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1ar – shutdown inevitable

reid strips healthcare and that causes deadlock

Peterson, 9/19/13 (Kristina, Wall Street Journal, Funding Fight Boosts Odds of Shutdown,

A Republican bill that would fund the government for the first 2 1/2 months of the fiscal year while barring spending for the health-care law is expected to pass the House Friday. But a likely bitter fight in the Senate increases the odds of a partial government shutdown in less than two weeks.

Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) predicted “a big victory” for the legislation in the House while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) made clear he was as determined as the GOP to play hardball on the funding bill, which is needed to keep many government operations open after the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.

The debate in the Senate will be protracted and bitter. Mr. Reid has promised to strip out provisions of the bill undercutting the health-care law and is confident he has the votes to do so. Asked if he was prepared to endure a government shutdown to protect the health-care law, he told reporters “yes.”

“Any bill that defunds Obamacare is dead,” Mr. Reid said. “It is a waste of time.”

But Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), the tea-party favorite who has championed the “defund Obamacare” campaign along with his ally Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah), promised to filibuster the bill if it includes any funding for the health-care law.

The House won’t pass a Senate version that removes health care – conservatives will revolt

Lauter, 9/19/13 (David, Los Angeles Times, “Government shutdown is no idle threat”,0,4780856,full.story)

Faced with those pressures, Boehner earlier this week yielded to the demands from his right and agreed to bring a bill to the floor that would fund the government but block money to implement the healthcare law. If it passes, as expected, the measure will go to the Senate, where it is all but certain to be rejected, probably late next week. That would leave Congress stalemated as the deadline approaches.

Boehner seems to hope that at that point conservatives would relent, allow a money bill to pass and push the confrontation off until the debt ceiling deadline. GOP strategists think they would have greater leverage with the White House with the threat of a default that could damage the economy.

But throughout the year, Boehner and his leadership team have misjudged the willingness of the most conservative Republicans to go along with the leadership's plans. Some are tired of postponing the battle. Some fear the GOP leadership will abandon them in a higher-stakes standoff over the debt ceiling. They believe they would do better to fight now, not later.

Shutdown inevitable

Scheiber, 9/15/13 - senior editor at The New Republic (Noam, “This Time There Really Will Be a Government Shutdown And that's not all bad” New Republic,

Suffice it to say, it’s hard to do a deal when the only thing the other guy wants is the one thing you can’t give him. This null set scenario is, unfortunately, precisely where we find ourselves in the debate over funding the government beyond September 30th. House Republicans are insisting that any funding measure simultaneously de-fund Obamacare, while Democrats have rightly proclaimed this idea preposterous. And there appears to be no wiggle room in the GOP position. According to The Wall Street Journal, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked House Speaker John Boehner what else on the entire planet the GOP could accept—a lifetime supply of Slim Jims, say, or maybe a warehouse full of Kiefer Sutherland-autographed “24” box sets—Boehner told him there was nothing.

Even so, if this were the only obstacle to an agreement, we might still avoid a government shutdown. After all, we’ve been in situations before where the null-set logic looked ironclad, only to have one side or the other back down at the last minute. Back in 2011, Republicans agreed to a debt-ceiling increase in exchange for Obama’s embrace of the sequester, which averted a debt default that looked imminent. At the end of last year, Republicans allowed taxes to rise on the highest income earners to avoid going over the dreaded fiscal cliff.

What makes this time is different is that, in addition to having carved out hardline positions, neither side has an incentive to back down. In 2011, Obama was willing to give on his demand that revenue increases accompany spending cuts because he understood the apocalyptic consequences of failing to raise the debt ceiling. In late 2012, Republicans knew that the alternative to a small tax increase was for taxes to rise automatically by a much larger amount. This time, on the other hand, every party to the negotiation has reason to welcome the government shutdown that would result if they can’t reach a deal.

Start with the White House, which has been annoyingly open to concessions even when it has all the leverage. In my own conversations with White House officials (and people close to them) over the past few months, I’ve picked up a clear willingness to allow a shutdown if Republicans refuse to budge. This is unlike 2011, the last time the White House faced a shutdown situation. Back then, a well-connected former administration official told me recently, “the political strategists wanted a deal. [Senior adviser David] Plouffe wanted a deal . . . to increase our numbers with independents.” This time, according to this source, “There’s no constituency for caving.”

That jibes with the change of heart I’ve detected when speaking directly to White House officials. In 2011, they were queasy about the risks a shutdown posed to the rickety economy, which could ultimately hurt the president. This year, they believe a shutdown would strengthen their hand politically, which is almost certainly true given the public outrage that would rain down on Republicans. One official pointed out that the pressure for spending cuts has subsided with the deficit falling so rapidly on its own.

Of course, the president himself isn’t the toughest negotiator in the world. You can’t rule out the possibility that the White House will blink when the deadline gets close. At the very least, one can imagine Obama signing a short-term government funding measure (known as a continuing resolution) that leaves the automatic sequester cuts in place so long as it doesn’t touch Obamacare. But even if he were inclined to do this, Congressional Democrats seem less willing to support him than in the past. They believe they can demand much more in exchange for saving the GOP from a shutdown. “Our leadership thinks the time has come to draw a line in the sand, not do a short-term extension,” a senior Democratic Hill aide told Politico last week. “They’re ready for a flash and a pop.” Bottom line: Democrats across the board are more willing to broach a shutdown than at any other time during the past three years.

Next there are the Tea Partiers, who give every indication of wanting a shutdown, too. Unlike mainstream Republicans, who appreciate the damage a shutdown would inflict on their party, the Tea Partiers consider it win-win. A shutdown would mean they forced their leadership to stand up to Obama, which plays well in their districts and the various organs of the conservative movement. And when the GOP inevitably bowed to public opinion and sued for peace, the Tea Partiers would be able to accuse their weak-kneed leadership of caving, thereby enhancing their status within the party. Politico reports that the so-called Senate Conservative Fund, a group that successfully lobbied against Boehner’s attempted quashing of the Obamacare defunding idea, has plans to raise another $50,000 to stop any future deal. No surprise there.

