Shutdown Watch: The Clock Is Ticking [UPDATE 9:30 PM Central] – We Have A Deal

9:30 PM – CNN reports that all parties have shaken hands and there is an agreement for permanent budget for the end of the year.  The cuts that have been agreed to will be between $38 and $39 billion, and there will be a short term stop gap measure to keep the government running through Thursday to give time to construct the six month budget.

This is the end of today’s liveblog.  Tomorrow we will be back with details on what these actual cuts should be.

8:30 PM – And it’s on again.  The House GOP is scheduled to meet at 8:45 to discuss the pending deal.  It sounds like first there will be a three day extension while the real deal is made. The eventual deal that will be passed will be a $39 billion spending cut bill, and in exchange for the Democrats giving in an extra $1 billion in spending, the riders are being removed.  In other words, the Republicans got the same clean bill they were offered before, but with an extra $1 billion in spending cuts.

Let’s hope this is really it.  I think we all want this resolved at this point.  Well, everyone but the Tea Party.
8:15 PM – Or maybe not.  Now Republican and Democratic sources are both saying there is no deal. 

Michele Bachmann just stated that she cannot vote for any bill that does not “defund Obamacare.”  So why are we even fighting over any of these riders if the Tea Party isn’t even on board if a compromise is reached?  And how does Bachmann’s words mesh with her message that Boehner should get a deal done?

Speaking of contradictions, did you hear the one about Sen. Kyl stating that 90 percent of Planned Parenthood funding goes to abortion?  When told that abortion is less than three percent of what they do, he responded that it wasn’t intended to be a “factual statement.”

7:30 PM – It sounds like a one week stopgap continuing resolution will be announced very shortly.  Although both sides have said that they have no interest in another short term bill, Boehner had said they would be willing to consider one if a real budget deal was so close that it would take another few days to hammer out the last bits.  Allegedly, the Planned Parenthood funding issue has been resolved, according to a CNN political reporter.

5:30 PM – It’s been a couple of hours, and word is that we are “very close” to resolving the Planned Parenthood issue.  President Obama is expected to be speaking before the deadline to state whether we will be seeing a shutdown or not. 

The riders limiting the environmental Protection Agency are likely not to be included, according to both sides of the aisle.  That just leaves the Title X funding as the main sticking point, and Sen. Kristen Gillibrand accuses the Republicans of putting their ideological agenda ahead of families [VIDEO].

So how does this get resolved?  The White House has stated that there will be no more negotiation from their end and that Boehner and the House Republicans have to finally give.  Presidential contenders like Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee are saying to just come to an agreement (although Newt Gingrich, who has actually been through a few shutdowns, has said to shut it down).  Boehner’s position is growing weaker as time passes, but could that in fact make him dig in more?

Here are seven things that Americans will lose if the government does shut down.

3:00 PM – Speaker Boehner is now stating we may just be “a couple of hours” from a deal, although we’ve already heard that before.  The Planned Parenthood fight has been clarified slightly — apparently there was an offer that Title X funding should be given directly to state, who could decide what agencies would receive the money.  Essentially, that would mean that just as there are states that are slowly winnowing away access to a safe, affordable abortion, we could then have states that can restrict access to safe, affordable preventative care.  I can already picture it — states that allow abortion, states that allow birth control, states that will force women to have children endlessly and against their will.   I’m sure states like Texas and Utah will be more than willing to provide Title X funds to pregnancy centers and faith based abstinence counseling and call it a day. 

So, assuming we do not reach an agreement, what will shut down in 8 hours?  As our own Beth Buczynski writes, national parks would lose $32 million each day.  Wonkroom states that soldiers would be fighting for free, and workstudies, loan programs for housing, business and schools would be distrupted.

1:30 PM – Reid and Democrats just held a press conference with Reid stating that there actually was a deal last night, and the GOP has backed out of it.  According to Reid, both parties agreed to 78 billion in spending cuts.  This morning, at 4 am, Reid then received an email saying that they no longer agreed to that number.  Will this admission force the Republicans to come to an agreement, or simply anger them into a total stalemate?

