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
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)

What We're Following See More »
STAFF PICKS
These (Supposed) Iowa and NH Escorts Tell All
4 hours ago
NATIONAL JOURNAL AFTER DARK

Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:

  • Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
  • Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
  • They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
  • One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
Source:
STATE VS. FEDERAL
Restoring Some Sanity to Encryption
4 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
What the Current Crop of Candidates Could Learn from JFK
4 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Hillary Is Running Against the Bill of 1992
4 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Trevor Noah Needs to Find His Voice. And Fast.
5 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”

Source:
×