The Day After the Government Shut Down

Live updates on congressional and White House action to bring an end to the shutdown.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the Hill on Tuesday.
National Journal
Oct. 1, 2013, 5:55 a.m.

Fin­ger point­ing, dead-on-ar­rival of­fers, and polit­ic­al stunts marked the first day of the gov­ern­ment shut­down. But by the time the Sen­ate and House ad­journed on Tues­day, it didn’t look like there was an end in sight.

For now, the doors will re­main closed at dozens of fed­er­al fa­cil­it­ies and thou­sands of work­ers with re­main fur­loughed across the coun­try for at least an­oth­er day.

On Tues­day, Re­pub­lic­ans offered to pass pieces of the con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tion one at a time in or­der to fund es­sen­tial ele­ments of the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment. The first wave of these piece­meal of­fers might at­tempt to fund the Dis­trict of Columbia, the Na­tion­al Park Ser­vice, and parts of the De­part­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs.

These meas­ures, however, failed to reach the needed two-thirds vote in the House. Even if they had passed, Sen­ate Demo­crats and the White House already came out against the bills.

The ques­tion re­mains: Will Re­pub­lic­an lead­ers be will­ing to pass a clean CR? We’ll see on Wed­nes­day. 

For minute-by-minute up­dates from Tues­day, see be­low.

Con­tri­bu­tions from Stacy Kaper, Dustin Volz, Elahe Iz­adi, Matt Ber­man, Alex Seitz-Wald, Patrick Re­is, Billy House, Mar­ina Koren, Mi­chael Cata­lini, Ben Ter­ris, Tim Al­berta

UP­DATE: 8:06 p.m.: Top Con­ser­vat­ives, Cer­tain of Shift­ing Mo­mentum, Dis­miss Calls for Clean CR

A grow­ing num­ber of House Re­pub­lic­ans ““ 12, ac­cord­ing to The Wash­ing­ton Post ““ are call­ing on Speak­er John Boehner and his lead­er­ship team to pass a “clean” short-term CR that would re­open the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment while the two parties hash out their budget­ary dif­fer­ences.

But that’s not go­ing to hap­pen, con­ser­vat­ive law­makers in­sist.

“The speak­er is not bring­ing up a clean CR. He has made that clear,” Rep. Steve Scal­ise, chair­man of the Re­pub­lic­an Study Com­mit­tee, said Tues­day af­ter­noon. 

Seni­or GOP aides were em­phat­ic on Monday that House lead­er­ship will not cave to Demo­crat­ic pres­sure to pass a bill that funds Obama­care. But with sim­il­ar pres­sure slowly ratchet­ing up with­in the Re­pub­lic­an ranks on Tues­day, ques­tions arose as to wheth­er Boehner would even­tu­ally give in and pro­pose a clean CR. The an­swer, ac­cord­ing to con­ser­vat­ives: Don’t count on it.

“Zero per­cent chance,” said Rep. Rob Woodall, chair­man of the RSC’s Budget and Spend­ing Task Force.

“I just don’t think that’s where we want to go,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said of the GOP con­fer­ence.

The reas­on many Re­pub­lic­ans still op­pose passing a clean CR ““ at least for now ““ is simple: They think it would let Demo­crats off the hook. 

Seni­or GOP aides are con­vinced that House Demo­crats, hav­ing voted Tues­day night to de­feat three in­di­vidu­al fund­ing bills, will now be forced to “own” the shut­down after re­fus­ing to fund vari­ous agen­cies and pro­grams. To ad­vance this nar­rat­ive, GOP lead­er­ship plans to con­tin­ue push­ing in­di­vidu­al fund­ing bills this week, and are con­fid­ent that even­tu­ally House Demo­crats will feel suf­fi­cient pub­lic pres­sure to re­lent and vote in fa­vor of some in­di­vidu­al fund­ing meas­ures.

Un­til that hap­pens ““ or un­til their strategy is proven flawed ““ most Re­pub­lic­ans think mo­mentum resides on their side of the aisle. In their view, then, cav­ing to pres­sure and passing a clean CR would serve only to un­der­cut this po­s­i­tion of strength they have fi­nally es­tab­lished. (By Tim Al­berta)

UP­DATE: 8:02 p.m.: Third and Fi­nal Short-Term Meas­ure Fails in House

The House Re­pub­lic­an strategy to break up three pop­u­lar ele­ments of the fed­er­al budget did not work as the third and fi­nal piece­meal meas­ure to fund the Na­tion­al Parks Ser­vice failed to reach the needed two-third ma­jor­ity votes. It was de­feated by a 252 to 176 mar­gin. (By Matt Vasi­lo­gam­bros)

UP­DATE: 7:56 p.m.: House Does Not Pass D.C. Fund­ing Bill

The second fund­ing bill, which would have freed up im­me­di­ate money for the loc­al Dis­trict of Columbia gov­ern­ment, also failed to get the two-thirds votes need. It failed by a 265 to 163 mar­gin. In this vote, 34 Demo­crats joined House Re­pub­lic­ans in the vote. (By Matt Vasi­lo­gam­bros)

