Countdown to Shutdown (live blog)

la-na-tt-ted-cruz-shutdown-20130912-002Well, it seems a shut down is eminent!

There are 233 Republicans in the House. Insiders estimate that three-quarters of them, or about 175 GOP lawmakers, are willing, and perhaps even eager, to vote for a continuing resolution that funds the government without pressing the Republican goal of defunding or delaying Obamacare.

On the other side, insiders estimate about 30 House Republicans believe strongly that Obamacare is such a far-reaching and harmful law that the GOP should do everything it can — everything — to stop it or slow it down. That includes precipitating a standoff leading to a government shutdown. “This isn’t just another bill,” Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., one of the most vocal of the 30, told me. “This isn’t load limits on turnip trucks that we’re talking about. This is … an extremely consequential bill that will impact every American, and that’s why you have such passionate opinions.”

Another 20 to 30 GOP members sympathize with that position but might be willing to compromise, except for the fact that they fear a primary challenge from the Right.

In the continuing resolution fight, it is the 30 most committed members, along with their 20-30 allies in the next-most-committed group, who are setting the House Republican agenda. The ones pushing for a fight over Obamacare, even if it leads to a shutdown, are controlling what the House does.

Which has led to the question: How can 30 Republicans beat 200 Republicans? How does that work?

The one thing that Cruz and his cronies kept saying were that the American people are with them.  Come again?

Polls consistently show that Americans aren’t happy with Obamacare. They think the law will make health care more expensive, and decrease its quality. But a new survey of 1,976 registered votersfinds that only 33 percent believe that the health law should be repealed, delayed, or defunded. 29 percent believe that “Congress should make changes to improve the law,” 26 percent believe that “Congress should let the law take effect” and see what happens, and 12 percent believe that the law should be expanded. The bottom line? Voters are skeptical that Obamacare will live up to Democrats’ hype. But they also believe that it should be given a chance to succeed.

The new poll was conducted by the Morning Consult, a healthcare media company founded by Michael Ramlet. Ramlet, in evaluating the results of his survey, finds that voters are “unmoved by three months of the defund argument,” and that a majority would “blame congressional Republicans a lot for a government shutdown.”

How’s that working for Speaker Boehner?  He really has to choose between  his country and his tea party caucus.  Many Republicans aren’t with him either.  Does he really think he can keep his speakership either way?

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK): Asked on MSNBC on Monday if a shutdown was “going to hurt the Republicans,” Cole said, “I do, but more importantly I think it’s going to hurt the American people.”

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA): “I’m prepared to vote for a clean resolution tomorrow… It’s time to govern. I don’t intend to support a fool’s errand at this point.”

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ): “Obamacare is definitely not ready for prime time. But I do not want the government to shut down. I think after voting against it some 40 times, we have represented our constituents and made our point.”

Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY): “From my perspective, the desired end state remains the same — a delay of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare and a temporary lifting of the sequester — both to January 2015… However, we need a successful strategy to get that implemented, and this approach will not do it.”

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY): “The circus created the past few days isn’t reflective of mainstream Republicans — it projects an image of not being reasonable. The vast majority of Republicans are pretty level-headed and are here to govern.”

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY): “[A]s a lifelong and consistent supporter of women’s rights and health care, I do not support addressing divisive social issues such as access to birth control on a last-minute continuing resolution.’’

Rep. Peter King (R-NY): “We should not be closing down the government under any circumstances… That doesn’t work, it’s wrong, and, you know, Obamacare passed. We have to try to defund it, we have to try to find ways to repeal it. But the fact is, we shouldn’t be using it as a threat to shut down the government.”

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA): “We’re pretty much out of options at this point. They’re all giddy about it. You know who benefits the most here from a shutdown? The Democrats benefit and they know that.”

Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL): “The shutdown doesn’t do anything to help our reputation as an incompetent Congress,.. People hire us not to get to this point in the first place.”

