Now that the government shutdown is official the big question changes from whether one would happen to just how long it will last. The polls suggest that the American public largely blames the House GOP for the shutdown—although that was well established long before the clock struck midnight, so it’s unclear just how much weight national public opinion will carry with those House members from dark-red districts who are behind the stop-Obamacare-or-bust strategy. In the meantime, the best bet for a deal most likely lies with more moderate Republicans who have remained relatively silent in this debate so far.
John Dickerson, Dave Weigel, Matt Yglesias, and the rest of Slate will continue to bring you in-depth analysis from Washington. But below you’ll find a running list of the latest smaller developments, rumors, links and theories floating around inside the Beltway and out of it.
—A small sampling of Slate’s coverage—
- Moneybox: Essential Services Can’t Last Forever
- The Slatest: “House of Turds”: The Front Page That Sums Up What 74 Percent of Voters Are Thinking
- Bad Astronomy: How the Shutdown Is Making a Mess of NASA
- The Slatest:
- Moneybox: Democrats Should Reject a “Clean” CR
- XX: Seven Ways the Government Shutdown Will Hit Women Hardest
- Moneybox: Why Federal Workers Can’t Volunteer To Work For Free
- Weigel: Why the House GOP Has No Problem Taking Us to the Brink
- Moneybox: Obamacare Exchanges Launch Today, Here’s What You Need To Do
8:00 p.m.: With No End in Sight Senate Calls It a Day, via Washington Post:
Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) adjourned the Senate by saying that his chamber would reject the three spending bills the House is planning to vote on Tuesday evening.
3:32 p.m.: Boehner’s USA Today op-ed:
The president isn’t telling the whole story when it comes to the government shutdown. The fact is that Washington Democrats have slammed the door on reopening the government by refusing to engage in bipartisan talks. And, as stories across the country highlight the devastating impact of Obamacare on families and small businesses, they continue to reject our calls for fairness for all Americans.
This is part of a larger pattern: the president’s scorched-Earth policy of refusing to negotiate in bipartisan way on his health care law, current government funding, or the debt limit.
2:45 p.m.: The Cost of the Shutdown, via NBC News:
Here’s the price tag for the first government shutdown in 17 years: about $1.6 billion a week, $300 million a day, or $12.5 million an hour.
That estimate, from economic consulting firm IHS Global Insight, covers just the cost in work and services the government is unable to perform as it furloughs 800,000 federal workers. In other words, taxpayers are paying millions each hour to a government that’s getting very little work done. Still, that’s not a lot compared to the annual U.S. economic output of $16 trillion, said Paul Edelstein, director of financial economics at IHS.
1:35 p.m.: Branding the Shutdown, via the Washington Post:
In remarks in the White House Rose Garden, President Obama repeatedly cited the “Republican shutdown” and called on the GOP to end the government closure. “I urge House Republicans to reopen the government,” Obama said. “This is only going to happen when they don’t get to hold the entire economy hostage over ideological demands.” Obama said of Republicans: “They shut down the government as part of ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans.”
1:07 p.m.: The “Storming” of the WWII Memorial, via the Slatest:
Normandy this was definitely not, but a busload of elderly veterans this morning briefly grabbed the media spotlight when they managed to visit the shuttered World War II Memorial on the Washington Mall. Exactly how they overcame the barricades and elude park police who were enforcing the shutdown-forced closure remains somewhat up for debate—but despite a few early reports suggesting that the group “stormed” the monument on the Washington Mall, it appears as though this was a peaceful and respect-filled affair that unfolded rather slowly.
11:58 a.m.: Place Your Bets, via the Washington Post:
Privately, senior Republicans predicted that the closure would last at least a week. A fraction of today’s House Republicans were on Capitol Hill in 1995 and 1996 when a Republican-led Congress last shut down the government in a dispute over the budget with a Democratic president. Younger lawmakers don’t remember the pain the shutdown caused constituents, senior Republicans said. And many of them now question the conventional wisdom that the closures weakened the GOP presidential candidate in 1996 and nearly cost the party control of the House.
Democrats predicted that if the shutdown stretches into the weekend, the government-funding dispute could be rolled into an even more serious battle over the $16.7 trillion federal debt limit. The Treasury Department will begin running short of cash to pay the nation’s bills as soon as Oct. 17 unless Congress approves additional borrowing authority. With so little time remaining to avoid what would be the nation’s first default, Democratic aides predicted that negotiations to reopen the government may be merged into the debt-limit talks.
11:45 a.m.: Applying Pressure to GOP Moderates, via the National Journal:
The campaign arm of House Democrats is cranking up the pressure on vulnerable Republicans over the government shutdown, dispatching automatic calls to voters in 63 congressional districts Tuesday with messages that urge constituents to call their representatives and demand they “stop the nonsense.” The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s paid grassroots campaign targets lawmakers in competitive districts and blames the shutdown on Republican lawmakers, while noting that they’re “still getting paid.” … With the message, Democrats are trying to both make Republican lawmakers sweat and, perhaps, to incite the “moderate insurrection” against the hard-right faction in the House that never materialized Monday night ahead of the shutdown.
Republicans have, in the last two terms, masterfully whittled down federal spending, often with precisely this form of brinksmanship.
The Senate bill [the clean CR] funds the 2014 government at a level 18 percent below the president proposed five years ago; 17 percent below the Democratic Congress proposed four years ago; 10 percent below Paul Ryan and Republicans proposed three years ago; and 8 percent below the debt ceiling compromise two years ago (see graph, via Michael Linden and Harry Stein). The Senate bill is less than 2 percent away from Paul Ryan’s own 2014 budget.
10:38 a.m.: Obama to Talk Gov. Shutdown, Obamacare Launch, via Politico:
President Obama will speak in the Rose Garden at 12:25 p.m. Tuesday, the White House said in updated guidance.His remarks will follow a meeting with people who are benefiting from the opening Tuesday of health insurance marketplaces, but also come on the first day of the government shutdown.
10:10 a.m.: The Post-Shutdown World Looks a Lot Like a Pre-Shutdown One in the Senate, via the Associated Press:
The Senate has voted to reject the latest House Republican effort to negotiate on the budget amid the government shutdown. The party-line vote was 54-46 on Tuesday. The Senate turned aside a House request to name negotiators to a conference to resolve differences.