The Democrats provided a unified party front (something highly unusual for that party) saying that there will be no capituation on the $300 million in Planned Parenthood fund stripping that the Republicans are requesting. Reid emphasized that this funding does not go to abortion, but instead provides cancer screenings and other preventative health care, and that holding the government hostage over it is not ok.  “[N]o one in this country should be given the choice of “no one will have a job on Monday unless you give away women’s rights,” stated Sen. Patty Murray.

The Washington Post has put up a chart showing exactly how 97 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services go to things other than abortion.

Wondering how a shut down could effect the economy?  Wonk Room has a report.

12:00 PM – Boehner has just done a press conference stating that “almost all” policy agreements have been reached, the issue is still spending.  “This is not about shutting down the government, this is about spending.”  He has made it clear that they are only pushing for a continuing resolution, not even a real budget anymore, which means that even if we do get to a resolution tonight, we will likely do this exact same dance again next week.

11:30 AM – New reports are that the cuts will be $38 billion in spending, with a new chunk added into the original mix to get the Republicans to get the riders off the table.  However, TPM says Boehner has not agreed to taking defunding Planned Parenthood off the table.

Meanwhile, Democratic Congresswoman are expressing extreme support for the reproductive health care provider, saying that defunding is not an option.  Hopefully this strong language isn’t going to lead to an embarassing party cave later.

11:00 AM – Are we almost there?  Reuters is reporting that there will be an agreement shortly.

10:30 AM: Reid may be saying that the holdup is nothing but the defunding Planned Parenthood rider, but Boehner is saying really it’s “spending.”  According to Boehner, Democrats have not proven yet that the are “serious” about cutting it.  The vagueness of Boehner’s language implies that Republicans are aware that they are losing the P.R. battle over holding the government hostage over women’s health, and are trying to back away from the talking point, also by calling this continuing resolution the “Troop support” bill.  But as Tennessee Representative Cohen said on the floor: “If you really wanted to fund the troops you’d fund the troops. You wouldn’t put a rider on it that hurts women.”

And Bachmann is upping her own game, offering to donate two weeks of her own salary to troops.

9:30 AM: The final sticking point is in fact defunding Planned Parenthood, and Sen. Leader Harry Reid is telling the Republicans to take it or leave it.  Via Talking Points Memo:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has laid a final offer at Republicans’ feet, and it will require them to drop their insistence on defunding Planned Parenthood, and accepting what Reid insists is an agreed upon level of spending cuts. If Republicans don’t take it, and if Reid’s not bluffing, the government will shutdown.

“The number we’re not bending on,” he told reporters in a press briefing Friday morning. “We’re not bending on that and we’re not bending on women’s health.”

Meanwhile, the kabuki theater on the floor continues, with Republicans accusing Democrats of refusing to fund troops because they are “zealots” who would rather shut down the government than defund Planned Parenthood.  Which, would sort of mean that the GOP is doing the same thing, right?  The Republicans support our troops in elections, but hold them hostage on budget negotiations.

8:30 AM: It turns out that Republican Representive, potential presidential candidate and Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann may actually be a voice of reason on the shutdown.  The Hill reports that Bachmann is suggesting Republicans remove the riders and offer up a clean bill instead. “‘Well, my opinion is this: I think that we should have a clean bill that makes sure that the paycheck gets to the troops on time,’ Bachmann said when asked whether the policy riders should be ‘set aside’ for the ‘next battle’ over the 2012 budget.” Does that mean a compromise really might be possible?

“After all, now that President Obama has us engaged in a third war in Libya, I think it’s imperative that our troops not pay a price and none of the families back home should worry whether or not they’re getting a check,” Bachmann added. 

7:15 AM — The clock is ticking, and we should know any time today whether a compromise has been made or the government will shut down at midnight.  The last shut down was in 1995, with one occuring in November for one week, and a second between Christmas and New Years that lasted for three.