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI): “We have to stay on the right side of public opinion…Shutting down the government puts us on the wrong side. The fight is on the debt limit.”

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA): Wolf warned that his party will be blamed in the case of a shutdown. “That’s the battle that’s going on in my party. There are some that are saying, ‘shut it down! … If we shut the government down, who’s going to fund the [Veteran Affairs] Hospital? Who’s going to fund the veteran who doesn’t have a leg? Who’s going to fund the FBI who’s working on a counter-terrorism case? Who’s going to fund cancer research?”

Exactly who is behind this push besides Cruz’s ego and a few maniacs like Bachmann?

Republicans and Democrats in Congress are trading blame ahead of Tuesday’s government shutdown, but there’s another culprit in DC’s latest dysfunction whose offices are not to be found in the gilded suites of the Capitol, but in a drab, fluorescent-lit office five blocks away. There, a team of organizers, lobbyists and 20-something social media specialists are harnessing the power of the Tea Party to drive a wrench into Congress’ gears. Heritage Action for America, the political arm of the once esteemed Heritage Foundation, has been working day and night for years to bring about just the crisis now gripping DC.

Since its founding in 2010, Heritage Action has worked aggressively to influence lawmakers on issues from immigration to agriculture to the budget. It uses a three-pronged strategy to twist arms on Capitol Hill: lobbying members on hot-button issues, ranking them publicly on how they vote, and getting word out far and wide when lawmakers buck the conservative line. That combination—unparalleled in either party—has given Heritage the ammo to take on the leadership of its own party, widening the gap between the conservative grassroots and their leaders in Congress. As Heritage’s clout accumulates, the group’s divisive style offers a window into the new way of doing business in Washington, where, thanks to redistricting, lawmakers are more worried about primary challengers than the opposition

I guess this is the revenge of outcasts like Demint and Grover Norquist who seem like prime candidates for the sociopath of the month club.

How long do you think this will last?


68 Comments on “Countdown to Shutdown (live blog)”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Shutdown looms after House approves another delay in Obamacare

    (Breaking news: Senate votes to reject stopgap spending measure by House that would delay the Obamacare individual mandate by a year.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      This is going to be a game of Ping-Pong until the clock strikes 12ET.

      • dakinikat says:

        Seems that way …Reid is speaking live on the Senate floor

      • dakinikat says:

        The house officials send there will be no more votes tonight …

      • ANonOMouse says:

        FYI…..I’m proud of Obama for not allowing the TP to take the budget process hostage to their batshit crazy demands. If Obama bends to this demand, there will be more outrageous demands made during the debt ceiling battle.

        I’ve renamed Ted Cruz. I’m now calling him Ted Scruz, because his mission is to Screw the Federal Government from the inside out and to begin assault that by attacking the social safety nets. He thinks if he can bring down Obamacare prior to it’s rollout, he can then work on the other social compacts. I’m hopeful that the American people are paying close attention to the Tea Party”s Kamikaze approach to bringing down our Government.

  2. RalphB says:

    The ATF can’t issue any new gun permits until the shutdown ends. They might care about that.

  3. dakinikat says:

    Obama just signed an act to ensure that military personal get their pay. It obviously passed both houses.

  4. Fannie says:

    Damn I wish this were election year………….Rafael Cruz will end up with Demint at the Heritage Foundation with his band of losers.

  5. ANonOMouse says:

    “and 12 percent believe that the law should be expanded.”

    And that 12% all read and blog here. 🙂

  6. RalphB says:

  7. RalphB says:

    • Fuck those fucking assholes!

        • I honestly cannot stop laughing at The Capitol’s tweet history, and other govt accounts. Way to prove you don’t need this shutdown–maybe a little timeout from social media is a good thing for DC. I mean does the Capitol really need an Instagram to post selfies and United States representatives replying back with iPhone emoji thumbs up?!