UP­DATE: 7:45 p.m.: House Fails to Pass Vet­er­ans Meas­ure

House Re­pub­lic­an lead­ers failed to reach the two-thirds votes needed to pass a meas­ure that would ap­prove fund­ing for vet­er­ans’ be­ne­fits by a 264 to 164 meas­ure. Thirty-three Demo­crats (Ron Barber, Ar­iz., John Bar­row, Ga., Ami Be­ra, Cal­if., Tim Bish­op, N.Y., Bruce Bra­ley, Iowa, Cheri Bus­tos, Ill., An­dre Car­son, Ind., Jim Cooper, Tenn., Su­z­an Del­Bene, Wash., Bill Foster, Ill., Pete Gal­lego, Texas, Joe Gar­cia, Fla., Joe Heck, Nev., Bill Keat­ing, Mass., Derek Kilmer, Wash., Dan Li­p­in­ski, Ill., Dav­id Loeb­sack, Iowa, Steph­en Lynch, Mass., Dan Maf­fei, N.Y., Sean Malo­ney, N.Y., Jim Math­eson, Utah, Mike McIntyre, N.C., Patrick Murphy, Fla., Bill Owens, N.C., Scott Peters, Cal­if., Gary Peters, Mich., Col­lin Peterson, Minn., Jared Pol­is, Colo., Raul Ruiz, Cal­if., Brad Schneider, Ill., Kurt Schrader, Ore., Kyrsten Sinema, Ar­iz., and John Tier­ney, Mass.) joined Re­pub­lic­ans to pass the meas­ure. (By Matt Vasi­lo­gam­bros)

UP­DATE: 7:08 p.m.: House Bills, if Passed, Are D.O.A.

If the House passes its three bills to fund parts of the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, Demo­crats will re­ject any meas­ure that makes it to the Sen­ate, ac­cord­ing to a Demo­crat­ic aide. A clean con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tion is the only bill that the Sen­ate will pass, the aide said. (By Mi­chael Cata­lini)

UP­DATE: 6:33 p.m. Sen­ate Ad­journed Un­til Wed­nes­day

The Sen­ate is ad­journed un­til 10:30 a.m. on Wed­nes­day, con­clud­ing a day of Sen­ate speeches and no votes to end the gov­ern­ment shut­down.

But he still lays blame on the House: “The Amer­ic­an people de­serve more than their get­ting from the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives — the so-called people’s house,” Re­id said at the end of the day’s busi­ness.

The House is about to start vot­ing on three bills. (By Matt Vasi­lo­gam­bros)

UP­DATE: 6:21 p.m.: Cruz Of­fice Re­mains Quiet on Char­ity Or­gan­iz­a­tion That Will Re­ceive His Salary

Re­pub­lic­an Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s of­fice in Aus­tin said Tues­day af­ter­noon that his Wash­ing­ton of­fice has been re­ceiv­ing “hun­dreds, maybe even thou­sands” of phone calls. A spokes­per­son in Wash­ing­ton was un­sur­prised at an in­quiry about to which char­ity Cruz will donate his salary, as he prom­ised Monday, for the dur­a­tion of a shut­down, but did not provide an or­gan­iz­a­tion name. Cruz is ex­pec­ted to re­veal the char­ity to­night.

Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, will donate each day of his salary to re­duce the fed­er­al debt through, a ser­vice that ac­cepts con­tri­bu­tions from any­one with an In­ter­net con­nec­tion. A spokes­per­son for Flores said the law­maker will make a con­tri­bu­tion at the end of the shut­down, or at the end of the month, whichever comes first. This isn’t the first time the con­gress­man has giv­en some of his pay to the de­fi­cit. In April, he gave the U.S. treas­ury $8,700, which is 5 per­cent of the stand­ard $174,000 an­nu­al salary for mem­bers of Con­gress. (By Mar­ina Koren)

UP­DATE: 6:15 p.m. Time Up­date on House Vot­ing

As things stand now, the House will vote ap­prox­im­ately between 6:45 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. This will be their only vote series of the day. (By Elahe Iz­adi)

UP­DATE: 6:05 p.m.: Norton De­fends D.C. Stand-Alone Bill

Del. Elean­or Holmes Norton, D-D.C., pas­sion­ately de­fen­ded a House bill that would al­low the Dis­trict of Columbia to con­tin­ue spend­ing its own money — one of the three piece­meal the House will vote on Tues­day night.

“I’m ask­ing, keep the Dis­trict open,” Norton said. “Don’t dare com­pare us to your ap­pro­pri­ations. I un­der­stand the re­sent­ment on my side to what is be­ing done here. But carry out your re­sent­ment without put­ting us in the po­s­i­tion of a thing.”

Rep. Dar­rell Issa, R-Cal­if., de­fen­ded her speech, say­ing the bill doesn’t in­volve fed­er­al tax­pay­er money, but in­come D.C. gen­er­ates it­self. The White House has threatened to veto this bill, however. (By Matt Vasi­lo­gam­bros)

UP­DATE: 5:54 p.m.: House Re­pub­lic­an Vents About GOP Strategy

Rep. Dev­in Nunes, R-Cal­if., said Monday af­ter­noon that Texas Re­pub­lic­an Sen. Ted Cruz’s all-or-noth­ing strategy has backed the House in­to a corner with no solu­tion in sight. The con­gress­man had called his Re­pub­lic­an col­leagues “lem­mings with sui­cide vests” the day be­fore. This af­ter­noon, he’s still frus­trated. See what he told Na­tion­al Journ­al‘s Stacy Kaper here. (Stacy Kaper)

UP­DATE: 5:45 p.m.: White House Is­sues Veto Threat on House Bills

The White House is­sued a veto-threat against the three piece­meal bills be­ing de­bated be­fore the House cur­rently. In part, spokes­wo­man Amy Brundage says:

“These piece­meal ef­forts are not ser­i­ous, and they are no way to run a gov­ern­ment.  If House Re­pub­lic­ans are le­git­im­ately con­cerned about the im­pacts of a shut down - which ex­tend across gov­ern­ment from our small busi­nesses to wo­men, chil­dren and seni­ors - they should do their job and pass a clean CR to re­open the gov­ern­ment.”

