Positive signs but still no deal
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Weeks of brinkmanship gave way Thursday to an offer from Republicans to raise the debt ceiling and a face-to-face meeting between President Barack Obama and 20 House GOP leaders.
But with no firm deal in hand, Friday brought Day 11 of the partial federal government shutdown and edged the country closer to a potential default, as both sides evaluated the next step in resolving the stalemate.
Speaker John Boehner outlined the plan to temporarily lift the country’s borrowing limit in exchange for the president agreeing to enter into negotiations on the budget following a closed-door meeting of House Republicans Thursday morning.
In response, White House press secretary Jay Carney called the proposal an “encouraging sign,” but said the president would wait to see the actual language put forward by Republicans.
The public exchange teed up the private meeting at the White House. The Obama administration called it a “good” forum, while the House GOP dubbed the 90-minute session “constructive,” leading the New York Times to characterize the developments as “the most positive tone in weeks of acrimony.”
“After a discussion about potential paths forward, no specific determination was made,” read a short statement from the White House.
“No final decisions were made; however, it was a useful and productive conversation,” said Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck.
From the Times story by Jackie Calmes and Ashley Parker:
People familiar with the meeting said that Mr. Obama pressed Republicans to reopen the government, and that Republicans raised the possibility that financing could be restored by early next week if terms for broad budget negotiations could be reached.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan told the paper Mr. Obama “didn’t say yes, didn’t say no.”
Little else surfaced from the meeting, which some Capitol Hill aides said was another signal something might get done. Overnight, aides continued working, but no agreements were reached.
The president will confer Friday with Senate Republicans, who are crafting a competing proposal based on a framework designed by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine that would raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government.
The Washington Post’s Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane have the details on the GOP alternative:
“I was surprised that the House decided to deal only with the debt limit and not with the continued closure of government,” Collins said. “I think that we have to deal with both issues, and we need to do so quickly.”
Senate Democrats were intrigued by Collins’s proposal but unhappy with its demand for Democratic concessions. Those would include the repeal of a tax on medical devices that helps fund Obama’s health-care law, the Affordable Care Act, and new
income-verification procedures for people who receive tax subsidies to buy health insurance on the law’s new exchanges.
In addition, Collins’s proposal would maintain deep cuts known as sequestration through at least March, although it would grant agencies greater flexibility to decide where the cuts would fall. Sequestration remains a red flag for the White House and many Democrats, who want to restore funding for domestic programs.
The movement among Republicans comes as yet another poll shows the party has been damaged by the deadlock.
A Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey released Thursday found that 53 percent of Americans blame the GOP for the shutdown, while 31 percent fault the president.
The party’s approval rating in the poll stands at 24 percent. When asked which party should control Congress, respondents give Democrats a 47 percent to 39 percent advantage.
When it comes to the current debate, 46 percent of Americans say they think the president is standing up for what he believes in, while 27 percent say the same of congressional Republicans. Seven in 10 respondents said GOP lawmakers were putting their political agenda ahead of the good of the country.
The strategy of Republican lawmakers to link the budget fight to defunding the health care law also appears to have backfired, with 38 percent of Americans calling the Affordable Care Act a “good idea,” up seven percentage points from last month. And, half of respondents said they opposed totally eliminating funds for the law.
With more and more evidence signaling Republicans are paying a political cost for the shutdown, the urgency behind reaching some kind of agreement is only likely to grow. The question is what kind of concessions are they able to win from Democrats, and whether those will be enough to address concerns of the more conservative members who want the party to hold its ground on the health care law.
We explored the developments on the NewsHour Thursday. Kwame Holman began our coverage with a report on the day’s events. Then Judy Woodruff spoke with Margaret Talev, who covers the White House for Bloomberg.
Watch here or below:
Talev recently wrote about the 2011 impasse and how some of those hard lines led us to this point.
The NewsHour also explored the split within the Republican Party and the structural political problems that led to this nasty stalemate. Judy spoke with former GOP Rep. Tom Davis and Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute.
