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  • U.S. Park Police walk away after closing the World War II Memorial in Washington October 1, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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  • Nationals Parks police arrive with tape to seal off the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, October 1, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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  • There's the vote. The Senate makes good on their vow to kill the House's late-last-night request for a formal conference committee process to resolve the differences between the House and Senate funding bills, one with Obamacare-weakening measures and one "clean," respectively.
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  • Leader McConnell says dems "got what they wanted" after rejecting 4 House bills. "Each one represented more of a compromise that the last."
  • One could easily lose track of why precisely the government is shut down today and think of it as just a proxy battle in the midst of partisan trench warfare. So here's a reminder: This was a battle over whether the government ought to try to guarantee that all Americans have health insurance, as Democrats believe, or whether that's a dangerous overreach, as Republicans do.


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  • It’s past time for Senate Dems to listen to American people. House has already done its job to fund government – again and again and again.

  • "Americans are certainly not in love with Obamacare, but they reject decisively the claim by congressional Republicans that it is so bad that it’s worth closing down the government to stop it," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.


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  • Matt, I think you may be asking whether the shutdown will save the government money or allow for further delays in paying bills, but that may not be the case. On the latter, obligations pushing us toward the mid-October debt limit deadline the Treasury has cited are already in place and difficult to modify. On the cost issue, the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has a good general shutdown Q & A that says shutdowns may actually bring about losses due to uncertainty premiums charged by contractors and back pay whenever the shutdown ends. The CRFB cites White House OMB estimates that the 1996 shutdown ended up costing $1.4 billion back then, though estimates vary.
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  •     Eating and drinking establishments around Washington, D.C., saw a business opportunity in the partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government. 
        The Washington Post published a list of local bars offering discounts and even all-day "Happy Hours" so that unpaid workers would not go hungry or thirsty, the paper said.
        In Silver Spring, Maryland, a Washington suburb and a hub for federal government and military employees, Zena Polin, co-owner of The Daily Dish restaurant, told Reuters: "We're going to do a free cup of regular coffee to all government workers; members of Congress pay double."
        Asked if she was trying to make a political statement, Polin said: "Not really ... It was just the irony that they keep getting paid and nobody else really is, so I just thought, you know, that they can afford it."      

    —Howard Goller, Washington Editor, Reuters Professional News


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  • Reader comment: Could the Senate just pass the House budget and then Obama line-item veto the amendments he and the majority in the Senate are opposed to?
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  • To participate in a survey about your experience signing onto the new insurance marketplaces click here.  

    by Eric Martyn edited by Margarita Noriega (Reuters) 10/1/2013 5:10:28 PM
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  • At 4:30, House begins considering Honoring our Promise to America’s Veterans Act, Open Our Nation Parks and Museums Act, DC funding Act
  • In short, @ColonelPierce, the voting schedule lies in the hands of the House Majority leadership (Boehner, Cantor, Majority Whip McCarthy), and they are standing firm against taking up the clean Senate bill right now. Here are a couple of good resources to check out on this in the meantime, but we will try to come back to this later if/when such procedure comes more into play.
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  • @PramodRawat: Apologies for circling back to this question a bit late. One thing we should be clear about is that the debt ceiling is not related to the Federal Reserve and its bond-buying stimulus, famous most recently for expectations of a "taper" reducing the amount of bond purchases injecting money into the economy each month. The Fed is separately controlling monetary policy, managing interest rates by doing things like the purchase of U.S. government bonds (i.e. Treasuries) and mortgage bonds.

    The Treasury Department, whose head Jack Lew has stated will hit the debt ceiling on October 17th, is charged with collecting tax and other revenue for the government and then allocating this revenue to meet debt obligations and finance the government. Lew has said the Treasury will no longer be able to do this after October 17th, which is where the timeframe for this second (or perhaps combined) showdown rests right now.
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  • Rep Jim Moran (D-VA) on GOP's 3 partial funding bills: As soon as they try to fix this, then other agencies are going to say what about me?
  • KKK rally in Pennsylvania becomes casualty of government shutdown reut.rs/18LE1Se
  • New updates from Reuters' Patricia Zengerle:

    In 2011, the last time there was fear of a government shutdown and debt limit breach, the stock market plunged. Between July 7-Aug. 9, 2011, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2,150 points, or 16.9 percent. The S&P during that same period fell 18.8 percent.

