Shutdown Crisis Inches Toward Resolution As GOP Seeks Escape Hatch

Republicans are ready to find a resolution to a fight that has badly damaged the party's brand

  • Share
  • Read Later
Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner addresses reporters in Washington on Oct. 10, 2013

House Republicans on Friday awaited a response from the White House on a proposal that would raise the debt limit and potentially pave the way for the government to reopen in exchange for opening negotiations on a broader budget agreement designed to cut spending and reform entitlement programs.

The offer was delivered Thursday evening by senior House Republican aides. As of Friday morning, GOP aides said they had yet to receive a response from the Obama Administration. It is unclear whether the House will vote Friday on a short-term debt-limit extension, though aides suggested they hoped to do so quickly.

“As we have publicly stated, any House vote on a short-term debt limit bill is contingent on the White House and House Republicans agreeing to negotiations on a larger fiscal framework,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner. “There is no agreement at this point on what that framework would involve, and we don’t plan to comment on the details of these discussions.”

The President has repeatedly said he will not enter negotiations with Republicans until the government has reopened and the looming threat of default has been swept aside. According to Republican sources, the GOP prefers to deal with the twin fiscal crises separately, which could prompt the White House to balk at the offer.

But House Republicans told TIME Friday that once a framework for negotiations is in place, they would be ready to reopen the government very swiftly, and without the preconditions—such as changes to the President’s health-care law—on which they had long insisted.  “If we went into serious negotiations, then I think that could be taken care of in short order,” said Representative Tom Cole, a GOP deputy whip and Boehner ally.

John Fleming, a Louisiana Republican who was among the Tea Party-aligned faction that forced the shutdown by pressing for changes to Obamacare, told TIME he was ready to pass both a short-term debt limit hike and reopen the government without concessions, provided Obama agreed to enter negotiations over entitlement programs.  “Obviously any framework on a larger agreement must include the real drivers of our debt and deficits, including the President’s health care law,” said a House GOP leadership aide.

Members cautioned that the two sides had not yet reached agreement. But the newfound openness within the House Republican conference to end the shutdown and extend U.S. borrowing authority without policy concessions seemed to signal that the party is scrambling for a way to extricate themselves from a showdown that has sent the party’s poll numbers plunging.

Senior House Republicans, who could not prevent a band of restive backbenchers from dragging the party into a fight over Obamacare, note that the ensuing shutdown has deflected attention from the pockmarked debut of the law’s insurance exchanges, which debuted on Oct. 1, the day the federal government shut down for the first time in 17 years. “I think we have missed a big issue. I don’t think there’s any question that this whole shutdown episode has covered for the bad rollout of Obamacare,” Cole said. Again, a lot of us have never been for the government shutdown. I don’t think it’s an appropriate or winning strategy. I think that’s fairly clear.”

The two sides, Cole added, have “inched a little closer to one another in the last 24 hours.” They aren’t there yet, but Republicans are plainly ready to find a resolution to a fight that has badly damaged the party’s brand.

70 comments
lou.dubin
lou.dubin

How can the Republican party back down on their promise to us that they would NOT give in on repealing OBAMA CARE as a condition for opening up the government shut down or raising the debt limit.

IF THEY GIVE THEN THEY SHOULD ALL RESIGN FROM CONGRESS.. THEIR WORD WOULD WORTHLESS

DavidStrayer
DavidStrayer

The Republicans define themselves by their adversaries, the Democrats.  As this current confrontation demonstrates, they have no agenda, no goals, no principles -- save that they are against whatever Obama and the Democrats are for.

In essence, they have allowed Obama and the Democrats to define them.  That has led to the impasse   If the Republicans had a core set of goals, were committed to government and could sit down and discuss these things with the Democrats to find a way to govern, accommodations and compromises could be reached.

But if you define yourself as being what your opponent is not, you leave no room for such compromise, because anything that your opponent proposes automatically is something you're against.

The lack of core principles, the failure to act responsibly in governance, the willingness to bring the whole government down just to oppose what the Democrats favor and the inability to compromise all define today's Republicans.

mary.waterton
mary.waterton

BS, BS, BS ......... This is why people don't buy newspapers anymore.

barneydidit
barneydidit

GOP- "we are going to demand that the President come to the bargaining table with us and talk about repealing Obmacare or we're going to shut the government down"

Country- "You guys are the problem"

GOP- "We are going to demand that the President come to the bargaining table with us and talk about how fiscally irresponsible Obamacare is, or we're going to keep the government shut down"

Country- "You guys are the problem"

GOP- "We've always said that this wasn't about Obamacare, we just want the President to come to the bargaining table with us and talk about fiscal responsibility or we won't raise the debt ceiling"

Country- "You guys are the problem"

GOP- "We'll re-open the government and vote to extend the debt ceiling, but we're going to insist that the President meet with us afterwards and hammer out some spending cuts...like the Constitution intended"

Country- "Wow, you guys are almost acting like adults...congratulations"

GOP- "We won!!!!!" 

drudown
drudown

Oh please. The GOP's Foreign Puppeteer wants to injure the United States from within. There will be no side, much less GOP member of Congress, courageously defending the People because they are slaves to greed and will point to some purported "procedural glitch" as subterfuge for making their own People bleed. 