They both said the deal in the works isn’t the best option but that it signals progress.
“You have to start somewhere to end up somewhere,” Davis said. Ornstein pointed out, “If you care about spending, shutting down the government is extraordinarily costly.”
Watch the segment here or below:
Some of these divisions could be on display Friday when conservative Republican Sens. Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, who were major forces in linking the health care law to government funding, speak at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. Follow NewsHour’s Cindy Huang for live updates Friday from the event.
Mr. Obama signed on Thursday a measure restoring benefits to the families of fallen troops, one of the unintended consequences of the shutdown.
From a Pittsburgh rum maker to an Alaskan trout fisherman, the Washington Post’s Marc Fisher and Holly Yeager trace the shutdown ripple effects outside of Washington.
Independent truckers are uniting Friday to shut down Washington’s Beltway.
That NBC/Wall Street Journal poll also found if voters “had the chance to vote to defeat and replace every single member of Congress, including their own representative, they would,” writes Domenico Montanaro. Just 35 percent say they would not. It’s a three percent jump from a similar poll taken last month, but the highest ever recorded by the survey.
The Atlantic Wire explores how the populist GOP movement started by the billionaire Koch brothers might have gotten out of control. And the New York Times’ Eric Lipton and Nicholas Confessore examine the split between the Kochs and other conservatives.
The world’s chemical weapons watchdog won the Nobel Peace Prize Friday. The young Pakistani woman who has been making the rounds in the United States, Malala Yousafzai, did not claim the honor as some had expected. The NewsHour is interviewing the teenager Friday. What would you ask?
Newark Mayor and Senate hopeful Cory Booker’s father passed away Thursday at the age of 76.
Politico’s James Hohmann reports that Virginia’s Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis fell just shy of the 10 percent polling threshold to make a debate stage, so will be excluded from the final faceoff between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
Roll Call’s Emily Cahn writes that Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is considering a bid for a House seat in Louisiana.
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced Thursday to 28 years in prison for corruption.
Some national parks, including Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, may reopen using states’ funding.
The Pentagon’s number two official, Ashton Carter, is stepping down in December.
The New York Times Magazine is running an excerpt of Peter Baker’s new book about former President George W. Bush’s time in the White House. The section focuses on Mr. Bush’s relationship with former Vice President Dick Cheney.
If you live near Philadelphia, please [go check out this [abandoned prison-turned-Halloween attraction](http://www.newsdaily.com/united-states/ce7595208270ad588468b2d0fbab0b61/abandoned-philly-prison-adds-screams-for-halloween) and let us know if it’s awesome or terrifying.
This exists, apparently, although it still has glitches.
- The shutdown has been going on so long that time has literally stood still: the Senate’s Ohio clock stopped ticking at 12:14 p.m. Wednesday. The workers in the Office of the Senate Curator responsible for winding the timepiece have been furloughed as part of the shutdown.
We looked at the international consequences of the shutdown in a conversation with Douglass Paal of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former State Department official Kurt Campbell.
A company called Backyard Brains is releasing the first commercially available cockroach cyborg.
A little bit on astronaut Scott Carpenter’s legacy. He died Thursday at age 88.
- Keep an eye on the Rundown blog for breaking news throughout the day, our home page for show segments, and follow @NewsHour for the latest.
— Melissa Ryan (@MelissaRyan) October 11, 2013
— Bill Clinton (@billclinton) October 11, 2013
You too can make "Press Corps Stop!" your iPhone ringtone: Download it here: https://t.co/wBYcziLcvq
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) October 10, 2013
Stop the madness. pic.twitter.com/xVsaONKqQl
— michaelscherer (@michaelscherer) October 10, 2013
— Vince Coglianese (@TheDCVince) October 10, 2013
Winners of this shutdown/debt ceiling fight: Barry Black, oversized cardboard credit cards. Losers: Everything else.
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) October 10, 2013
— Steny Hoyer (@WhipHoyer) October 10, 2013
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