Mi­chael Steel, a spokes­man for Speak­er John Boehner, said the veto threat “is un­sus­tain­ably hy­po­crit­ic­al.” (By Billy House)

UP­DATE: 5:35 p.m.: House Demo­crats En­cour­aged to Vote ‘No’ on Piece­meal Bills To­night

Demo­crat­ic caucus mem­bers are be­ing en­cour­aged to vote “no” in a series of votes set for early Tues­day even­ing on three Re­pub­lic­an bills to re­start pop­u­lar por­tions of gov­ern­ment, ac­cord­ing to a Demo­crat­ic caucus lead­er.

The three bills are dubbed the “Hon­or­ing our Prom­ise to Amer­ica’s Vet­er­ans Act,” the “Open Our Na­tion Parks and Mu­seums Act,” and the “Provide Loc­al Fund­ing for the Dis­trict of Columbia Act.” But Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id, D-Nev., has already re­jec­ted this of­fer of piece­meal budget­ing.

It re­mains to be seen, however, if Minor­ity Lead­er Nancy Pelosi, D-Cal­if., and Minor­ity Whip Steny Hoy­er, D-Md., can keep their troops in line in the House, in op­pos­i­tion to the move.

“Re-open the en­tire gov­ern­ment — stop this charade!” said Rep. Rosa De­Lauro, D-Conn., on the House floor in the de­bate that has been lead­ing up to the votes, ex­pec­ted be­fore 6:30 p.m. 

But a sample of what Demo­crats who vote against the meas­ures might be in for was provided on the floor by Ap­pro­pri­ations Chair Hal Ro­gers, R-Ky., when at one point he told Rep. James Mor­an, D-Va. — in ref­er­ence to the parks bill — he could not be­lieve he would be op­posed “open­ing these icons for Amer­ic­ans to vis­it.”

But De­Lauro poin­ted out in her re­marks that, un­der this piece­meal ap­proach, fund­ing for a uni­verse of pro­grams out­side of vet­er­ans needs, parks and DC is not ad­dressed, in­clud­ing food banks, aide to small busi­nesses, health pro­grams, and pro­grams dir­ec­ted at oth­er chil­drens’ needs.

The Re­pub­lic­an ma­jor­ity in the House still plan to act on these bills through so-called “sus­pen­sion votes,” a pro­cess that nor­mally is equated with non-con­tro­ver­sial meas­ures, and re­quires a two-thirds ma­jor­ity for pas­sage.

In oth­er words, in a House cham­ber with 433 cur­rent mem­bers ““ even full sup­port by the 233 House Re­pub­lic­ans won’t be enough. A big chunk of some of the 200 House Demo­crats will be needed to provide their votes for pas­sage, or the meas­ures will fail.

But one Demo­crat­ic lead­er, speak­ing on back­ground, sug­ges­ted there should not be so much worry over that. “Bot­tom line: gov­ern­ment still is shut down.” (By Billy House)

UP­DATE: 4:28 p.m.: Re­id Calls House Gam­bit “Just An­oth­er Whacky Idea”

Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id came to the floor a little be­fore 4:30 p.m. to knock down the latest House Re­pub­lic­an plan to fund parts of the gov­ern­ment. It’s “just an­oth­er whacky idea” from tea party Re­pub­lic­ans, Re­id said. “We sup­port the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment,” he said. “That’s our job. That’s what we do.”

Call­ing tea party Re­pub­lic­ans “rabble-rousers,” the Nevada Demo­crat said that “we won’t be forced to choose” between what parts of the gov­ern­ment to bring back from shut­down. It’s “not a ser­i­ous plan,” Re­id said.

Re­id sug­ges­ted that the latest House gam­bit is just an­oth­er way of try­ing to get rid of Obama­care. It’s just Re­pub­lic­ans try­ing to “nit­pick these little things” un­til the Af­ford­able Care Act is dead. “It won’t work.” (By Matt Ber­man)

UP­DATE: 4:12 p.m.: House Votes To­night

House Re­pub­lic­an lead­ers an­nounced their plans to be­gin floor ac­tion at 4:30 p.m. Tues­day on three bills to keep re­start fund­ing for three pop­u­lar areas of gov­ern­ment. 

The votes are to oc­cur be­fore 6:15 p.m.

The three bills are dubbed the “Hon­or­ing our Prom­ise to Amer­ica’s Vet­er­ans Act,” the “Open Our Na­tion Parks and Mu­seums Act,” and the “Provide Loc­al Fund­ing for the Dis­trict of Columbia Act.” (By Billy House)

UP­DATE: 3:20 p.m.: Could You go to Jail in a Gov­ern­ment Shut­down?

A shut­down can make a crim­in­al out of the most sur­pris­ing people. Take Jonath­an Prince. Just your typ­ic­al law-abid­ing pres­id­en­tial speech­writer for Pres­id­ent Bill Clin­ton, un­til…. Let’s let his Tweet sum it up: “@jonath­an­m­prince: 95: Pres­id­en­tial speech­writers wer­en’t “es­sen­tial” so I had to hide in the WH while writ­ing BC’s first post #shut­down speech.”

Ac­cord­ing to a dec­ades-old law called the Anti-De­fi­ciency Act, Prince had broken the law, and could be pun­ished with fines and pris­on time (and not to men­tion he could have been fired). No mat­ter, Clin­ton was sched­uled to speak at the Demo­crat­ic Lead­er­ship Coun­cil the next day, and he hoped to use that mo­ment to give a big ral­ly­ing speech about the shut­down. Prince would have to risk it.

“Was I wor­ried?” Prince said when reached by phone. “Not Really. What are they go­ing to do? Send me to jail be­cause I was work­ing on a pres­id­ent’s speech?”

