On the second day after the shutdown deal was consummated, no one seems pleased.
• “Truth is, there is no reason for people in our community, including the 45,000 federal workers, to believe that we won’t walk back toward the precipice again in January.” — Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver on KCUR.
Discouraging? You bet. The upside? (There’s not much). But you can point to lots of short-term pressure on Congress to get deals cut prior to the Jan. 15 deadline for another government shutdown. House Speaker John Boehner quickly appointed members Thursday to a House-Senate conference committee. That panel includes Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, the respected House budget chair. The speaker hopes to keep momentum rolling toward some kind of deal.
• “There are no winners here. The American people are completely fed up with Washington.” — President Barack Obama on Thursday reflecting on the government shutdown and the flirtation with the first default in U.S. history.
For sure. But here’s the thing: We’re headed right back there again in January unless lawmakers get a different message from their constituents.
• “I don’t think you resign in the middle of a fight.” — Donald D. Gilligan, older brother of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, on whether she will resign given all the glitches with the unveiling of Obamacare.
With the shutdown over, look for the pressure on Sebelius to grow as Republicans have time to focus on other issues.
• “We think that we'll be back here in January debating the same issues. This is, I fear, a permanent feature of our budgetary process.” — John Chambers, managing director of Standard and Poor's rating service, on CNN.
Wow. Can you say “expect a credit rating downgrade sometime soon” any clearer?
• “It was not a smart play. It had no chance of success.” — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky of the GOP push this summer to defund Obamacare.
McConnell is hardly the first GOPer to criticize the conservative push to undermine Obamacare. That split within the Republican Party only grows wider.
• “Was their tantrum worth $24 billion?” — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pointing to House Republicans and a report by Standards Poors that estimated the shutdown cost the economy $24 billion in lost GDP growth.
It’s going to take another few days to get new poll numbers that show just how much damage Republicans inflicted on themselves for this one. Partisan Democrats are now predicting they can retake control of the chamber next year. That’s probably premature.