The Buzz

October 15, 2013

BuzzChatter Tuesday: Washington moves slowwwwwly on shutdown

But with progress being made, Reid says Tuesday could be a “bright day.”

The Buzz

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

The shutdown still dominates the news:

• “We’ve made tremendous progress. We are not there yet but tremendous progress. And everyone just needs to be patient. With good fortune, perhaps tomorrow will be a bright day.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the ongoing shutdown talks.

Reid is understating things. Tuesday had BETTER be a bright day. As Monday ended, the outline of a deal had come into focus.

• “We’re doing our best to make everybody happy but everyone knows we’re not going to be able do that. So everybody understand we’re doing the very best we can with all the frailties that we have as people and legislators.” — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

It’s no coincidence that progress is being reported just as McConnell has re-engaged in the process. He’s known as a master negotiator. But with the emergence of a tough tea party primary challenger in Kentucky, he’s been out of pocket.

• “Defaulting on our national debt is an impeachable offense, and any attempt by President Obama to unilaterally raise the debt limit without Congress is also an impeachable offense.” — Sarah Palin on Facebook Monday.

This is so helpful, isn’t it?

• “The only long-term coverage people have is Medicaid when they become completely broke. It is a shame that when we were completely overhauling the health care system that we didn’t include a solution for long-term care.” — former Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson, who is now president and CEO of the American Health Care Association.

In an interview, Parkinson expressed his disappointment that the new health care law doesn’t address long-term care. He also said the moderate wing of the Republican Party in Kansas “doesn’t really exist anymore.”

• “It’s a travesty that Kansans are spending $913,000 on things that don’t benefit the state in any way.” — Peter Brownlie, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.

“It’s a free country, and there’s a right to sue on anything. But then, to try to blame us for the money involved in defending the lawsuits is ridiculous.” — Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, the most influential anti-abortion group at the Statehouse.

The two were reacting to the news that Kansas has paid more than $913,000 to two private law firms that are helping the state defend anti-abortion laws enacted since conservative Republican Gov. Sam Brownback took office. The total is expected to grow.

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