When told that tech­nic­ally that was a pos­sib­il­ity, he said: “Well, hope­fully the statue of lim­it­a­tions has passed on that one.” (By Ben Ter­ris)

UP­DATE: 3:08 p.m. More Shut­down Games­man­ship?

House Re­pub­lic­ans have a new plan to try and em­bar­rass con­gres­sion­al Demo­crats, and it could see ac­tion as soon as this even­ing.

House Re­pub­lic­ans ex­pect to bring three sep­ar­ate fund­ing bills to a vote that would re­open a few gov­ern­ment agen­cies and op­er­a­tions. The vote would go through a pro­ced­ur­al path that would re­quire sig­ni­fic­ant House Demo­crat­ic sup­port for pas­sage. And then, if Demo­crats ob­ject and don’t sup­port the meas­ures, Re­pub­lic­ans hope blame for their fail­ure would fall on Demo­crats.

The three bills, ac­cord­ing to Re­pub­lic­ans leav­ing a closed-door ses­sion, would fund the D.C. gov­ern­ment, vet­er­ans’ af­fairs pro­grams, and na­tion­al parks. But that list is not ne­ces­sar­ily fi­nal­ized.

The twist is that Re­pub­lic­ans will put these bills’ pas­sages at risk for the sake of po­ten­tial polit­ic­al points.

That’s be­cause, ac­cord­ing to mem­bers, these items will be ac­ted on through so-called “sus­pen­sion votes,” a pro­cess that nor­mally is equated with non-con­tro­ver­sial meas­ures, which lim­its de­bate and re­quires a two-thirds ma­jor­ity for pas­sage.

In oth­er words, in a House cham­ber with 433 cur­rent mem­bers ““ even full sup­port by the 233 mem­bers of the House Re­pub­lic­an con­fer­ence won’t be enough. A big chunk of some of the 200 House Demo­crats will be needed for pas­sage.

That means that even be­fore we learn for sure if Sen­ate Demo­crats would sup­port this piece­meal plan — and early in­dic­a­tions sug­gest they may not — Re­pub­lic­ans will first have to deal with House Demo­crats.

But White House press sec­ret­ary Jay Car­ney said the pro­pos­al “shows the ut­ter lack of ser­i­ous­ness that we’re see­ing from Re­pub­lic­ans.”         

“If they want to open the gov­ern­ment, they should open the gov­ern­ment, and then we can ne­go­ti­ate about how we fund our budget pri­or­it­ies in the fu­ture,” said Car­ney dur­ing a brief­ing with re­port­ers. (By Billy House)

UP­DATE: 3:03 p.m.: Re­pub­lic­an Fresh­man: GOP Los­ing This Fight

Elec­ted in the fresh­man wave of 2010, Rep. Den­nis Ross, R-Fla., is ad­mit­ting that this fight just isn’t break­ing the GOP’s way. When asked if he thought Obama­care would be im­ple­men­ted des­pite their ef­forts he said: “Ul­ti­mately that’s go­ing to hap­pen, in my opin­ion. We have voted 41 times to de­fund it or get rid of it. If my people back home say: Oh my gosh you voted to fund Obama­care, so be it. We’ve lost this battle. We need to move on to the next one.”

Hours later, his press per­son called to make it clear that he “wasn’t try­ing to be de­feat­ist.” (By Ben Ter­ris)

UP­DATE: 2:39 p.m.: How the White House is Us­ing So­cial Me­dia Today

How do you get polit­ic­al points dur­ing a gov­ern­ment shut­down? One way might be to lim­it your In­s­tagram posts.

That’s the strategy that the White House is at­tempt­ing on Tues­day. In its single post of the day, it shows a dire mes­sage:

But while the In­s­tagram feed is stag­nant, aimed at ril­ing up a young­er audi­ence, the White House’s Twit­ter and Flickr ac­counts re­main act­ive, in­clud­ing this photo of the pres­id­ent meet­ing with his seni­or staff this morn­ing:

Ap­par­ently some seni­or staff is clearly in the of­fice to do these func­tions. (By Matt Vasi­lo­gam­bros)

UP­DATE: 1:46 p.m.: Pass in Bits and Pieces?

Some Re­pub­lic­ans in the House are talk­ing about fund­ing the gov­ern­ment in parts. Ac­cord­ing to a Re­pub­lic­an aide, a clean con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tion would be passed in pieces, at se­quester levels, through Dec. 15. This would not be a nor­mal ap­pro­pri­ations bill.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said the House could vote on three of those pieces later on Tues­day, in­clud­ing Vet­er­ans’ Af­fairs, Dis­trict of Columbia fund­ing, and na­tion­al parks.

When asked if there was con­ser­vat­ive back­lash to this plan, “Every­body’s happy.”

Earli­er on Tues­day, Rep. Dar­rell Issa, R-Cal­if., said, “We’re work­ing on lan­guage to make sure the Dis­trict of Columbia stays open.”

This new tac­tic would “re­open cer­tain as­pects of the gov­ern­ment im­port­ant to people and show they’re try­ing to work to­ward solu­tions,” the aide said, “while at the same time giv­ing time to come to a lar­ger deal to re­open the en­tire fed­er­al gov­ern­ment.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, seems to be on board with this plan.

“It is re­spond­ing to the pri­or­it­ies that Pres­id­ent Obama laid out and I agree with those pri­or­it­ies,” Cruz told re­port­ers. “And I for one be­lieve we should re­open the na­tion­al parks today, we should fund the VA today, we should re­spond to those pri­or­it­ies and fund them and if it doesn’t hap­pen the only reas­on it may not hap­pen is if Harry Re­id and the Demo­crats ob­ject.

However, after his re­peated re­jec­tions of any­thing but a com­plete clean CR, it is un­clear that Re­id would go for this pro­pos­al.

