clean CR

With Shutdown, Your Pain is Obama’s Gain

At the time of this writing, there seems to be some movement on the “government “shutdown” (the shutdown in which 83% of government continues to operate), mainly in the form of Republicans regrouping yet again to come up with yet another offer for Obama, every one of which he has thus far rejected, demanding the GOP unilaterally surrender before he will he “talk” with Republicans about issues concerning them, like a monstrous and growing national debt, entitlement spending which pushes America into bankruptcy, and Obamacare, which has been disastrous (to use CBS News’ description) and which is killing jobs and raising health insurance costs drastically.

Why would Republicans continue to negotiate against themselves, when it is Republicans who have fulfilled their constitutional obligations by passing four major appropriations bills and a dozen or so “mini-CR’s” (smaller Continuing Resolutions to fund every operation of government except Obamacare)? That would be because Obama and his media lapdogs continue to spin this as a “Republican” shutdown, regardless of the fact that it is the Democrat-controlled Senate which has refused to vote on these bills, demanding House Republicans pass a single, massive bill to fund ALL of government, including Obamacare.

With Republicans negotiating against themselves so often in trying to find an offer Obama would accept, it might make one wonder why we are still at an impasse, and why Obama still refuses to negotiate with them at all. In order to understand that, you first have to understand that Obama, all the way back to his pot-smoking college days, has been a disciple of leftist radical Saul Alinksy, who wrote the guidebook for other leftist radicals hell bent on destroying the social order.

Beware the Obamacare concern trolls

Ezra Klein

While it was a coincidence that the Obamacare insurance exchange website launched on October 1, the same day the partial federal government shutdown began, there have been few coincidences since. It is thus no twist of fate that many prominent liberals seem to be worried that the GOP is wasting an opportunity to criticize the failure of the exchange roll-out. This is concern trolling at its transparent worst.

The most blatant example comes from a usual source of concern trolling, Ezra Klein at the Washington Post. In a “Wonkblog” piece titled “Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster” (bait deployed), the first three of those “thoughts” are overt criticisms of the law and its implementation so far (bait taken). Then Klein gets to the GOP’s “missed opportunity” (reeling in):

Their decision to shut down the government on the exact day the health-care law launched was a miracle for the White House. If Republicans had simply passed a clean-CR on Oct. 1 these last few weeks would’ve been nothing — nothing at all — save for coverage of the health-care law’s disaster. Instead the law has been knocked off the front page by coverage of the Republican Party’s disaster.

Reid, McConnell deal progresses, conservatives express skepticism

It appears that there is a deal in the works between Senate leaders that would temporarily raise the debt ceiling and fund the federal government while yet another “super-committee.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have been working behind the scenes since a bipartisan compromise offered by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) fell apart over the weekend. The two leaders are cautious because whatever they agree to has to pass the House of Representatives.

“We have had an opportunity over the last couple of days to have some very constructive exchanges of views about how to move forward,” said McConnell from the Senate floor on Monday. “Those discussions continue, and I share [the] optimism that we’re going to get a result that will be acceptable to both sides.”

The basis of the deal, according to various media reports, is a Continuing Resolution that funds the federal government until January 15 and extending the debt ceiling until February 7, though some outlets are reporting February 15. The sticking point for Senate Republicans is maintaining the sequester cuts and the $988 billion funding level for FY 2014.

There are also some minor changes to ObamaCare that are being considered, but Politico notes that negotiations on those provisions could fail, which would take the controversial law off the table.

Obama, House Republicans discussing debt ceiling deal

There has been considerable movement in talks between House Republicans and the White House on the debt ceiling over the last 24 hours. There is no definite deal yet, but the wheels are moving.

House Republicans, led by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), have floated the idea of a six-week debt ceiling increase, which conservative groups have indicated they will not oppose and which the White House has said that President Barack Obama would “likely” sign.

Senate, however, is still pushing forward on a long-term debt ceiling increase. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will hold a vote tomorrow on one-year, $1 trillion dollar increase. Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and other moderate Republicans, are working with some Democrats to repeal ObamaCare’s medical device tax and subsidy verification requirements as part of the debt ceiling deal. This potential deal would also give the Obama Administration flexibility on sequester cuts.

NRCC goes on the offensive, blames Reid for government shutdown

 Reid's Shutdown

The National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) has launched a new ad that touts the spending bills that House Republicans have passed to fund parts of the federal government, including Veterans Affairs and the National Institutes of Health, and slammed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for refusing to bring them to the floor for a vote:

Reid refuses to bring any of the piecemeal bills to the floor, demanding that House Republicans pass a so-called “clean” Continuing Resolution (CR). Including the three CRs passed before the government shutdown, the House has now passed 12 different measures that would open all or parts of the federal government.

Obama dares Boehner to pass clean CR, turns over negotiations to Reid

The finger-pointing continues as Congress enters the eighth day of the government shutdown and there doesn’t seem to be a resolution in sight.

