Politics
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) stands next to a countdown clock as he speaks at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, September 30, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) stands next to a countdown clock as he speaks at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, September 30, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst  

Obama, House Republicans run out clock in shutdown staring match

Photo of Alexis Levinson
Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

UPDATE 10:20 a.m. – Senate leaders on both sides quickly took the floor to blame each other for the shutdown.

“Democratic leaders in congress finally have their prize: a government shutdown that no one seems to want but them,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell following the vote.

“They shut down the government and now they’re praying the American people think someone else is responsible,” he added.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had a different take on events, saying that this shutdown was caused by the tea party and House Speaker John Boehner.

UPDATE: 10:00 a.m. – It is a new legislative day, and the Senate kicked it off by voting yet again to strip out the amendments to the House’s funding bill, and to reject the request to create a conference committee. The House now has the ball for the fifth time.

UPDATE 2:00 a.m. — Speaker John Boehner put out a statement announcing conferees for the conference committee that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has declared will not be formed. Should Reid change his mind, the House members designated to try to find a compromise between the House and the Senate on funding a government would be: Majority Leader Eric Cantor; House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp; Rep. Hal Rogers, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee; Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee; Texas Rep. John Carter, Florida Rep. Ander Crenshaw, New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, and Georgia Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA).

UPDATE 1:20 a.m. – Shortly after 1 a.m., the House took its final vote of the night, voting 228-199 to pass its most reason version of the government funding bill and request to go to conference with the Senate.

Nine Republicans voted no: Michigan Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, Georgia Rep. Paul Broun, Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent, New York Rep. Michael Grimm, North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones, New York Rep. Peter King, New Jersey Rep. Frank LoBiondo, Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, and Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf.

Seven Democrats voted in favor of the bill: Rep. Ron Barber of Arizona, Georgia Rep. John Barrow, New York Rep. Dan Maffei, New York Rep. Sean Maloney, Utah Rep. Jim Matheson, North Carolina Rep. Mike McIntyre, and Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson.

“We are hoping that the Senate will take our offer to go to conference and let us resolve our differences,” Boehner said in a press conference following the vote. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said late Monday night that the Senate would reject the request to go to conference. The House Republican leadership press conference lasted under two minutes, ending abruptly when they simply left the microphone while a reporter continued to ask a question.

UPDATE 12:30 a.m. – With the government shut down, lawmakers are pretty much the only federal employees still drawing a paycheck, a fact that has drawn bipartisan condemnation from some of them.

California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer on Monday announced that she was sponsoring a bill to keep lawmakers from getting paid, urging her colleagues to co-sponsor the bill. There has been no discussion of taking up that bill. Texas Democratic Rep. Pete Gallego introduced similar legislation in the House.

“Congress should work around-the-clock, and do so without pay, to keep the government running,” he said in a statement.

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz announced that he would “donate [his] salary to charity for each day the government is shut down.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, asked Monday what he would say to federal employees who would lose their paycheck during a shutdown, blamed Republicans.

“Understand we’re dealing with anarchists,” he said, adding, “and who is the worst part of government from their perspective? It’s people who work for the government.”

UPDATE 12:05 a.m. – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that after several more speeches by Senators on the floor, the Senate will recess until 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. At the point, he said, they expected to have the House’s funding bill and request for conference, both of which, Reid said, they would reject.

“When we receive that message from the House … I’ll make a motion to table it,” Reid said.

The House, according to a tweet from Erica Elliot, communications director for Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, is not expected to wrap up its business until around 3 a.m.

UPDATE Midnight — The government has shut down.

UPDATE 11:50 p.m. — The Office of Management and Budget has released its shutdown guidance for executive departments and agencies.

“Unfortunately, we do not have a clear indication that Congress will act in time for the President to sign a Continuing Resolution before the end of the day tomorrow, October 1, 2013. Therefore, agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations,” the memo reads.

UPDATE 11:15 p.m. — With midnight fast approaching, neither side is yielding on the battle over how to fund the government, and a government shutdown is beginning to seem inevitable.

The House will vote later tonight to again pass their latest version of a funding bill, which includes a one-year delay of Obamacare and the elimination of healthcare subsidies for lawmakers and staff. The Senate has already rejected that version of the bill. The House will then vote to request a conference with the Senate — a move under which several members of each chamber would meet to try to hammer out a compromise.

A conference is not likely to happen. No sooner had the House began its long preparations to vote to request a conference, when Senate Majority Leader came to the Senate floor just before 11 p.m. to reject the idea, which he described as a “gambit.”

“We will not go to conference with a gun to our head,” Reid said. “The first thing that the House has to do is pass a clean, six-week [funding bill]. They have that before them. They can do it right now. If they do that, then we’ll agree to work with Republicans on funding the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.”

“We will not go to conference until we get a clean [funding bill],” he reiterated.

WASHINGTON – With less than three hours remaining until the government is set to shut down, the House and Senate remain at odds over how to fund the government.

The House voted Monday evening to pass yet another version of a bill to fund the government, one that included a delay of Obamacare for one year and took away the government healthcare subsidies for lawmakers and staff. The Senate voted to reject the bill within an hour of the House passing it.

The vote passed the House 228-201, with 12 Republicans voting against it and nine Democrats voting for it.

The 12 Republicans who voted no were Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Rep. Joe Barton, Georgia Rep. Paul Broun, Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent, Florida Rep. Mario Diaz Balart, Georgia Rep. Phil Gingrey, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, New York Rep. Peter King, Iowa Rep. Steve King, Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers, and Texas Rep. Kay Granger.

This is the Republican-controlled House’s third offering of a government funding bill. Twice before, the Democratic Senate had flatly rejected House’s bills, stripping them of amendments and sending them back as simple spending-increases, and this bill met the same demise.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said repeatedly that the Senate will not accept any bill that affects Obamacare in any way, and that the only way to avert a shutdown is for the House to pass the Senate bill.

This latest offering from the House was met by opposition from both sides of the Republican Party, with some conservatives feeling that it did not do anything to actually get rid of Obamacare, and some moderates saying it was pointless to vote on a bill the Senate would never pass.

“This is going nowhere,” Rep. Peter King told National Review before the votes.

“If Obamacare is as bad as we say it’s going to be, then we should pick up a lot of seats in the next election and we should win the presidency in 2016. This idea of going through the side door to take something you lost through the front door — to me it’s wrong,” he said.

To his right, ideologically, Bachmann told reporters that this plan had left Republicans divided.

“Up until this vote, we’ve been absolutely unified,” she said. “This is the first schism that we’ve seen.”

“I think it’s because we’ve deviated from our original position, which was to stop the implementation of Obamacare this year, because this bill effectively won’t stop it.

Massie told reporters after the vote that Republicans should not be changing their position to accommodate Reid.

“He wins in these situations if we negotiate like this,” he said.

Two and a half hours remain until the government shuts down.

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