Pres­id­ent Pro Tem­pore of the Sen­ate Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., later dis­missed the idea of a piece­meal ap­proach as a “stunt” and called it “silly.” (By Elahe Iz­adi and Mi­chael Cata­lini)

UP­DATE: 1:38 p.m.: On the Shut­down, Demo­crats Still Thinks Tea Party Re­pub­lic­ans Lose Polit­ic­ally

Sen­ate Demo­crats are swat­ting away the sug­ges­tion that they too could ab­sorb some of the blame for the par­tial gov­ern­ment shut­down. 

Asked who he thinks would be blamed and wheth­er Demo­crats could too face cri­ti­cism, Sen. Carl Lev­in, D-Mich., said it would be the tea party Re­pub­lic­ans. 

Sen. Bill Nel­son, D-Fla., did not an­swer dir­ectly when asked if his con­stitu­ents could put pres­sure him to ne­go­ti­ate with the House, but cast blame on the GOP.

“There’s no ques­tion of com­prom­ise on we ought to be keep­ing the gov­ern­ment open,” he said. “This will hurt the Re­pub­lic­an Party be­cause it is a small group of the tea party that ba­sic­ally don’t like gov­ern­ment.” (By Mi­chael Cata­lini)

UP­DATE: 1:24 p.m.: Obama: This Is a “Re­pub­lic­an Shut­down”

Speak­ing from the Rose Garden Tues­day af­ter­noon, Pres­id­ent Obama called the fed­er­al clos­ure a “Re­pub­lic­an shut­down.”

“Many rep­res­ent­at­ives, in­clud­ing an in­creas­ing num­ber of Re­pub­lic­ans, have made it clear that had they been al­lowed by Speak­er [John] Boehner to take a simple up or down vote on keep­ing the gov­ern­ment open with no par­tis­an strings at­tached, enough votes from both parties would have kept the Amer­ic­an people’s gov­ern­ment open and op­er­at­ing,” Obama said. Now that it’s closed, Obama con­tin­ued, it’s up to House Re­pub­lic­ans to fix it.

Un­til then, the 15 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans who are un­in­sured can start en­rolling at the health in­sur­ance mar­ket­place, he said. For some, the fed­er­al web­site, health­, slowed or re­turned er­ror mes­sages for users try­ing to ap­ply. Obama said such glitches are to be ex­pec­ted, say­ing that more than 1 mil­lion vis­it­ors to the site this morn­ing cre­ated delay in the signup pro­cess. He likened the in­fant web­site to iOs7, Apple’s latest soft­ware up­date, which re­ceived com­plaints from some users about the new design.

“I don’t re­mem­ber any­body sug­gest­ing that Apple stop selling iPhones or iPods or that they shut down the gov­ern­ment if they didn’t,” Obama said. “That’s not how we do things in Amer­ica.” (By Mar­ina Koren)

UP­DATE: 1:06 p.m.: Re­pub­lic­ans Show Up to Con­fer­ence Meet­ing They Knew Demo­crats Wouldn’t At­tend

Does House Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Eric Can­tor, R-Va., feel any per­son­al em­bar­rass­ment over the gov­ern­ment shut­down?

Can­tor isn’t an­swer­ing that ques­tion.

But the House’s No. 2 Re­pub­lic­an and a group of GOP col­leagues, in­clud­ing Budget Chair­man Paul Ry­an, R-Wis., were made avail­able on Tues­day, kind of, as they posed sit­ting around one side of a long table, jack­ets off.

It was as if these House Re­pub­lic­ans were stand­ing at the al­ter, ready to start a two-cham­ber con­fer­ence to ham­mer out an agree­ment on a stop-gap budget plan. But sadly for this group of would-be ne­go­ti­at­ors, they were left wait­ing for a Sen­ate Demo­crat ne­go­ti­at­ing team that would nev­er come.

Of course, no one was really wait­ing for any­one. Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id, D-Nev., and his Demo­crat­ic col­leagues have already re­jec­ted such a con­fer­ence. They in­sist a more simple solu­tion to the stan­doff would be Can­tor and his House Re­pub­lic­an col­leagues to pass a short-term spend­ing bill without any anti-Obama­care lan­guage, which they’ve re­fused to do.

As a res­ult, the ex­pec­ted photo op­por­tun­ity: Can­tor and his would-be con­fer­ees sit­ting on one side of a table, the oth­er side empty. Along with Ry­an, the in­cluded, among oth­ers, Dave Camp, R-Mich., chair­man of the House Ways & Means Com­mit­tee, Hal Ro­gers, R-Ky., chair­man of the House Ap­pro­pri­ations Com­mit­tee, and Rep Tom Graves, R-Ga., au­thor of a le­gis­la­tion to delay or de­fund the pres­id­ent’s health care plan.

The group did take a few ques­tions. And Can­tor at one point raised the news that vet­er­ans had entered the World War II Me­mori­al site, des­pite bar­ri­ers. “Be­cause they should as Amer­ic­ans, as vet­er­ans, people who’ve served this coun­try, have the abil­ity to en­joy that site,” he said.

But as re­port­ers and pho­to­graph­ers were sud­denly ushered out of the room, Can­tor re­mained tight-lipped to a ques­tion over wheth­er he feels any per­son­al em­bar­rass­ment.

Ry­an was asked dur­ing the same ap­pear­ance Tues­day with Can­tor about why House Re­pub­lic­ans want to go to con­fer­ence with Sen­ate Demo­crats now on a short-term spend­ing bill, when for months the House GOP has been re­fus­ing to go in­to a sim­il­ar pro­cess over a year-long budget?