Tuesday began with President Barack Obama daring House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to pass a clean Continuing Resolution (CR). Boehner has insisted that such a measure can’t pass the House, but President Obama wants the Ohio Republican to “prove it.” Yes, folks, Washington is apparently governing by double-dog dares.

The Washington Post noted yesterday that are enough moderate Republicans willing to join Democrats to pass a clean CR. But that’s questionable. While there may be enough House Republicans unhappy about the stalemate, they’ve rejected a procedural trick by Democrats to bring the measure that President Obama wants to the floor.

The interesting aspect in all of this is that President Obama, despite all of his rhetoric, has distanced himself from the CR and debt ceiling debate. The Hill noted yesterday that the White House is now deferring to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), putting him in charge of negotiations with House leadership. For his part, Reid is has been just as unwilling to move from his position as the White House.

The real casualty of the shutdown? Rationality

Government Shutdown -- Mt. Rushmore

Make no mistake folks, this so-called “shutdown” is impacting real people.  I get that.  Several friends of mine are sitting at home rather than working.  However, even they have to admit that the impact on their life is somewhat temporary, even if the government didn’t pay them for the time they are sitting at home.

Unfortunately, this shutdown has set a new low for rationality from alleged adults.

Much ado has made about the Republican Party’s refusal thus far to pass a “clean” continuing resolution.  Some have even talked about how the Senate already has, and all the House has to do is vote on it.  Of course, since funding measures must start in the House, a Senate originated CR would be illegal.

While there are valid complaints regarding the Republicans, they’re not alone.

For example, let’s take a look at this friendly picture.

Shutdown

This is taken from NASA.gov, NASA’s official website.  I was clued into this being there this past weekend when someone on Facebook mentioned that they tried to access the site to help their child with a school report.  Not being one to take someone’s word for this, I looked myself and captured this.  NASA.gov redirects this notice.  This same notice shows up at Data.gov, a popular source for information about the United States government.  Even the Amber Alert website is down!

However, the EPA’s website, doesn’t have any such notice.  Neither does Ready.gov, run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Defense.gov is also clear.

Government shutdown continues, furloughed workers likely to be paid

If you were hoping the impasse over the Continuing Resolution (CR) and ObamaCare would be solved over the weekend, you no doubt woke up to disappointing news this morning. Today is the seventh day of the government shutdown and it appears that the White House and Congress are no closer to a resolution.

While ObamaCare was the initial focus of House Republicans, they’ve now shifted their strategy to get a deal that would fund the federal government and raise the debt limit, which will be reached in 10 days.

The White House believes that they “are winning,” according to an anonymous source quoted in the Wall Street Journal, and that “[i]t doesn’t really matter” how long the government shutdown lasts “because what matters is the end result.” Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) had harsh words in response to that quote, telling reporters on Friday that “[t]his isn’t some damn game.”

Obama invites congressional leaders to White House, Boehner talks of a “grand bargain”

Wednesday didn’t bring much in the way of a resolution to the government shutdown. There was, however, some talking between the White House and congressional leaders, the first real discussion since the government shutdown began.

As the second day of the government shutdown began, it seemed that the war of words between all sides would continue. In an op-ed at USA Today yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) wrote that President Barack Obama. “For years, the president has said that in a divided government, no one gets 100% of what they want,” he wrote. “But when will his words match his actions?”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) floated the idea of opening negotiations on tax reform, through a conference committee, if House Republicans would pass a so-called “clean” Continuing Resolution (CR) and bring the government shutdown to an end. That idea was quicky dismissed by a spokesman for Boehner.

Word broke in the afternoon that President Obama would host congressional leaders from both parties to the White House to for talks on ending the shutdown, which was the first real discussion since the shutdown began on Tuesday.

While the meeting lasted for 90 minutes, there were no signs that the sides were any closer to an agreement. The Hill reports that the White House now wants to tie the debt ceiling to the CR while Boehner is sticking by his guns, demanding concessions on ObamaCare.

Senate likely to strip language to defund ObamaCare

A procedural strategy being looked at by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) would strike the language to defund ObamaCare out of the Continuing Resolution (CR), according to a report from The Hill:

Reid’s first move would be to schedule a vote to end debate on proceeding to the House continuing resolution. This would require 60 votes. Republican senators would vote to proceed to the bill because it would including the language to defund ObamaCare.

Then he would fill the amendment tree, defining what amendments could be considered in relation to the House legislation.

Reid would be sure that one of the pending amendments is a so-called “amendment to strike,” which would allow him schedule a future vote on stripping the language defunding ObamaCare and prioritizing debt payments.

Then Reid would schedule a vote to end debate on the House continuing resolution and proceed to final passage. This vote also requires 60 votes.
[…]
After this second cloture vote has passed, the pending amendments can be approved with a simple majority vote. At this point, Reid could strike the language defunding ObamaCare and prioritizing debt payments without having to rely on Republican votes. He could strike the language with Democratic votes alone.


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