As betrayal drips


                           drips


                                        like Hemlock to our Founding Fathers' lips.


Yet even in this Congress impotent abdication of Fiduciary Duty...revenge on those that conspire to weaken, poison and even starve Western Civilization will be merciless. Perhaps my brother Putin can remove the Evil Empire that works like a thorn in our side, with such blatant, brazen disregard for facts- it proffers childlike lies. Does the EU and Russia not have a duty to rise up against this illusory budgetary Tyranny in order to ensure that all the sacrifices made in WWII did not let one powerful animal take over the zoo. Might makes right- just as redevelopment must condemn blight, so too, must the weight of military force redirect this corrupted course of Evil. 

I shall stand no more for starving Spanish children or western workers strewn bodies over bridges from Arab states with no power other than the purse we can snatch away as easily a parent smashes a child's toy. This "shut down" is just another act of the "real" war from Evil Financiers that domicile where the land is parched and wind is restless.

Pity Grover's GOP is a Saudi puppet state that cites "ideology" when damaging our Nation and injuring the helpless. 

I curse you cowards as you fawn towards material things. 

The ghost of Benedict Arnold and Nero's madness....sing 

It is YOUR failure to be a leader, as the Speaker tramples both the Separation of Powers as he demands a King's ransom in his self-described "concessions"- wholly outside of Constitutional dimension. Tell me, leaders of the EU, is that how easily the Colony overthrows the Empire- both we and you? A failure of honorable men to remove those that wield corrupting funds...for they have no real force and have no guns. 

O Angel, eliminate this illusory "debt ceiling placed like a propaganda noose around Lady Liberty" and protect the Constitution: take pity

On such weak and crooked people.

Pronouncing their collective betrayal with failure to ACT. 

The Congress is effectively defunct with greed as its steeple.

You lack conviction. All of you....yet all the while, as you violate our laws...are employees of the State.  

(sigh.) 

So corrupt...you don't even investigate 

Foreign corruption as it slowly drives the dagger into the People's heart as you feign blinded eyes

Fracking fluid washed over a newborn's face

Upon all your lies.

"Thy love afar is spite at home." - Emerson

chessking69n
chessking69n

 "Again, a lot of us have never been for the government shutdown. I don't think its an appropriate or winning strategy,. I think that's fairly clear..
Wrong.Tea Party darling Michelle Bachmann said they got exactly what they wanted. 

evil.aaronm
evil.aaronm

I partly blame the Dems for this: for years, whether in a position of numerical supremacy or not, they would bend over and take whatever the Repubs said.  Now, the Dems have finally grown a pair and said, "No."  The Repubs, never having been told "No" before, aren't used to that and have to figure out how to deal with it.  This bit of "tough love" may take some time, but for the good of all of us, I hope the Dems hold firm.  If not, it'll just make it worse the next time.

MarcusTaylor
MarcusTaylor

Negotiate what?  Obama WON ... Romney LOST!  Elections have consequences ... America rejected the Republican platform.

You don't get what you want ... because you lost!  Obama will not implement the GOP Platform.

j45ashton
j45ashton

Trust me.  They'll make it worse before they're forced to make it better.

mtngoatjoe
mtngoatjoe

Republicans negotiate like my 5 year old. Gimme, gimme, gimme.

yogi
yogi

Photo Caption: Boehner passes gas #Time4Solvents

kamanalonokapu
kamanalonokapu

Obama should have gone to that asian confrence and left the Regressives hanging there, twisting slowly in the wind.  He could have negotiated with the Regs over the phone as he was doing now.

JeanLudvigsenBinder
JeanLudvigsenBinder

Could it be some of the more actually responsible Republicans are nauseated at the extra, actually gargantuan costs that shut down has created?  They are making the deficit worse.  AND if they don't raise the debt ceiling, we won't be able to improve the debt situation either because our credit worthiness and the world economy will be shot. Our debt will literally explode and everyone's savings turned to ash. Surely SOME of them realize the naton's economy is incredibly complex and extreme gestures hurt.  The rest of the GOP does NOT understand the complexities and don't want to.  They just hunger so for shutting down anything "federal" and a return to the "simple life" of chinking off pieces of gold for barter, relying on hoarded food stockpiles and protecting them from the rest of the US citizens with their guns.  Fun.  I think the GOP needs to make a clean break with these nuts.

localwarrior
localwarrior

We shouldn't negotiate with GOP terrorists.

