The Buzz

October 17, 2013

BuzzChatter Thursday: Whopppeee — or not! A (short-term) agreement is in hand

Congress buys a few weeks by extending the debt ceiling until Feb. 7 and reopening the government until Jan. 15

The Buzz

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

On this day, we’re all breathing a sigh of relief.

• “We fought the good fight; we just didn't win.” — House Speaker John Boehner on a radio station in his home state of Ohio about the agreement reached Wednesday to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government.

This is mighty short-term stuff. The debt ceiling is raised verrrrry temporarily until Feb. 7. The government reopens until Jan. 15. Boehner, meantime, pledges that the fight against Obamacare continues. This agreement won’t end any D.C. gridlock. And it ensures a continuation of government by crisis.

• “This compromise we reached will provide our economy with the stability it desperately needs.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

You’ve got to be kidding, senator. File this one under the category of “classic spin.” This compromise has a shelf life of about two months, which will get the country through the Christmas buying season. But after that, we’re right back to the starting line.

• “We've gotta get out of the habit of governing by crisis.” — President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the deal.

Yes, it does. I already said it.

• “The only reason the Democrats don’t look terrible is because we look worse.” — Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican.

Hard to argue with this one.

• “It’s a sad day in America when Washington must choose between economic catastrophe now economic catastrophe later.” — Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican, on Twitter.

Great line, senator.

• “Isn't that usually sung at funerals?” — Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly, a Democrat, on reports that House Republicans sang “Amazing Grace” during a Tuesday morning meeting at which lawmakers rejected one version of a shutdown agreement.

Republicans, it turns out, sang three verses of the hymn. Let’s acknowledge the obvious here: The GOP no longer could take the political heat and really had no option left but to agree to a short-term deal. Maybe singing “Amazing Grace” provided that new insight.

• “They’re already asking....Is Milton Wolf the next Ted Cruz?” — a Wolf e-mail blast to supporters Wednesday. Wolf is the conservative who just announced a U.S. Senate candidacy against incumbent Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts.

Republicans are on such sure ground in Kansas that Wolf can compare himself to the controversial Cruz and get away with it. Wolf is eager to out-conservative Roberts, and this is his attempt to do it.

• “The current shutdown debt crisis are severe, but if we cant address govt spending, we will be looking at a permanent shutdown - bankruptcy.” — Roberts on Twitter explaining his “no” vote on the deal. He was one of 18 senators to oppose the measure.

Roberts would have voted for this package if not for the Wolf challenge, which has sent the already conservative senator into hyper-conservative overdrive to avoid being outflanked on the right.

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