CBS reports that today a shutdown would cost about $8 billion a week, so the same shutdown would cost roughly $32 billion.  Remember that number when Republicans say they are holding strong in order to cut goverment spending.

Pundits still state that the sticking points are shutting down most of the Environmental Protection Agency and “abortion.”  The “abortion” discussion is a misdirection, of course, since because of the Hyde Amendment the government hasn’t provided funding for any abortion that wasn’t a case of rape, incest or mother’s health in decades.  But “abortion” makes excellent shorthand for “telling women that affordable access to cancer screenings and birth control pills is less important to us than scoring a ‘moral victory’ for our anti-abortion donors.”

The next report will allegedly come in at 9:30 AM Central, so be sure to check back for updates.

photo from wikimedia commons


Francesca d.


Ernie Miller
william Miller6 years ago

Lets just hope that the next big catostraphy is in the back yards of the Koch brothers and they other leaders of Big Buisness. let their children and grand children to be the first to fall from polution, lack of clean drinking water or starvation because of the genetically modified foods they created causing a catstropic colapse of agraculture from being inferior in some way. Please let these insane people be the first to feal the wrath of mother nature as she rears her head up in defiance.

Patricia S.
Pat S6 years ago

Oh, Lois, how can you say such a thing knowing that that would have many peoples grandmas out on the street, eating out of dumpsters, or children dying from preventable diseases. No decent education for kids and the inability of many to go to college. Disabled people dying in the street because they have no medical care and nowhere to go. Children with not enough to eat and on and on.

You know full well that our great government would allow all of this to happen right before their very eyes, don't you!!!!

Patricia S.
Pat S6 years ago

Sending a Green Star is a simple way to say "Thank you".

You cannot currently send a star to Billie because you have done so within the last week.

Patricia S.
Pat S6 years ago

Sending a Green Star is a simple way to say "Thank you"

You cannot currently send a star to Lois because you have done so within the last week.

Ameer T.
Ameer T6 years ago

America is following the "post Afghan war Russia break up" scenario. War Broke up Russia, wars will break up America.

And this shut down is just a knee jerk reaction to something that can't be avoided in an another year or two. recognize the early symptoms and open your eyes.

WAKE UP!!! Not Only is America fucking others through war it is Fucking itself!!!

Ameer T.
Ameer T6 years ago

The war in Iraq has cost a whopping $443.7 billion. And the government is looking to shut down and cut down? what could that money have meant to the taxpayers?
The Iraq war is costing the nation's taxpayers an astounding $186,000 per minute-every minute of every day.
The money could have purchased health insurance policies for 265,701,285 uninsured people or housing for 3,995,293 homeless families. And not to mention averted the threat of bankruptcy and government shut down.

And these are just Iraq war figures. add to these the Afghan war, Pakistan war and Libyan support figures and compare this to benefits that the government might have to shut down.
Food for thought.....?

jeremy Lovin
jeremy Lovin6 years ago

There is very little to be proud of here, Republicans don't want to cut the budget, they want to cut the middle and lower financial class out of the programs that help them. It's obvious to me they hate weakness or any one who shows their vulnerable, if you can't work in the sweatshops or just slight better sweatshops without a lunch or dinner break for eight to tens hours a day making less than five to eight dollars an hour, go starve to death in the rain and snow. Republicans are interested in one thing and that's is power, more power, and finally Godhood. I don't know how they can go around everywhere talking about cutting wasteful spending when they spend 10 times more than any of our social programs combined. Their just really good at hiding it.

Lynn C.
Lynn C6 years ago

Oh boy...what did we lose this time?

Geoffrey Y.
Geoffrey Y6 years ago

Grid lock is "good"...because it force both parties to work on balancing power or benefits. But this system is being abused since the founding fathers. Looking for next crises and to understanding more about the causes – no one seems really care about the original cause/fix, no one like pain and austerity, no one want to be responsible for the long term our children, everyone like acting and talking. What a great custom/culture today!