Looks like “it” is going to happen — “it” being another government shutdown Tuesday morning.
By STEVE KRASKE
The Kansas City Star
• “We know what's going to happen. Tomorrow the Senate will come in session and the House position ...is going to be rejected again. And we're going to face the prospect of the government shutting down.” — Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin, a Democrat, on CBS' "Face the Nation” Sunday.
What a shame. This is nothing less than a total failure of our system — even if Congress staves off a shutdown with a last-minute save . The only thing that apparently can prevent a shutdown Monday is for Congress to pass a temporary spending measure while the two chambers work out their differences. But that doesn’t appear to be in the offing.
• “Tonight, I voted in favor of legislation that prevents the federal government from shutting down, and delays the implementation of the Affordable Care Act — two things the majority of Kansans support.” — Kansas Congressman Kevin Yoder, a Republican.
Yoder is taking a party-line vote here. He cast this vote knowing that the Democrats and President Obama can’t live with a delay to the health-care plan, even though the administration has delayed other aspects of the act. Taking this dispute down to the wire is the ultimate strategic mistake by both sides.
• “We will not shut the government down. If we have to negotiate a little longer, we will continue to negotiate.” — House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California and one of House Speaker John Boehner's top lieutenants.
A glimmer of hope. McCarthy’s leaving open the possibility of a stopgap bill that funds the federal government for a few days to avoid a shutdown. The odds appear long, but Congress has pulled off last-minute maneuvers before.
• “We are the party that’s willing to compromise. They are the party that says, `No way, we’re not touching Obamacare.’” — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican.
C’mon, senator. Level with the American people. Both sides are stuck in the mud here. Democrats say any bill that messes with Obamacare is DOA. Many Republicans say any measure that fails to deal with the health-care plan is DOA.