          • Seriously says:

            The Capitol seriously has no game, everyone who tweets a pic of it gets a creepy awkward “Nice photo.” We as a nation really need more secure, less needy public buildings. Would it kill it to tweet a picture of the Federal Reserve or the Alamo once in a while?

          • Also, is the Capitol in charge of promoting the Botanical Gardens?cuz the Instagram is full of Capitol selfies and the other 25% is Botanical Garden ads? Can’t the Botanical Gardens do that itself, and the Capitol maybe let us know when Congress plans to pass the ERA?

          • Also times two 🙂 maybe it could post pictures of public infrastructure that needs rebuilding instead? I mean, the Capitol is likable enough and all 😉 but we do see it everyday in some fashion or form be it thru TV, papers, new sites, cspan, etc. It’s not ignored, and while it’s nice to have extra reassurance that the Capitol is still there and no levees have broken on the East coast and washed it away– for some reason, can’t put my finger on it–I’m not really worried about that happening there anyway.

          • Night owl reading 🙂


            Beinart cobbled together an impressive set of poll results to show that Millennials (Americans under 30) swing left on a broad range of issues—from such obvious ones as same-sex marriage, immigration reform, and military intervention abroad to more surprising ones, like favoring labor unions and preferring a bigger welfare state to a smaller and cheaper version. They also embrace the message of Occupy and even prefer socialism to capitalism, although no pollster seems to have asked them to define those famously slippery terms.

            Given their views, large numbers of Millennials should be protesting vigorously as the House GOP holds the state and the economy hostage to an agenda straight out of a Rush Limbaugh show. They should be surrounding the Capitol to defend Obamacare and blast the Republicans for denying food stamps to millions of poor people. They should be clogging the phone lines to Congress to announce a grand mobilization to overturn the GOP majority in 2014. It’s our government, they ought to declare. Boehner, Cantor, and their band of militants have no right to bankrupt or shut it down.

            Alas, the only Americans who seem upset enough to organize, at least in large enough numbers for the media to notice, belong to the Tea Party—most of whose zealots are old enough to have voted for Ronald Reagan. Where’s that new left when we need it?

            Like many pundits, Beinart assumes that decisive shifts in public opinion will result in changes in national policy. He predicts that whomever wins the Democratic nomination in 2016 will have to embrace “youthful, anti-corporate passion” if she or he hopes to win the White House. However, a movement and those politicians who support it need to mobilize the people who share those opinions or their opponents can win the day. A majority of Americans actually hold a positive view of labor unions. But that hasn’t stopped big employers like Wal-Mart and their GOP enablers from blocking attempts to organize workers and increase the minimum wage.

            The inertia of progressives—young or old—isn’t hard to explain. Few are enthusiastic about the Affordable Care Act. The deals needed to pass it, the lack of a public option, and the High Court’s decision to let individual states refuse to expand Medicaid all dilute the moral vision of universal health care the left promoted for nearly a century. And Barack Obama has done a poor job explaining why most Americans will benefit from the law. My wife has an “I Love Obamacare” bumper sticker on her car. Even where we live, in a super-liberal Maryland suburb just a mile from the DC line, I rarely see another one.

            Despite what the polls say, Americans on the left also harbor a deep cynicism toward the federal state. While their mistrust is directed at campaigns funded by the rich and the military and security establishment rather than entitlements, it still leads them to balk at efforts to champion a government and an administration that fail to live up to their liberal promises.

            Ironically, the only time in recent years that progressives did manage to organize something resembling a mass movement was when they helped elect Barack Obama in 2008. Not since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s landslide re-election in 1936 had left and liberal activists united, with enthusiasm, to work in a victorious presidential campaign. But a run for the White House is not the same as a popular insurgency, and a president cannot be the leader of a movement.

          • RalphB says:

            What that article means is the new left is just a bunch of spoiled brats who didn’t get everything they wanted. Well boo-fucking-hoo, life doesn’t always give you a trophy for showing up! Fucking worthless assholes.