Ry­an said he and Sen­ate Budget Com­mit­tee Chair Patty Mur­ray, D-Wash., have been talk­ing. But the up­shot, he said, is that it has been pre­ma­ture to do so, and that if we went pre­ma­turely, that would de­crease the like­li­hood we’d get to a budget agree­ment.” He said the dis­cus­sions over a debt lim­it in­crease could provide a needed “for­cing mech­an­ism” to “bring the two parties to­geth­er. (By Billy House)

UP­DATE: 12:40 p.m.: On the Scene at the World War II Me­mori­al

Dozens of vet­er­ans and their fam­ily mem­bers walked around the World War II me­mori­al on Tues­day morn­ing after they knocked down fences put in place for gov­ern­ment shut­down. Ac­com­pa­ny­ing them: Reps. Steve King, R-Iowa, Michele Bach­mann, R-Minn., and Louie Gohmert, R-Texas.

Bach­mann says she was told in the morn­ing that WWII vet­er­an del­eg­a­tions were com­ing from Mis­sis­sippi and Iowa. Gohmert cut the yel­low po­lice tape and the con­gress­men es­cor­ted the vets in, though there was no push­back from park po­lice at the time.

“They called for mem­bers of Con­gress to help and I ran over,” Bach­mann said. “Every­day there is a shut­down ““ I doubt a shut­down will last more than 2 to 3 days ““ you will see mem­bers of Con­gress es­cort­ing vets in be­cause we’re not go­ing to have any­one not come.”

There was no true need, however, for the law­makers to be at the site to the let the vet­er­ans in. The Na­tion­al Re­pub­lic­an Con­gres­sion­al Com­mit­tee is already us­ing the event for polit­ic­al pur­poses.

Pre­dict­ably so, Bach­mann laid the blame on the shut­down squarely on the shoulders of Demo­crats for not ne­go­ti­at­ing with House Re­pub­lic­ans and re­ject­ing their mul­tiple pro­pos­als. When asked why can’t the House pass a clean CR without Obama­care pro­vi­sions to keep the gov­ern­ment open, she said,  “What you’re say­ing in is that every in­stance the Re­pub­lic­an po­s­i­tion should be the Demo­crat­ic po­s­i­tion. That pres­id­ent Obama should es­sen­tially be a dic­tat­or.”

Na­tion­al Park Ser­vice spokes­per­son Car­ol John­son said, as of writ­ing, her agency was await­ing guid­ance on how to handle the situ­ation. No vets were kicked out of the me­mori­al, but oth­er groups are sched­uled to come, such as a del­eg­a­tion from Illinois com­ing Wed­nes­day. 

While there, the law­makers took pho­tos with the vet­er­ans (King pic­tured above).

“We’ll do everything we can,” King told one vet­er­an.

An­oth­er vet­er­an sar­castic­ally shot back, “That’s all I need is a politi­cian.”

Na­tion­al Parks Ser­vice spokes­wo­man Car­ol John­son said they are await­ing guid­ance on what to do with pos­sible fu­ture groups of vet­er­ans. For her part, John­son was sup­posed to be fur­loughed, but was called in for this event. She said she is not be­ing paid, however.

A Vi­et­nam vet­er­an told Na­tion­al Journ­al that he was happy to get to go to the WWII Me­mori­al. Get­ting out to D.C. for this was on his buck­et-list, he said. But he was dis­ap­poin­ted not to get to see the names of two of his friends who didn’t make it home on the Vi­et­nam Me­mori­al. He said he’ll be back next year.

As groups of vets don­ning yel­low shirts walked back in­to buses, a few park rangers and Park Po­lice walked around the me­mori­al grounds, await­ing guid­ance on how to handle the situ­ation. Judy Hill­man of Michigan thanked Bach­mann (pic­tured be­low), telling her that her grand­sons sta­tioned in South Korea and Africa couldn’t get goods from army com­mis­sar­ies, which were closed by the shut­down. When asked who’s to blame for the shut­down, Hill­man didn’t hes­it­ate. “Obama. He’s not ne­go­ti­at­ing with Con­gress.” Mean­while, groups of tour­ists walked past the now-open bar­ri­cades in­to the me­mori­al. The foun­tain was turned off, but they still snapped pho­tos of the grounds. (By Matt Ber­man and Elahe Iz­adi)

UP­DATE: 12:16 p.m.: Who Burned Boehner?

It’s dis­aster for Boehner this morn­ing: though the speak­er spent Monday night rail­ing against fed­er­al con­tri­bu­tions to the health plans of Con­gress’ mem­bers and staffers, the speak­er’s of­fice has been work­ing quietly with Re­id’s camp to pro­tect those very same sub­sidies, ac­cord­ing to a re­port from Politico.

If true, it’s a pain­ful rev­el­a­tion for Boehner, as it cre­ates — at the very least — the ap­pear­ance of hy­po­crisy and plays in­to an ac­cus­a­tion that has dogged the speak­er throughout his ten­ure: that he’s a Wash­ing­ton in­sider who’s pos­ing as a Tea Party firebrand, but he’s not truly with him.

Boehner’s camp is in­sist­ing the speak­er’s be­hind-the-scenes work in no way con­tra­dicts his pub­lic state­ments, say­ing he was simply push­ing Demo­crats to fix a prob­lem they cre­ated.

The Politico re­port is backed by leaked emails and oth­er doc­u­ments de­tail­ing the ne­go­ti­ations, and that raises an­oth­er big ques­tion: who de­cided to make these private com­mu­nic­a­tions pub­lic?

It’s hard to ima­gine they came from Boehner’s camp, giv­ing the tim­ing and the per­cep­tion head­ache it’s caus­ing the speak­er. And that leaves either a third party who some­how in­ter­cep­ted the doc­u­ments, or — most likely, giv­en a Roll Call re­port Monday about Demo­crats con­sid­er­ing re­leas­ing the doc­u­ments — someone across the aisle.