ApostasyUSA
ApostasyUSA

Now the Republicans are “offering” a debt limit increase.  Like it’s a pet project or a policy goal of Obama’s!! Please, GOP Proposal in a nutshell:

We will give you back one of the two hostages, but only with a chain strapped around his neck so that we can yank it back in six weeks if we don't like what you give us.

Really!? What are Republicans going to give Democrats in negotiations?? No one can answer this question.

Congress needs to get their act together and stop acting like children. The debt ceiling is not something you want to hold as a card against winning concessions out of the other Party.  Our country is in this terrible pattern of legislating from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis. It has got to end.

Negotiations require compromise, which is not something the Republicans are considering. Republicans want to get what they want and that be the end of it. So they are not really negotiating they are dictating and using the debt ceiling and our economy as the bargaining chip.

Republicans are going to have to compromise on something if they want to negotiate. Maybe closing corporate tax loopholes?  Or raise new revenue with higher taxes on rich people?  How about cutting defense spending?  How about ending oil industry subsidies?  This has to be a give and take. 

DavidStrayer
DavidStrayer

The Republicans have never been for fiscal rectitude.  Their conversion to the concept of fiscal responsibility occurred when the Democrats won the presidency plus both houses of Congress in 2008.  

Almost immediately after Bush2 assumed the presidency, the Republicans promptly converted the $350B surplus they inherited from Bill Clinton into a $500B deficit by a series of huge tax cuts.  They ran two wars off budget so that the costs for those wars wouldn't appear on the balance sheet.  But the wars did contribute hugely to the federal debt, despite the accounting tricks the GOP used to pretend that those expenses didn't exist.

Then came the Bush recession, which necessitated huge federal expenditures to prevent it from becoming the Bush depression.

It was only when they weren't in control any more that all of the sudden cutting the deficit became important.

In order to justify cutting taxes at a time of large deficits (necessitated by the Bush recession and perpetuated by Republican intransigence in allowing needed jobs-related spending), the GOP wants to cut government services.  Everything except defense, of course, which is necessary to sustain armaments manufacturers.

There is no plan in the Republican proposals.  It's just that they feel that the only Americans who count are the wealthiest 0.1%, and that everyone else is irrelevant.  Government services are supposed to help the rich and the corporations, but things like education, health care, transportation, environmental protection, consumer and worker safety, etc., are all for the parasites who constitute the other 99.9% of the population.

This misanthropic philosophy is always masked by smoke and mirrors in GOP "budgets", which are long on rhetoric and short on details.  And, it seems, the far right nihilists are able to drum up enough hatred among their ilk to maintain a high energy level.

But, make no mistake: the Republican plan is to eviscerate the government and to siphon resources from the whole country to the 0.1% who are wealthiest.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

They are scrambling because they are getting destroyed in the polls. Even worse than the Newt Shutdown.

I suspect that the reason they are even more detested now (and they weren't exactly popular back then) is that this has been so brazenly political, barely a fig leaf of policy (ACA..no? How about entitlements...no? Hey can we at least talk...no?, that the people see it for what it is.


barneydidit
barneydidit

@DavidStrayer Ahh but the Republicans DO have a defined core set of goals David- make Obama a one term president. Obviously that ship has sailed, so now their goal is to reduce spending...just like it was in the mid 80's when Reagan reduced it...and in the mid 2000's when Bush reduced it...oh...wait. 

MattWest1
MattWest1

@chessking69n Isn't she also trying to create legislation for the end times?  What a wack job.

anon76
anon76

@yogi 

"Maybe if I quietly sneak out this side door, nobody will remember that I led our caucus into the Shutdown."

bobcn
bobcn

@JeanLudvigsenBinder

"I think the GOP needs to make a clean break with these nuts."

Even the so-called 'responsible' gopers support the filibuster everything obstruction, pander to the crackpots and sociopaths, and refuse to fight against these treasonous country damaging tactics.

Voting for ANY goper is irresponsible.  The cost of trying to fix this party is too high. The country needs to make a clean break with the GOP.  

manlyman
manlyman

The gop hates teaparty conservatives. You shtbag liberals hate teaparty conservatives. You guys need to find a way to unite.

MattWest1
MattWest1

@DavidStrayer Now, now... you're being too harsh.  It's not only the top one percent that count, its also white christian males that count.

Besides, not all rich people are created equal.  Some of them are liberal traitors.  Others aren't white christian males, or wives that unquestionably support the rights of white christian males.  

manlyman
manlyman

Don't g a f about polls. There's enough of em out there for everyone.

PerryWhite1
PerryWhite1

@Paul,nnto Oh, those polls don't mean anything. Ask Ted Cruz -- he says they're skewed. The GOP is really winning!