          • That hippie-punching strategy worked really well for Obama and Biden during the midterms.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Opinion from a real former “hippie”: There are no actually “hippies” anymore, and there is no “new left.” It’s embarrassing that anyone actually believes there is a “left” in this country anymore. What these “journalists” call “left” is Rockefeller Republicanism.

  8. RalphB says:

  9. So the shit hit the fan…

    • RalphB says:

      Too bad the young “new left” doesn’t realiy care!

      • Maybe they’d care if instead of the Capitol posting stupid tweets for dramatic effect about government shutdown (someone even took the time to add that “due to lapse of govt” disclaimer to the Capitol’s instagram profile) the Administration’s social media team would actually have spent time informing of the costs of shutdown.

        • RalphB says:

          No, they would not. What you’re talking about is pure bullshit. The Capitol would not be part of some official administration’s social media team. Besides it’s not some snarky tweet that counts, it’s the completely obvious effects on real people who lose access to necessities. Are millennials really too stupid to figure that out themselves?

      • Besides, the part I bolded from that article , said its easy to understand the inertia of the ‘old’ left and the ‘new’ left alike — the Obamacare bill itself is problematic. It’s not just that GOP is a bunch of grandstanding blowhards (they are), but there are serious problems with both the bill itself and the way Obama has failed to communicate a concrete fierce urgency of now in the benefits people are going to reap from this legislation (probably because its hard to do that when you dilute the issue of ‘universal health care’ so much that it becomes an ‘insurance reform bill’).

        • RalphB says:

          Flimsy excuses for a lazy and spoiled “left”” who can’t do anything for themselves. The “left” depends on someone else to do things for them, hence they have been useless for the last 40 years.

          • Rahm, is that you? Just don’t call us retarded again…

          • “And, remember Democrats:

            You told the base to stay home (c/o Donna B), you told the electorate to grow up (c/o the creative class), pay attention (c/o Kerry, who didn’t even pay attention to his own presidential campaign), stop whining (c/o Biden, who won’t stop talking while boozing), buck up (c/o someone who passes the buck), and get off the sidelines (c/o Beerpong WH who stayed on the sidelines for most of the healthcare battle and delegated to an Infantile Congress).

            The 2010 midterms may very well be the Election of Be Careful What You Wish For.”

            I agree young people and the entire left need to do more, take to the streets–but what kind of strategy has this been on the Democrat’s part? This tea party mess is a reap what you sow thing.

          • RalphB says:

            Rahm wasn’t all wrong.

        • ANonOMouse says:

          As a senior who experienced Medicare before the ACA reforms to it, I can attest to the upsides of the ACA for those of us over 65. The upsides are found in the prescription drug benefits for seniors who were in the doughnut hole and for low income seniors who now get Part D prescription premium assistance. In January 2014 there will be an expansion of assistance to Part D – prescription and Part B premium assistance when the threshold of eligibility for assistance is lowered. Also the preventative benefits that prior to the ACA swallowed up so much of our SS income are now no-cost benefits. things such as colonoscopy, mammography, bone density, EKG, blood work analysis, urinalysis all provided as part of the yearly wellness assessments.

          I know it’s not all good, but for those of us who are able to hold onto more of our SS income because of the ACA there are many reasons to like what we’ve seen so far. No it isn’t SPUHC, which is what I’ve supported for decades, even though very few Dems in the Congress have openly supported SPUHC . Lest we not forget and if I remember correctly (which is a big if) in the Hillary plan from 1994, she rejected SPUHC and in election 2008 Hillary did not support SPUHC. I’m not bashing Hillary for not supporting it, I’m just pointing out that SPUHC has been a hot potato that few Dems have mustered the courage to embrace,

          Again, it might not be all it could or should be, but I’m not throwing this baby out with the bath water.