Who­ever put out the doc­u­ments, it’s a shock­ing breach of trust, and one that’s likely to have rami­fic­a­tions go­ing for­ward. Con­gress’ mem­bers live with a con­stant ten­sion between stay­ing safe in one own’s polit­ic­al camp and shoul­der­ing the polit­ic­al risk or cross-party out­reach in the hopes of get­ting things done. But after Boehner just got burned for play­ing ball, it’s hard to ima­gine him ever stick­ing his neck out again. And in the cur­rent hy­per-par­tis­an en­vir­on­ment, Boehner’s story could well serve as the cau­tion­ary tale that keeps oth­er mem­bers from do­ing any­thing oth­er than play­ing it safe. (By Patrick Re­is)

UP­DATE: 11:54 p.m.: Bar­ri­cades Don’t Stop Vet­er­ans From See­ing World War II Me­mori­al

A group of World War II vet­er­ans from Mis­sis­sippi knocked over the bar­ri­cades at the WWII me­mori­al on Tues­day morn­ing, des­pite it be­ing closed due to the gov­ern­ment shut­down, Stars and Stripes re­port­er Leo Shane tweeted:

Tons of ap­plause as the WWII vets from Miss. storm their me­mori­al. Park po­lice on the way. #shut­down pic.twit­

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, re­portedly dis­trac­ted a U.S. Park Ser­vice po­lice of­ficer as vet­er­ans and staffers knocked down the bar­ri­cades, ac­cord­ing to Shane. Rep. Michele Bach­mann, R-Minn., is re­portedly there, as well. (By Matt Vasi­lo­gam­bros)

UP­DATE: 11:45 a.m.: House Re­pub­lic­ans Call on Twit­ter For a Clean CR

Two mem­bers of the House GOP have taken to Twit­ter to push for a res­ol­u­tion to the shut­down. Here’s a roundup from this morn­ing:

I came to DC to fix gov’t, not shut it down. It’s time for House to vote for a clean, short-term fund­ing bill to bring Sen­ate to the table

We fought the good fight. Time for a clean CR.

Of course, that’s by no means the dom­in­ant po­s­i­tion in the Re­pub­lic­an party right now. That po­s­i­tion, es­pe­cially on Twit­ter, looks more like this:

If there was any ques­tion about who wants a govt shut­down, @Sen­at­or­Reid answered it this morn­ing when he re­jec­ted our of­fer to ne­go­ti­ate.

We’ve got a ways to go yet. (By Matt Ber­man)

UP­DATE: 11:38 a.m.: DCCC Tar­gets Re­pub­lic­ans Over Shut­down

The cam­paign arm of House Demo­crats is crank­ing up the pres­sure on vul­ner­able Re­pub­lic­ans over the gov­ern­ment shut­down, dis­patch­ing auto­mat­ic calls to voters in 63 con­gres­sion­al dis­tricts Tues­day with mes­sages that urge con­stitu­ents to call their rep­res­ent­at­ives and de­mand they “stop the non­sense.”

The Demo­crat­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee’s paid grass­roots cam­paign tar­gets law­makers in com­pet­it­ive dis­tricts and blames the shut­down on Re­pub­lic­an law­makers, while not­ing that they’re “still get­ting paid.” “He’s just not listen­ing to our frus­tra­tion. All be­cause of his de­mand to take away your be­ne­fits and pro­tect in­sur­ance com­pany profits,” one sample rob­ocall reads. The mes­sage will then al­low voters to dial 1 to be con­nec­ted to their con­gress­man’s of­fice.

With the mes­sage, Demo­crats are try­ing to both make Re­pub­lic­an law­makers sweat and, per­haps, to in­cite the “mod­er­ate in­sur­rec­tion” against the hard-right fac­tion in the House that nev­er ma­ter­i­al­ized Monday night ahead of the shut­down. It’s an es­cal­a­tion from Pres­id­ent Obama’s re­quest that voters call their mem­bers of Con­gress to pres­sure them to avoid a shut­down. (By Alex Seitz-Wald)

UP­DATE: 11:34 a.m.: Snowe Slams Tea Party Re­pub­lic­ans

Former Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe said on Tues­day “there’s no ques­tion” tea party mem­bers of the Re­pub­lic­an Party are partly to blame for the gov­ern­ment shut­down. “This is not the party I re­cog­nize,” the mod­er­ate Re­pub­lic­an said on CNN. Re­pub­lic­an lead­er­ship needs to re­gain con­trol of their caucus, she said. (By Dustin Volz)

UP­DATE: 11:15 a.m.: The Wait and See Game

Re­pub­lic­an strategists said Tues­day that House Re­pub­lic­ans were still wait­ing for Demo­crats to ini­ti­ate com­prom­ise.

“House Re­pub­lic­ans will be gauging pub­lic re­ac­tion and wait­ing for their Demo­crat­ic coun­ter­parts to be­gin ne­go­ti­ations,” said GOP strategist Ron Bon­jean. “They made a num­ber of moves last night, so now it’s likely go­ing to be a wait and see game.” (By Stacy Kaper)

UP­DATE: 11:10 a.m.: Taliban?

If the shut­down has meant any­thing for Con­gress so far, it’s su­per hy­per­bol­ic rhet­or­ic. Rep. Joe Gar­cia, D-Fla., took to the House floor to com­pare tea party Re­pub­lic­ans to the Taliban. In re­sponse, Mark Mead­ows, R-N.C., said that he doesn’t “find that there are any Amer­ic­an cit­izens who de­serve that kind of rhet­or­ic and name call­ing.”

