Shutdown Solution? There’s None To Be Seen Just Yet

The Lincoln Memorial is officially closed. National parks and monuments are among the parts of the federal government affected by the shutdown. Dennis Brack /Landov

The Lincoln Memorial is officially closed. National parks and monuments are among the parts of the federal government affected by the shutdown. Dennis Brack /Landov

We said it Tuesday: “No end in sight.”

The story’s the same on Wednesday.

Pardon us for being repetitive, but there’s no end in sight to the partial shutdown of the federal government.

There isn’t even a glint of solution somewhere off on the horizon, NPR’s Mara Liasson says. On Morning Edition, she told host Steve Inskeep that as of Wednesday morning there was “no escape hatch.”

Republicans, Mara said, “aren’t yet ready to compromise” on their position. They say they’ll only agree to fully fund government operations if the new health care law (“Obamacare”) is either defunded, delayed or otherwise denuded.

Democrats, Mara added, “aren’t in the mood to rescue the Republicans from the box they’ve got themselves in.”

At this point, no negotiations are scheduled between the White House and Congress.

Meanwhile, as NPR’s Scott Horsley reports, “beyond the shutdown, there’s a bigger battle brewing” over the federal debt ceiling.

As for the latest shutdown-related news:

— Obama’s trip. The White House announced early Wednesday that because of the shutdown President Obama is at least shortening a long-planned trip to Asia. He’s set to leave Saturday for what was to be a four-nation, week-long tour. But the last two stops — Malaysia and the Philippines — have been canceled, the White House says. As of now, Obama will visit only Indonesia and Brunei.

— Partial funding? Late Tuesday, Republican leaders in the House “sought passage of legislation aimed at reopening small slices of the government,” The Associated Press writes. “The bills covered the national parks, the Veterans Affairs Department and city services in Washington, D.C., such as garbage collection funded with local tax revenues.

“The move presented Democrats with politically challenging votes but they rejected the idea, saying it was unfair to pick winners and losers as federal employees worked without a guarantee of getting paid and the effects of the partial shutdown rippled through the country and the economy. The White House promised a veto. Since the measures were brought before the House under expedited procedures requiring a two-thirds vote to pass, House Democrats scuttled them.”

As NPR’s Tamara Keith reported on Morning Edition, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is getting some of the credit for the idea of trying to pass bills that “keep small popular pieces of the government open.”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Read original article – October 02, 2013 7:00 AM
Shutdown Solution? There’s None To Be Seen Just Yet