Any hopes that tonight’s meeting between the president and members of Congress, which lasted about an hour, would yield results just went up in smoke:
- BOEHNER SPEAKS AFTER MEETING WITH OBAMA AT WHITE HOUSE
- BOEHNER SAID OBAMA REITERATED HE WILL NOT NEGOTIATE
- BOEHNER SAYS TIME FOR SENATE TO APPOINT NEGOTIATORS
Reid chimes in:
- REID SAYS BOEHNER HAS TO ACCEPT `YES FOR AN ANSWER’
Which means the government shutdown will proceed into its third day, with little hope for a political resolution on the horizon.
The Market is disappointed…
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And in other political news, the House just approved three targeted spending resolutions to the Senate on Wednesday, daring Senate Democrats to vote against measures to immediately fund the District of Columbia, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Park Service. The bills are part of the House Republican plan to pass spending bills in areas where there is bipartisan agreement, in order to spare some pieces of the government from the shutdown.
However, this is merely more political theater. As the Hill reports, “while Democrats support these priorities, they mostly opposed attempts to pass them in the House today. Democrats said Republicans were using the bills as part of a political strategy to mitigate the effects of the shutdown when they should instead pass a Senate spending resolution that funds the entire government.
The majority is making itself clear,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.). “Any time they see a bad headline, they’re going to bring a bill to the floor to make it go away.”
But Republicans pointed to a few other headlines that were playing badly for Democrats today. Before passing a bill to keep national parks and monuments open, Republicans blasted the Obama administration for erecting barricades around the World War II memorial this week, which kept out visiting veterans groups.
“Barricades were put up around the World War II memorial,” said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho). “Again, a memorial accessible to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
“We should not be using our national parks… as hostages for the Democratic ‘my way or the highway’ shutdown.”
The bills now move to the Senate, where Reid has repeated the Republican “piecemeal” funding approach will not fly and will likely table them, in the process letting the political talking point circus escalate, with Republicans now blaming Democrats of defunding the NIH and other core services.
Along the way to passing the resolution funding the NIH, H.J.Res. 73, Republicans criticized Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for dismissing the idea of funding programs that help sick children. When asked if he would support NIH funding to help even one child with cancer, Reid said “Why would we want to do that?”
“We should pass this resolution notwithstanding what the majority leader in the other body says,” said Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas). “It’s very straight-forward. I think in any normal situation there would be bipartisan support for this.”
Most Democrats opposed this bill as well, and said it amounts to playing off needy groups off each other.
“Every day the Republican leadership tries to find a new way to pit one desperate group of Americans against another,” said Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.). “Today Republicans are pitting kids with cancer against kids who are hungry because of the shutdown.”
Frustrated Democrats could only vent their frustration at Republicans who showed no sign of caving in on their demand to undermine ObamaCare on the second day of the government shutdown.
“I’ve never seen such small-minded, miserable behavior in this House of Representatives, and such a disregard of our responsibilities to the people,” Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) complained. “The American people could get better government out of monkey island in the local zoo than we’re getting… today.”
Increasingly it looks likely that Obama will have no choice but to let things devolve to the nuclear option, which he inferred in his “Wall Street should be concerned” interview: hit the revised debt ceiling “X-Date” around October 17 in a replay of August 2011, at which point the market plunges, and everyone caves on preserving the status quo. Just like always.