is­sued an apo­logy for a Wed­nes­day re­mark that sug­ges­ted he and oth­er House Re­pub­lic­ans don’t know what they are try­ing to ac­com­plish in the gov­ern­ment-fund­ing stan­doff.

“We’re not go­ing to be dis­respec­ted,” Stutz­man said in an in­ter­view with the Wash­ing­ton Ex­am­iner. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

But on Thursday, Stutz­man’s of­fice re­leased a fol­low-up state­ment, amid cri­ti­cism that his com­ment per­fectly sums up why a solu­tion to the crisis is so hard to find.

“Yes­ter­day, I care­lessly mis­rep­res­en­ted the on­go­ing budget de­bate and Speak­er Boehner’s work on be­half of the Amer­ic­an people,” said Stutz­man. “Des­pite my re­marks it’s clear that the Amer­ic­an people want both parties to come to the table to re­open the gov­ern­ment, tackle this na­tion’s debt crisis, and stop Obama­Care’s pain.” (By Billy House)

UP­DATE: 11:48 a.m. — Obama: Boehner Is Keep­ing the Gov­ern­ment Shut Down

Speak­ing from a con­struc­tion com­pany in Rock­ville, Md., Pres­id­ent Obama said that Speak­er John Boehner is the only one keep­ing the gov­ern­ment shut down, ur­ging him to bring a clean CR to the house floor. There are enough votes to pass that bill, Obama said. “You don’t ne­go­ti­ate by put­ting a gun to the oth­er per­son’s head,” Obama said. “Since they’ve taken over the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives we’ve had one of these crises every three months.”¦ I’m tired of it.”

Obama, who called the dis­mant­ling of the Af­ford­able Care Act an “ob­ses­sion” of Re­pub­lic­ans,” struck a de­fi­ant tone on that law it­self. “The gov­ern­ment’s now shut down, but the Af­ford­able Care Act is still open for busi­ness,” Obama said. “There will be no ne­go­ti­ations. The Amer­ic­an people are not some sort of pawns in a polit­ic­al game.” (By Matt Vasi­lo­gam­bros)

UP­DATE 11:30 a.m. — Ted Cruz to Donate Salary to Edu­ca­tion Pro­gram for Low-In­come Stu­dents

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, will donate his salary to YES Prep, a group of charter schools that provide edu­ca­tion to low-in­come chil­dren in the Hou­s­ton area, a press as­sist­ant told Na­tion­al Journ­al. One of the first to an­nounce he would donate his pay for the dur­a­tion of the shut­down, Cruz had kept quiet about which or­gan­iz­a­tion he chose for two days, des­pite “hun­dreds, maybe even thou­sands” of calls to his of­fice. (Mar­ina Koren)

UP­DATE 10:58 — Here Come the Shut­down Ads

Her­it­age Ac­tion for Amer­ica an­nounced Thursday it was pur­chas­ing $400,000 in di­git­al ads tar­get­ing vul­ner­able Sen­ate Demo­crats up for reelec­tion in 2014 for sup­port­ing Obama­care. The buy tar­gets Mark Be­gich of Alaska, Mark Pry­or of Arkan­sas, Mary Landrieu of Louisi­ana, and Kay Hagan of North Car­o­lina — all states that Mitt Rom­ney won.

The 15-second ads can be seen here. (By Shane Gold­mach­er)

UP­DATE: 10:55 a.m. — Day 3 in the Sen­ate Looks Like More of the Same

Sen­ate lead­ers took to the floor Thursday morn­ing to re­peat sim­il­ar talk­ing points and hint that the now-three-day-old gov­ern­ment shut­down will not likely end for sev­er­al days. Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id’s tar­get: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. “It’s time to defy your tea-party over­lord,” Re­id said. He con­tin­ued a trope used by the Demo­crat­ic Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee dur­ing his re­marks, say­ing, “Sen. Cruz is now joint speak­er. He lec­tures the House like he some­times lec­tures here.”

For his part, Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell, R-Ky., fo­cused on the sup­posed fail­ures of the ex­change rol­lout of Obama­care, and said the meet­ing between con­gres­sion­al lead­ers and the pres­id­ent “wasn’t par­tic­u­larly en­cour­aging.” He also took a shot at Pres­id­ent Obama, who he said was “cam­paign­ing” on Thursday. The pres­id­ent is in neigh­bor­ing Rock­ville, Md., vis­it­ing a con­struc­tion com­pany. (By Matt Vasi­lo­gam­bros)

Marina Koren, Michael Catalin, Billy House, Matt Vasilogambros and Shane Goldmacher contributed to this article.
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