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@barneydidit @DavidStrayer Let's not forget that both of these presidents also increased the national debt significantly.  Regan by a factor of 2 or 3 despite the fact that he campaigned on bringing the debt (at the time below 1 Trillion) down.  And Bush who successfully (bought votes) enacted two tax reductions AND launched two global wars.

It astounds me that these same people accuse Obama of fiscal irresponsibility.  Where was any sense of fiscal responsibility then?  I mean, how can they look themselves in the mirror?

drudown
drudown

@manlyman 

Watch the documentary "Gas Land" and then rationalize "fracking" when the process begins by injecting unregulated, known-cancer-causing agents (e.g., Benzene, et al.) into the groundwater upon which the People, small businesses and Commerce depend.

What you think of me for living my life unapologetically?

The peach trees blossom. The river still flows.

billbear1961
billbear1961

@bobcn @JeanLudvigsenBinder By their actions in this coup attempt, with their threat to destroy the economy if they don't get their way, they have revealed themselves to be outright fascists, no longer a legitimate political party in a free society.

They are no longer a loyal opposition, but have demonstrated their total contempt for majority rule and their eager willingness to CRIPPLE this nation to bend it to their will.

Until they have purged themselves of ALL who advocate such undemocratic and criminal behaviour, yes, they must be driven from the political stage.

In the current circumstances, to do otherwise is nothing but to invite more plots to destroy this republic as surely as the Nazis murdered Weimar.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@manlyman  Well, to be fair, everyone hates the TPers. At least according to those Commies at The Wall Street Journal. 

“Participants in the poll gave the Republican Party overall its lowest marks in the history of Journal polling, which goes back to 1989: More than twice as many hold a negative view of the GOP as a positive one,” the Journal’s reportstates. Only 24 percent of respondents had a favorable opinion about the GOP, just 21 percent approved of the tea party.

http://www.ibtimes.com/government-shutdown-2013-republican-party-hits-record-low-approval-poll-finds-1421898 

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@manlyman  I understand, if my positions were as hated as yours I'd ignore the polls too.

manlyman
manlyman

Conservatism is gaining ground. The gop is graham, mcconnel, mcain, and the like. They're the ones who want to "compromise". They want you liberals to love them. Ha! When the goal is to find common ground with radical freaks, it spells doom for the country.

manlyman
manlyman

"Just 21% approved of the teaparty." , a party that in reality numbers in the millions and steadily grows. Hmm... Having trouble with the numbers. Guess it all depends on who the askers are and who the askees are, and what exactly is being asked. Tricky, them durn polls.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@manlyman "Liberalism is evil disguised as good, and I hate evil. Lable me as you wish."

There's no need. You label yourself every time you speak.

lib·er·al·ism n.
1. The state or quality of being liberal.

2. a. A political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority.

b. often Liberalism The tenets or policies of a Liberal party.

manlyman
manlyman

Again, elaborate. Tell me, a true believer in tea party values, what the platform is. I must have missed something.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@manlyman  The TP platform, which you endorse, is what I was referring to. As I am certain you knew.

My cheap shot over your silly name I apologize for. 

manlyman
manlyman

What positions? Elaborate. And why such petty scorn for things masculine? Would it endear me to you more if I told you I wore pink sneakers when I tossed the football with my grandson? Jeez...

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@manlyman  Didn't label you (although "manlyman" does suggest over compensation), just your incredibly hated positions. 

manlyman
manlyman

Hate is such a horrible word, a word I use sparingly and very carefully. I hate liberalism. Like a cancer, it slowly destroys all lifegiving properties in its path. It glorifies sloth and decadence, chastises decency and family values. All in the name of fairness, justice, equality, etc. Liberalism is evil disguised as good, and I hate evil. Lable me as you wish.

manlyman
manlyman

"The democratic party is dead center politically, a shade to the right." There's where ya lost me peedub. Wow!

PerryWhite1
PerryWhite1

@manlyman I agree absolutely with your conclusion. What's appalling is that you can't see that it is the Republicans who are the radical freaks. The Democratic Party is dead center politically, possibly a shade to the right. The GOP is so far on the fringe that they're terrifying. 

The GOP agenda leads to fascism with a quickness, and they're shoving it down the country's throat. Your radical agenda -- one supported by only a narrow slice of the electorate, mostly rabid fundamentalists and anti-democratic corporate greedheads -- needs to be stopped, and stopped cold, or it IS the doom of the country.

jmac
jmac

@manlyman "Radical freaks" like the ones that passed a Republican Health Care Plan? Radical Freaks like the president who Paul Ryan said "always negotiates".   Radical Freaks who compromised with the House leader and then he reneged?  Liberals are so radical.  

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@manlyman  I agree with your conclusion. As does the country, thus the "popularity" of you TPers.