The Buzz

October 7, 2013

BuzzChatter Monday: Shutdown stalemate continues

Boehner signals a new, perhaps more fruitful approach as he shifts from a focus on Obamacare to other programs

The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

• “I’m not going to raise the debt limit without a serious conversation about dealing with problems that are driving the debt up. It would be irresponsible of me to do this.” — House Speaker John Boehner on Sunday on ABC News’ “This Week.”

Boehner appeared to shift his negotiating stance from one focused on cutting off funding for Obamacare to one trained on trimming spending on other federal government cost-drivers, such as Medicare and Medicaid. That could provide a more productive path for Republican and Democratic negotiators as President Obama has said repeatedly that cutting or delaying his health care plan is non-negotiable.

• “The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit. And the president is risking default by not having a conversation with us.” — Boehner.

“Let me issue him a friendly challenge: Put it on the floor Monday or Tuesday. I would bet there are the votes to pass it.” — New York Sen. Charles Schumer, a Democrat.

Boehner said Sunday he’s told the president the votes are lacking for a continuing resolution that would provide stopgap funding and end the government shutdown, now in its seventh day. Democrats such as Schumer still don’t buy it. They say put the issue to a vote, and a coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats will approve it.

• “Congress is playing with fire.” — Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on CNN warning Congress to act on raising the nation's debt ceiling.

The administration continued to pressure Congress Sunday in a rhetorical routine that’s already become entirely predictable.

• “We're winning the argument. Obamacare isn't working.” — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

The Republican continues to proclaim that his efforts to derail the program are paying off. Obama had recently criticized him for taking controversial positions as a way to win attention.

• “We view this as a long-term effort.” — Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity on a conservative initiative to defund Obamacare by shutting down the federal government.

The New York Times chronicled a plan hatched by a group of conservative activists shortly after President Obama won re-election to derail the health-care law by cutting off financing for the federal government. The results of that plan are playing out before the country today.

We felt very strongly at the start of this year that the House needed to use the power of the purse. At least at Heritage Action, we felt very strongly from the start that this was a fight that we were going to pick.” — Michael A. Needham, who runs Heritage Action for America, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation.

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