We as­sume that the name call­ing will just get more and more heated from here. (By Matt Ber­man)

UP­DATE: 11:01 a.m.: Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans Search for the Next Move

The im­pact of the shut­down has be­gun to trickle down to Sen­ate of­fices. For in­stance, Sen. Saxby Cham­b­liss, R-Ga., said that after noon his staff of about 30 would dwindle to just four ““ which means any con­stitu­ent calls about the shut­down will likely go un­answered. “They’ll get to hear my mes­sage,” Cham­b­liss said.

As the Sen­ate voted down the latest pro­pos­al from the House, a num­ber of Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans signaled they were giv­ing the House Re­pub­lic­an caucus breath­ing room to strategize on what their next move should be.

“They have to make that de­cision for them­selves based on their in­tern­al polit­ics,” Sen. Johnny Isak­son, R-Ga., told Na­tion­al Journ­al

But Isak­son, who was elec­ted to Con­gress to re­place Newt Gin­grich after his resig­na­tion fol­low­ing the fal­lout from the 1995-1996 shut­down, also ac­know­ledged where the stan­doff was even­tu­ally headed:  “Right now, the way out is not clear ex­cept you’ve got a situ­ation where you’ve got a very mono­lith­ic vote in the Demo­crat­ic con­fer­ence win the Sen­ate, you’ve got a Demo­crat­ic pres­id­ent and you’ve got a Re­pub­lic­an House. Two-thirds of the power in this de­bate lies un­der rate con­trol of the Demo­crats, which is go­ing to ul­ti­mately go­ing to de­cide what hap­pens.”

Sen. Bob Cork­er, R-Tenn., who had re­ceived some con­ser­vat­ive back­lash last week after he cri­ti­cized Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, from the Sen­ate floor, like­wise with­held ad­vice for House Re­pub­lic­ans. “The Speak­er has a tough job, and I’ll let him fig­ure out how to get to 218 votes for something,” Cork­er said. “I don’t want to make it more com­plic­ated by say­ing things that could com­plic­ate that.”

But Sen. John Mc­Cain, R-Ar­iz., who has been highly crit­ic­al of the shut­down strategy to de­rail the health care law, pre­dicted the shut­down wouldn’t last “too much longer” and urged House Re­pub­lic­ans to “ac­cept the fact that we’re not go­ing to de­fund Obama­care.”

“We had a pres­id­en­tial elec­tion that was based on that ar­gu­ment. We had oth­er elec­tions that were based on either keep­ing or re­peal­ing Obama­care,” he said. But as for wheth­er House Re­pub­lic­ans were risk­ing their ma­jor­ity, Mc­Cain said “Many of them come from safe dis­tricts and they ran say­ing they would fight to re­peal Obama­care, so I re­spect their po­s­i­tion.” (By Elahe Iz­adi)

UP­DATE 10:54 a.m.: House Re­pub­lic­ans Will Hold Press Con­fer­ence at Noon

House Re­pub­lic­ans an­nounced plans to hold a press con­fer­ence with con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tion con­fer­ees at noon in the Speak­er’s con­fer­ence room to dis­cuss the state of play on the shut­down.

The group in­cludes House Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Eric Can­tor, R-Va., Ways and Means Com­mit­tee Chair­man Dave Camp, R-Mich., House Ap­pro­pri­ations Com­mit­tee Chair­man Hal Ro­gers, R-Ky., House Budget Com­mit­tee Chair­man Paul Ry­an, R-Wis., and Reps. John Carter, R-Texas, An­der Cren­shaw, R-Fla., Rod­ney Frel­inghuysen, R-N.J., and Tom Graves, R-Ga. (By Stacy Kaper)

UP­DATE: 10:20 a.m.: Sen­ate Lead­er­ship Blame Each Oth­er for Shut­down

In a sign that any com­prom­ise could still be quite dis­tant, Sen­ate party lead­er­ship traded barbs on the floor Tues­day morn­ing, with each side point­ing to the oth­er as the cause of today’s gov­ern­ment shut­down.

Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell, R-Ky., came out swinging, blam­ing the shut­down on Demo­crats for re­fus­ing to sit down and com­prom­ise. 

“They’ve now said they won’t even agree to sit down and work out our dif­fer­ences,” Mc­Con­nell said on the floor. “They won’t even talk about it. They lit­er­ally just voted against work­ing out a com­prom­ise.”

He ad­ded, “So we know the Demo­crats who shut down the gov­ern­ment will yell and point fin­gers. They’ve already star­ted that routine.”

Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id, D-Nev., im­me­di­ately shot back: “My friend, the Re­pub­lic­an lead­er, spoke as if George Or­well wrote his speech. This is 1984, where up is down, left is right, east is west,” he said. “It was the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives that shut down the gov­ern­ment.”

Re­id poin­ted out that Obama­care is go­ing for­ward des­pite Re­pub­lic­an op­pos­i­tion, and praised Sen­ate Budget Com­mit­tee Chair­wo­man Patty Mur­ray, D-Wash., for passing a budget and seek­ing to go to a con­fer­ence with the House 18 times.

“Mem­bers of the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ive were un­able to vote to keep the gov­ern­ment run­ning ““ only the Re­pub­lic­ans,” Re­id ad­ded. (By Stacy Kaper and Dustin Volz)

UP­DATE: 9:55 a.m.: Sen­ate Re­jects Mo­tion to go to Con­fer­ence

The Sen­ate voted 54 to 46 to re­ject the House’s re­quest for con­fer­ees on its anti-Obam­care con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tion to fund the gov­ern­ment Tues­day morn­ing. The move kicks the ball back to the House, which had not an­nounced how it plans to pro­ceed nearly 10 hours after the gov­ern­ment shut­down began. (By Stacy Kaper)

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