    The Sunlight Foundation, which tracks money in politics, is keeping a close eye on the government shutdown. On Monday, the group reported that seven members of Congress had scheduled campaign fundraisers this week, despite the looming shutdown. . So far, four have been cancelled, one – a lunch for Rep. Gene Green, a Texas Republican – happened on Tuesday, and two appear to be still on. Events for Rep. Mike Thompson, a California Democrat, Rep. Steve Chabot, an Ohio Republican, and Rep. Lois Capps, another California Democrat, were cancelled. Events for Rep. Charlie Rangel and either other Democrats in Washington on Wednesday and an Arkansas trout fishing retreat for Senator John Boozman appear to be still on, according to Sunlight.

    Here’s a link to their site: sunlightfoundation.com
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  • U.S. stocks ended lower on Wednesday on the second day of a partial U.S. government shutdown shortly before congressional leaders and President Barack Obama were scheduled to meet to discuss the budget.

    The Dow Jones industrial average was down 61.71 points, or 0.41 percent, at 15,129.99. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 1.35 points, or 0.08 percent, at 1,693.65. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 2.96 points, or 0.08 percent, at 3,815.02.
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  • Notes from President Obama's interview on CNBC late Wednesday:

    Obama told CNBC on Wednesday that he is not going to engage in a series of negotiations with Congress until a bill to open the government is passed.

    "Even on an issue like healthcare if they [Republicans] want to give me specific suggestions" he is happy to listen, Obama says.

    Shifting to the topic of political wrangling, Obama commented "this is a problem with a particular section of the Republican party."

    Obama said he will continue to talk to business leaders in and outside of Washington about the Affordable Care Act: "this is a situation in which once we get back to a normal process of bargaining, it wont be pretty and people may not like every outcome -- that's why we have elections -- but at least we can feel confident that small businesses are getting loans through the SBA.

    "The biggest concern I have day to day is how this is impacting middle class citizens."

    "Congress has two jobs: pass a budget, pay its bills"

    Responding to a question about whether some American groups like the Affordable Care Act (ACA) more than others, Obama responds: "When you break out what's actually in ACA, it's popular among all groups [of Americans]."

    More from Reuters' Steve Holland: In CNBC interview, Obama described himself as exasperated that Republicans refused to drop demands that led to the government shutting down on Tuesday.

    "Am I exasperated? Absolutely I'm exasperated," he said, because the shutdown was totally unnecessary.

    Obama said Wall Street should be concerned that a faction of Republicans in the House of Representatives seemed willing to allow the United States to default on its debt in order to push their demand that funding be cut for Obama's signature healthcare law.
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  • Interested in seeing the full schedule of events in the House tonight? Check out the Clerk's schedule website: clerk.house.gov
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  • Notes on Statements Made After White House, Congressional Leaders Meeting Late Wednesday

    Republican House Speaker John Boehner made remarks first, coming out of the White House after a meeting with President Obama. Boehner said President Obama reiterated that he would not "negotiate" -- question is, of course, on what?

    Senator Harry Reid, Rep. Nancy Pelosi followed Boehner out of the White House to give the media remarks on behalf of the House and Senate Democrats.

    Senator Reid, rebuffing Boehner's comments, says they offered Boehner the option of going to conference on federal budget, spending, agriculture, parks, healthcare, "anything." Reid says Boehner sought a short-term continuing resolution solution, but Reid is looking for a long-term solution.

    House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi follows Reid, giving a bit of history on the federal budget negotiations which have been ongoing since March of 2013. Rep. Pelosi says the current Republican proposal on the federal spending is "far too low." Pelosi: "I can only conclude that they want the government shut down."

    Reid, speaking again, adds that he will be happy to work with Speaker Boehner on a continuing resolution but that he is tired of "playing these little games" with Obamacare. Reid: "we are locked in tight on Obamacare."

    Switching between topics, Pelosi spoke again: "we should take debt ceiling debate off the table... no president should be held hostage... closing the government is bad... Every bill... is subject to passing in Congress... [Republicans] have every opportunity... to make whatever changes they want [on the Affordable Care Act]" outside of negotiating federal spending and the debt limit.

    In final remarks, Rep. Pelosi said that House Democrats are willing to accept the $988 billion spending budget number that House Republicans propose, despite it being "too low" -- but Democrats are unwilling to accept the repeal or de-funding in any manner of the Affordable Care Act.
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  • The Senate and House have convened for Wednesday, bringing the federal government to its third day of shutdown.

    After remarks from congressional leaders on a late Wednesday meeting with President Obama at the White House, it appears that the focus for congressional negotiation rests on agreement with the federal spending ceiling, which Republicans propose at $988 billion, and whether legislation regarding the federal budget should involve any cuts to programs and services related to the Affordable Care Act.

