Are the Republicans giving up?
Obamacare is off the docket. Republican supporters are backing off. Looks like the tea party is going down in flames — at least this time. The New York Times has a report from the battlefront.
House Republicans, facing the ninth day of a government shutdown, appeared increasingly isolated on Wednesday from even their strongest backers, with business groups demanding the immediate reopening of the government and benefactors such as Koch Industries publicly distancing themselves from the shutdown fight.
Republican and Democratic leaders met at noon to try to find a way forward, both on reopening the government and on raising the federal debt limit before the Treasury exhausts its ability to borrow on Oct. 17. Leading Republicans in the House appeared to be trying to move the stalemate away from efforts to defund President Obama’s health care law to a broader discussion of fiscal policy.. ...NYT
No more trying to defund or eliminate Obamacare.
The Koch brothers appear to be in a fit: mad at Republicans, mad at Harry Reid for identifying them as anti-Obamacare, backing away from the issue. (Are they really big fans of Affordable Healtlh? Are they shopping on the exchanges? Are they licking their wounds? Are they moving to Brazil? When?)
The Washington Post covers meetings being planned at the White House with a variety of attendees. Senate Dems were there yesterday afternoon, just for starters.
Boehner is … anyone know where Boehner is? At the The Fix, they’re putting Boehner together with “unconditional surrender.” He may have to back off his “no clean continuing resolution” pledge.
“What the president said today was, if there is unconditional surrender by Republicans, he’ll sit down and talk to us,” said Boehner.
The thing is, it might be Boehner’s best and only option for ending the standoff that has seized Washington.
Let’s take a closer look at why.
The government shutdown has reached its ninth day and Boehner’s outlook now is arguably worse than it was the start of the shutdown. Polling shows the public blames congressional Republicans more than Obama, Democrats haven’t budged from their demand for a “clean” bill to fund the government, and the shutdown is encroaching on the deadline to raise the debt ceiling.
What Boehner needs is a solution, and fast — one, ideally, that satisfies the cast-iron conservatives as much as possible but can also win the support of the Democratic Senate and Obama.
So far, there are no obvious options. And previous efforts have led the speaker nowhere.
He has repeatedly called for Democrats to negotiate with him. They have repeatedly responded that they will only talk after the government is funded and the debt ceiling is raised. The House passed three stopgap spending bills leading up to the shutdown that took aim at Obamacare. The Senate swiftly rejected all of them.
In short, it’s been back to square one again and again. Boehner has closed the door on the idea of voting for a clean continuing resolution to reopen the government and a clean bill to raise the debt limit. But a short-term version of both might be least painful way out of what’s proven to be a very tough situation for him. …TheFix,WaPo
Jonathan Chait has a great update on the developing drama.
Boehner, Ryan, and Cantor have spent months regaling conservatives with promises of rich ransoms to come. Coming back with an actual negotiated settlement would enrage the right.
The most enjoyable outcome would be to watch all of them — Boehner, Ryan, Cantor — be eaten alive by the wolves they’ve nurtured. But of course, the threat of this outcome is the very thing that may encourage them to allow an economic crisis — a man forced to choose between saving his job and saving his country is dangerous, especially if that man is John Boehner.
But the current Republican line does suggest a way out: if Republicans “win” a promise to negotiate the budget, with the debt ceiling not being subject to the outcome of the negotiations. That this has actually been Obama’s goal all along, and the thing Republicans have been trying to avoid, does not mean Republicans can’t talk themselves into it. ...DailyIntel