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Shutdown negotiations finally begin

"Shutdown negotiations finally begin" Continued...

“There are some big differences that we have on how we get our country back on track, how we control spending, and get the economy moving,” said Scalise, also appearing on CNBC.

Earlier Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican and one of the key architects behind the strategy to tie the government’s budget to stopping Obamacare, gave his blessing to the House’s strategy to approve a temporary extension of the government’s borrowing authority.

“My understanding is this is being driven by House conservatives who are quite reasonably saying, ‘Listen, let’s focus on Obamacare, on winning the fight on Obamacare,” said Cruz in a radio interview on KFYO in Lubbock, Texas, “and let’s push the debt ceiling a little further down the road so that it doesn’t distract us from the fight we are in the middle of right now.”

While the House pushed its compromise, Reid offered legislation to raise the debt limit by $1.1 trillion—high enough to push the next debt ceiling standoff until after the 2014 elections. With the debt now close to $17 trillion—nearly double what it was in 2007—Senate Republicans balked at Reid’s no-strings-attached bill.

“That’s the majority leader’s plan: just keep raising the credit card limit, and let someone else deal with it later on,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. “The American people can be persuaded to raise the debt ceiling, but they’re not in any mood to simply hand over a blank check. They’re looking for sensible reforms, too.”

Meanwhile, Obama on Thursday night signed into law a bill to restore funding for the $100,000 payments given to families of deceased soldiers. After the Pentagon denied the benefit to families, citing the government shutdown, the bill passed with overwhelming support in both the House and Senate. Twenty-nine service members have died on active duty since the shutdown began.

“They should have never been put through this indignity,” Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., tweeted after the vote.

Edward Lee Pitts
Edward Lee Pitts

Lee teaches journalism at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, and is the associate dean of the World Journalism Institute.


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