    Wednesday evening, House Republicans passed two mini-funding bills focused on national parks and the National Institutes of Health, which Senate Democrats have vowed to reject since it is not part of a full, comprehensive budget package, or a "clean" continuing resolution (CR).

    Meanwhile, Americans off all political persuasions continue to live under the current law of the land: the new healthcare laws are still intact, even while the government remains unfunded outside of essential programs.

    What will Thursday hold? When will the House and Senate find agreement on the budget?

    Thank you for joining us for another day of political news and analysis coverage. We will return on Thursday in hopes we can find some answers to these questions.
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  • READER COMMENT: Has anyone in the Obama Administration ever seriously considered bypassing Congress by one of the 3 ways described in an article by Jack Balkin, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law at Yale Law School? This article was written on July 28, 2011 concerning an upcoming budget debate with the threat of a government shutdown and ultimate default. I include the following thread: www.cnn.com
    by Snowball541 edited by Margarita Noriega (Reuters) 10/3/2013 2:17:55 PM
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  • In his speech in Maryland on Thursday, President Obama said that the longer the government shutdown continued, the worse the impact will be, adding that House Speaker John Boehner will not allow a vote to end the shutdown because he doesn't want to anger "extremists" in the Republican party. Obama said that the shutdown is because of a Republican "obsession" with dismantling the Affordable Care Act.

    "You don't save money by not paying your bills," Obama said on the current shutdown repeating his use of the phrase "deadbeat" in reference to the government's non-payment of bills due to the shutdown.

    Obama, saying that there will be no negotiations over the shutdown, stated that the United States is at the center of the global economy and the shutdown will have negative impacts on the world: "If we screw up, everybody's get screw up."
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  • Reuters Jason Lange reports: The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits remained at pre-recession levels last week but growth in the massive U.S. service sector cooled in September as firms took on fewer new workers. The data could provide some of the strongest guidance this week on the health of the U.S. economy as a partial government shutdown delays the release of other data, including the monthly employment report that was scheduled to be released on Friday.
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  • The National Journal has an interesting piece about congressional staffers: what role do they play in the high-stakes politics of a government shutdown? Written By Lucia Graves and Marin Cogan.
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  • Sen. Reid asked Tom Carper to go in his stead to Rand Paul's coffee summit. So was it bipartisan? "Since I was there--yes!" Carper laughed.
  • Reuters' David Lawder reports: a few Republicans- Massie, Rand Paul, Mulvaney, Barrasso, Guthrie - seem to be staging an event on the Senate steps. Carper joined them and said "alright everyone, let's sing kumbaya!" They are talking about NASCAR and drinking coffee brought in from Corner Bakery.

    Reuters' Patricia Zengerle's sends this update: "It was a coffee klatsch organized by Paul. They wanted Reid. But he sent Delaware Senator Thomas Carper."
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  • Obama just finished speaking at a Maryland construction plant, and as Steve Holland of Reuters tweeted during the speech, he got personal in his attacks on House Republicans and Speaker John Boehner in particular. Accusing Boehner of obstructing a vote on the Senate's clean funding bill to avoid angering "extremists" in his party, Obama said that Boehner is the only thing keeping the government shut down. Putting on his whip counting visor, Obama echoed the numbers Harry Reid and other Democrats are increasingly referencing to say that a clean bill would pass the House with bipartisan support if Boehner simply brought it to the floor.

    The rhetoric kept burning from there. Obama called the shutdown a "farce" being driven by "the Republican obsession" with weakening Obamacare. Acknowledging the industrial setting of the speech, Obama told those gathered at the plant that they'd be "fired" if they gummed up operations to this degree. He also ridiculed yesterday's oft-cited quote from Republican Rep. Stutzman about having "no idea" what GOP representatives are fighting for.

    The speech came down to another appeal to the American people, as Obama and his allies continue to rely on public opinion to build in their favor and force House Republicans to capitulate. Bringing up the looming debt limit battle, Obama said that Americans will not be "pawns" in a political game, especially one that will cause global destabilization should it come to pass. Acknowledging an inherent decency in regular Americans, Obama ended by asking Congress to show the same to those it represents and start acting with more sense as the crisis only gets worse.
    by Colin.McDonald edited by Margarita Noriega (Reuters) 10/3/2013 3:44:27 PM
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  • “We’re not going to be disrespected,” conservative Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., added. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

    That's the quote that's been ricocheting around Twitter and political circles since Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) gave it to the Washington Examiner yesterday. President Obama just held it up as an example of House Republican instransigence and dysfunction.

    Chad Pergram of Fox News reports on Twitter that Stutzman may now be trying to walk the quote back:

    Stutzman: Yesterday, I carelessly misrepresented the ongoing budget debate and Speaker Boehner’s work on behalf of the American people.

    — Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 3, 2013


    Stutzman: Despite my remarks it’s clear that the American people want both parties to come to the table to reopen the government...

    — Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 3, 2013

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  • Newt Gingrich -- famously known for leading, as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Republican party during a shutdown against then-president Bill Clinton -- writes in TIME on Thursday that the current shutdown is nothing like that of 1995-1996 because shutdowns were part of negotiations between parties, not the end of it:

    "Back in 1995, we were used to shutdowns as part of the negotiating process. Democratic Speaker Tip O’Neill had twelve shutdowns during his Speakership. Not so today, as seen both in the news media and in the hysteria of President Obama and the Democrats. Until this week, there had been seventeen years without a legislative-executive confrontation that led to a shutdown."

    READ: Founding Fathers Liked Shutdowns
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  • A House Republican lawsuit against Attorney General Eric Holder fell victim to the government shutdown on Thursday, writes Reuters David Ingram, and a federal judge told lawmakers they had themselves to blame:

    U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson temporarily stayed the suit in which Republicans are seeking to enforce a subpoena for documents related to Operation Fast and Furious, a botched effort to counter gun-trafficking along the U.S. border with Mexico. Most lawsuits that involve the U.S. government were halted nationwide because of the shutdown and related furloughs, with some exceptions such as the government’s challenge to the $11 billion merger of American Airlines and US Airways. 

    Republicans said their suit should be another exception because it is a high-stakes battle between two branches of government. Jackson disagreed and wrote in an order that, “while the vast majority of litigants who now must endure a delay in the progress of their matters do so due to circumstances beyond their control, that cannot be said of the House of Representatives, which has played a role in the shutdown.” Jackson, an Obama appointee to the federal court in Washington, also wrote that there were no “exigent circumstances in this case that would justify an order of the court forcing furloughed attorneys to return to their desks.

    On Monday, Jackson handed Republicans a victory by refusing a request by Holder to throw out the suit altogether. 

    Here’s the full text of the judge’s order from Thursday:

    MINUTE ORDER granting [53] defendant's Motion to Stay. It is ORDERED that defendant's motion to stay is GRANTED. It is further ORDERED that defendant shall notify the Court within two business days of the Department of Justice Civil Division's resumption of operations, at which time the Court will set a due date for the submission of a proposed schedule for further proceedings. There are no exigent circumstances in this case that would justify an order of the Court forcing furloughed attorneys to return to their desks. Moreover, while the vast majority of litigants who now must endure a delay in the progress of their matters do so due to circumstances beyond their control, that cannot be said of the House of Representatives, which has played a role in the shutdown that prompted the stay motion. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 10/3/13.

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  • Senator McCain just referred to Jeff Flake, the junior senator from Arizona as "my young, handsome colleague."
    by Patricia Zengerle via twitter edited by Margarita Noriega (Reuters) 10/3/2013 6:15:14 PM
  • House passes mini spending bill to fund National Guard/Reserve programs. The vote was 265 to 160. House now debating mini spending bill to fund Veterans Affairs.
    by Chad Pergram via twitter edited by Margarita Noriega (Reuters) 10/3/2013 6:18:15 PM
  • On the floor, @RepMarkTakano is trying to force a vote on clean CR (Dems keep doing this) and he just lost it and was yelling.
  • Mother Jones reports that the federal government shutdown is closing blood drives: "Inova Blood Donor Services projects that the cancellations will result in its projected loss of 300 donations that would have helped 900 patients in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Inova's donated blood collections supply 24 hospitals, which bank much of the blood for inevitable disasters or, say, terrorist attacks. The Red Cross is suffering from similar disruptions, projecting the loss of 229 donations, each of which could potentially save up to three lives. A single major trauma event can easily deplete a hospital's entire blood store. The longer the shutdown goes on, the worse the situation is likely to get."
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  • Multiple reports from journalists on Twitter that short popping sounds were heard at the U.S. Capitol. This is unconfirmed. We are monitoring official sources for confirmation.
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  • U.S. Capitol's on lockdown
  • [UPDATED] This post was about an early Reuters Wire snap that was corrected.

    Original wire snap said: "Shots fired inside the U.S. Capitol, says a U.S. Senate aide"
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  • The Secret Service has set up a perimeter outside the White House
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Nuclear deal parties not ready to launch dispute mechanism against Iran, prefer more diplomacy: EU

BRUSSELS The remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal do not see Tehran's breaches as significant and do not intend for now to trigger the pact's dispute mechanism, preferring more diplomacy to ease the crisis, the EU foreign policy chief said on Monday. | Video