That leaves the final and arguably most consequential player in this drama: Boehner himself. Throughout his tenure as speaker, Boehner has had to divine a path between the apocalyptic impulses of his members and the political disaster that would attend their preferred apocalypse (shutdown, debt default, fiscal cliff dive). All the criticism of him notwithstanding, I think he’s done a pretty masterful job at this.

His general m.o. has been to translate the will of his rank-and-file into a ludicrously extreme opening position, which promptly gets laughed off stage by either the Democrats who control the White House and Senate, or the public, which pans it.1 At that point, the White House opts to negotiate with Boehner’s Senate counterpart, Mitch McConnell. Once they agree to a deal, Boehner shuffles before his caucus to explain that House Republicans held out as long as they could, but the White House and Senate Republicans have backed them into a corner. This buys him enough sympathy to bring the White House-McConnell deal to the House floor, where it passes with help from Democrats and the tacit acceptance of conservatives.

The problem this time is that the White House hasn’t really been negotiating with Senate Republicans, partly because McConnell is facing a right-wing primary challenge and has no political interest in compromising, partly because McConnell’s Senate colleagues also worry about the wrath of the Tea Party, and partly because (as noted above) the White House doesn’t feel any particular urgency about reaching a deal. Unless this changes—and so far there’s been little indication that it will—there’s no way for Boehner to employ his usual theatrics. He can’t tell his troops that he fought hard for their position until the bitter end, when Senate Republicans isolated them, because Senate Republicans haven’t done anything.

Deprived of his usual cover story, Boehner is simply flailing. When a reporter asked Boehner last week if he has a new idea for getting the House out of its jam, he responded: “Do you have an idea? They’ll [conservatives will] just shoot it down anyway.” To date, he hasn’t even been able to persuade conservatives to delay the Obamacare fight until the debt ceiling showdown, where the terrain is marginally more favorable to the GOP.2

1ar – no impact

There’s no impact to a shutdown aside from furloughs because it’s temporary

Taylor, 9/19/13 (Andrew, Associated Press, “The truth: Government doesn't shut down”

Here's the truth about a government "shutdown." The government doesn't shut down.

So the world won't end if a dysfunctional Washington can't find a way to pass a funding bill before the new budget year begins on Oct. 1.

Social Security checks will still go out. Troops will remain at their posts. Doctors and hospitals will get their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. In fact, virtually every essential government agency, like the FBI, the Border Patrol and the Coast Guard, will remain open. Furloughed federal workers probably would get paid, eventually. Transportation Security Administration officers would continue to man airport checkpoints.

Link Turn

Political capital is key to drumming up public support to pressure the GOP

Meet the Press, 9/15/13 (NBC News, lexis) Woodward = Bob Woodward, investigative journalist.

GREGORY: Well, we`ll see.

But I want to bring up a point with about a minute left. You know, Syria is now going to get mired in whether this agreement is lived up to or not. We`ve got a budget battle that`s brewing again with the debt ceiling.

But, you think this is the next crisis that Obama is facing with Congress. Are we going to raise the debt ceiling? Will he negotiate? He says...

WOODWARD: And this is really serious. Back in 2011, when the crisis visited them, the Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner was running around and saying if we don`t fix this, we could trigger a depression worse than the 1930s. And when I talked to Obama about this, he said, it was the most intense three weeks of his presidency. More than Osama bin Laden and so forth.

So -- and the Republicans are out here, a group of them in the House, essentially using extortion and blackmail methods to say, if we don`t defund Obamacare we`re not going to do the routine things of government.

PARKER: Well, we`re at a game of chicken at this point. And they are not -- no one thinks they`re going to defund Obama, not even the people pushing for it.

And at some point, you know, the Republicans are going to have to blink and they`re going to fund it. If they pass a bill that doesn`t include funding for Obamacare, then the Senate won`t pass the bill and, you know, somebody`s got to blink. We`re not going to shut down government. We can`t.

NAVARRO: But let`s be I think fair to the Republicans here. It`s not all Republicans saying let`s shut down the government if we don`t defund Obamacare. So I don`t think it`s fair to paint it as the Republicans, because the Republicans that have been here today, including John McCain, have been very much against this and saying...

WOODWARD: Yes, it`s the 40 extremists that`s who`s doing it.

PARKER: The insane caucus.

WOODWARD: You used it.

GREGORY: We`ll leave it there.

NAVARRO: You`re going to get a lot of flak from mental health advocates.

PARKER: Never had that happen.

GREGORY: All right, thank you all very much. We`ll leave it there.

Coming up next the future of our economy five years after the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Among our guests, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and CNBC`s Maria Bartiromo along with former Congresswoman Barney Frank on where we are five years later.

First our political collector Chuck Todd will be along with his "First Read Sunday." What to look for in the week ahead in politics. Back here in just a moment.

GREGORY: We`re back with more politics. Our political director Chuck Todd with his "First Read Sunday."

We just talked about the debt ceiling business. You`re looking at it this, this week. That of our poll.

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: We did. And we have a poll and we show the initial gauge of the public, the default position is don`t raise it. Look at this, 44 percent say no, 22 percent say yes. The White House pushing back on this poll saying you have to explain it to the people.

Well, this is the exact same place the debt ceiling was in April 2011.

Now, by the time if hit a crisis point, more of the public moved into in favor of raising the debt ceiling, but what this shows is the president has to use political capital and time to flip these numbers. It`s going to be a lot of work.

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