          • Hillary supported opening up Congress’ healthcare plan to the public–she never sold any mandate in the absence of a public mechanism. She also never said single payer was off the table period, just that it would be hard to get and if we got supermajorities in Congress, then single payer would be something to address.

            Honestly though a public option isn’t single payer, so no one except the hardcore pro-single payer protesters out there is even faulting the ACA for not being Single payer. The public option started out as a compromise between single payer and no change in itself, that got continually watered down until it was no longer a key component for O to pass.

            I just don’t think a mandate without a public mechanism (ie Romneycare) really lends itself to bringing people out in droves to support it and its really very unsurprising what is happening right now–appalling but not surprising.

          • bostonboomer says:


            I am one of those seniors who is benefitting. Because of the medicaid expansion, I am now getting my Medicare payments covered. That gives me $104 extra dollars per month, and it was retroactive so I got a refund from Medicare recently. I’m also getting the prescription help, which is going to save me another $100 dollars per month. That’s not chicken feed to me.

            I see the ACA as movement toward universal health care, and that is exactly why the Republicans hate it so much. We will eventually get Medicare for all.

          • We will eventually get Medicare for all.

            Gawd, I hope so!

          • ANonOMouse says:

            I believe the mandate is a necessary component if we’re ever to migrate this into a Single payer system. I believe it’s necessary because the median age in our country is 36, an age where most people are only experiencing an occasional illness. 1/3 of our population is 24 or younger and because youth see’s itself as invincible, a huge portion of our population would not purchase healthcare at any price without a mandate, The subsidies are there to help those who would otherwise be unable to afford it and most people will be subsidized at some level

            I’ve been watching the GOP do this “socialized medicine = Evil” tango for over 50 years, It was that message that the GOP used to try and stop Medicare/Medicaid. It was that message that forced Hillary to back off of SPUHC in 1994 and it was the anti-mandate language that the GOP used to destroy any shot we had at enacting Hillary Care. For all it’s howling about how evil and unfair the “mandates” are by the GOP/TeaParty, It is the subsidy that the GOP/TP really hates, not the mandate.

            In the end it all boils down to the same thing. ObamaCare has subsidies, and those subsidies will provide help for the majority of people. The GOP see’s those subsidies as “evil socialized medicine”. The GOP will fight the ACA, just as they fought Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid, They will fight it like they fought Food Stamps an Unemployment insurance, because they realize that the ACA is the gateway to SPUHC.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            “That gives me $104 extra dollars per month, and it was retroactive so I got a refund from Medicare recently. I’m also getting the prescription help, which is going to save me another $100 dollars per month. That’s not chicken feed to me.”

            It’s totally not chicken feed me either and especially not when SS is your total source of income. $200 is a months worth of groceries for me.

    • Beata says:

      The people who are really being affected are not protesting because they are poor, sick, and very tired. Also they lack transportation. No one wants to hear about this because it is depressing but it is the truth.

      The “new left” needs to stop spending so much time following social media. evaluating different brands of yogurt at Whole Foods, and watching “Breaking Bad”. If they are able-bodied, they need to take to the streets and protest. No excuses.

      • Beata says:

        My mother took to the streets to protest the war in Vietnam and other issues that were important to her. I did the same. Now she is dying and I so sick I can barely able to get to the grocery store on a good day for some Ensure. We both did our part to change society for the better. She can’t do anything anymore and I am limited in what I can do. It’s time that younger generations start doing their part. Now.

      • RalphB says:

        Beata. Thank you. You said that much better than I ever would.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        “The people who are really being affected are not protesting because they are poor, sick, and very tired”

        True that!

        {{{Hugs}}}} to you Beata.

    • dakinikat says:

      That is the worst plus headstart preschools shut down too

      • Beata says:

        That is so sad. Head Start children get a good meal every school day, along with preparation for elementary school and life in general. It is an excellent program. I know from experience.

  10. RalphB says:

    good news from balloon-juice commenters on Obamacare exchange interactions…