Can Reid’s Shutdown Strategy Hold?

Two men stand on the plaza of the U.S. Capitol Building as storm clouds fill the sky, June 13, 2013 in Washington, D.C. 
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Michael Catalin
Add to Briefcase
Michael Catalin
Oct. 1, 2013, 4:19 p.m.

With Demo­crats and Re­pub­lic­ans squab­bling fiercely over how to re­open the gov­ern­ment, it’s Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id — the former box­er — who com­pares law­makers’ bick­er­ing to a school­yard brawl.

“We are not go­ing to be bul­lied,” Re­id said Tues­day. “We have done everything we can, and we’ve done it very reas­on­ably.”

As Re­id’s 54-seat ma­jor­ity is tested to the lim­it by the first gov­ern­ment shut­down in 17 years, the Nevada Demo­crat’s strategy has been simple: Do not give in to Re­pub­lic­an de­mands to undo, ex­cise, or delay any part of the Af­ford­able Care Act.

It’s a strategy that has pres­sure-tested unity among Sen­ate Demo­crats, who have so far stood fast in a series of high-pro­file votes to turn away House pro­pos­als that would have ended the stan­doff but handed Re­pub­lic­ans something to brag about.

“This is a demo­cracy. This can­not be how we gov­ern,” said Sen. Eliza­beth War­ren, D-Mass. “And I think that has been one of Harry Re­id’s strongest mes­sages: We can­not hand them the stick to beat us with.”

Wheth­er Re­id can hold Demo­crats to­geth­er as the shut­down drags on — there is no sign that it will end in com­ing days — re­mains un­clear. But House Re­pub­lic­ans have already scaled back their of­fers, go­ing from a full re­peal of Obama­care, to a full delay, to a delay of a piece of the pro­gram. Re­id, backed by his caucus and Pres­id­ent Obama, has re­mained steady in his in­sist­ence that House Re­pub­lic­ans ad­opt the con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tion the Sen­ate passed on Fri­day.

The latest House sug­ges­tion in­volves ad­opt­ing a piece­meal ap­proach to fund­ing gov­ern­ment, with in­di­vidu­al res­ol­u­tions to fund na­tion­al parks, Vet­er­ans Af­fairs, and the Dis­trict of Columbia. Re­id shot that idea down, too.

“Here’s their plan: Some of the rabble-rousers over there have said what they want to do is take little pieces of the gov­ern­ment “¦ and this will go on for weeks, but what won’t get fun­ded is Obama­care,” he said, adding that “this is not ser­i­ous.”

Re­pub­lic­ans say Re­id re­fuses to ne­go­ti­ate and com­prom­ise, and that he’s mak­ing life dif­fi­cult for some Demo­crats fa­cing reelec­tion next year. But if any Demo­crats are sweat­ing, they have non­ethe­less stood by Re­id.

“I think he’s been very clear and ab­so­lutely right about what’s at stake here,” said Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md. “So I give him very high marks. It’s clear we have the votes here in the [Sen­ate] to keep the gov­ern­ment open. The House won’t al­low a vote on it. I think Sen­at­or Re­id’s been very ef­fect­ive in point­ing that out.”

Sen­ate Demo­crats in­sist that House Re­pub­lic­ans will ul­ti­mately shoulder the brunt of pub­lic an­ger over the shut­down, but that’s a tide that could run both ways. Thus far, Re­id and his al­lies don’t seem to fear any back­lash.

“He’s done a really good job,” War­ren said. “He’s held every­one to­geth­er.”

What We're Following See More »
SANS PROOF
NRA Chief: Leftist Protesters Are Paid
1 days ago
UPDATE
NEW TRAVEL BAN COMING SOON
Trump Still on Campaign Rhetoric
1 days ago
UPDATE
“WE’RE CHANGING IT”
Trump Rails On Obamacare
1 days ago
UPDATE

After spending a few minutes re-litigating the Democratic primary, Donald Trump turned his focus to Obamacare. “I inherited a mess, believe me. We also inherited a failed healthcare law that threatens our medical system with absolute and total catastrophe” he said. “I’ve been watching and nobody says it, but Obamacare doesn’t work.” He finished, "so we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare."

FAKE NEWS
Trump Goes After The Media
1 days ago
UPDATE

Donald Trump lobbed his first attack at the “dishonest media” about a minute into his speech, saying that the media would not appropriately cover the standing ovation that he received. “We are fighting the fake news,” he said, before doubling down on his previous claim that the press is “the enemy of the people." However, he made a distinction, saying that he doesn't think all media is the enemy, just the "fake news."

FBI TURNED DOWN REQUEST
Report: Trump Asked FBI to Deny Russia Stories
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. But a White House official said late Thursday that the request was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login