Monday, September 30, 2013

Shutdown Looms as Lawmakers Dig In

President Obumbler parrots DNC talking points to attack "ransom note" politics (at 9:30 minutes). He sounds like a bleedin' idiot.

At WSJ, "Congress Struggles to Avoid Shutdown as Conservatives Target Health Law: Obama Decries 'Ransom'; House Advances Last-Ditch Proposal":

WASHINGTON—Congress struggled to resolve bitter divisions over spending and the health-care law late Monday as the U.S. government teetered on the brink of the first partial government shutdown in 17 years.

House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) on Monday afternoon advanced a last-ditch proposal—the third of its kind in less than a week—to curb the 2010 health-care law as a condition of funding the government.

Mr. Boehner's move resulted from pressure applied by his party's most-combative conservatives and made it harder than ever to see how Congress could come to agreement on a plan to fund federal agencies before a deadline of midnight Monday. Senate Democrats have rejected every effort by the House GOP to link new funding for federal agencies with efforts to limit the health law.

A House proposal headed for a vote Monday night would delay for one year the Affordable Care Act requirement that most individuals carry health insurance or pay a penalty. It also would limit government subsidies for lawmakers' own health-care premiums and those of their staffs.

President Barack Obama urged Republicans to back away from their plan, asking them to meet with him at another time to negotiate budget differences. "We should avoid this constant brinkmanship,'' Mr. Obama said at the White House.

Mr. Obama said it was a basic function of Congress to fund the government each year. "You don't extract a ransom for doing your job,'' he said.

A White House official said that Mr. Obama placed separate calls Monday evening to Mr. Boehner, as well as to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The showdown has laid bare the elements of the political system that have done much to alienate voters, highlighting the continual air of crisis that has come to surround the most routine tasks of governing. The convoluted jockeying on Capitol Hill has been over a seemingly simple budget measure—a short extension of money for agencies at their current funding levels.

Republican lawmakers decided to pursue their new funding proposal in a 90-minute meeting of the House GOP on Monday afternoon. Afterward, Mr. Boehner began moving toward a vote Monday night, just a few hours before the government was to run out of money at 12:01 a.m. EDT, the start of the new fiscal year.

But many GOP lawmakers emerged from the meeting saying it was unclear that the measure would pass the House. Some Republicans said it didn't do enough to curb the health law; others were concerned about the provision limiting government contributions to health-care costs for lawmakers, aides and some White House officials.

Some also had reservations about the strategy of risking a government shutdown to demand changes in the health-care law that Mr. Obama and fellow Democrats were sure to reject.
More at that top link, and at Memeorandum.