Shutdown Diary: More Talk But No Deal | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Shutdown Diary: More Talk But No Deal

As the partial government shutdown drew to the end of its 11th day, Friday found Democrats and Republicans continuing to talk. But there was no breakthrough to reopen the government and keep the United States from defaulting on its debt obligations.

Obama Rejects House GOP Proposal

The central hang-up remained House Republicans' insistence that Democrats agree to conditions before Republicans agree to hike the debt limit and reopen the government.

Republicans' initial proposal was that they would agree to end the debt ceiling and shutdown crises if President Obama and congressional Democrats agreed to future negotiations to slow the growth of entitlement spending.

Obama and congressional Democrats continued to reject that notion, saying that neither ending the shutdown nor preventing a potentially catastrophic default should be subject to "ransom."

White House press secretary Jay Carney told journalists Friday afternoon:

"The president did call and speak with the speaker of House this afternoon, not long ago, had a good conversation. And the two of them agreed that all sides need to keep talking on the issues here that are confronting us that have led to a shutdown of a government and to the situation that has put us on the precipice of, you know, potential default or at least reaching that line beyond which the United States government does not have borrowing authority."

Obama Meets Senate GOP

Obama met with Senate Republicans Friday, a day after House GOP leaders sat down with the president. Some senators seemed optimistic after their White House meeting, if not sensing an imminent solution.

"It was a good exchange, but it was an inconclusive exchange," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, of the nearly two-hour meeting. Collins has been working with a bipartisan group of senators to resolve the standoff, and she said she had a chance to describe for Obama her complicated proposal. Besides reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling for several months, her plan would repeal the Affordable Care Act's medical device tax and add income verification to the health insurance exchanges.

Obama listened carefully and said there were certainly aspects the two sides could work on in the future, she said, but he endorsed none of it.

Cruz Attacks Obamacare

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, one of the health care law's fiercest and most vocal Republican foes, told reporters that he informed the president at the meeting that he wanted "substantial" changes to Obamacare to relieve burdens he has repeatedly alleged the law is placing on many individuals and companies.

Reporters asked Carney, the president's spokesman, for his description of the encounter. He declined.

Cruz Heckled

Before going to the White House with his Republican Senate colleagues, Cruz was targeted by hecklers Friday morning. The anti-Cruz protesters had sprinkled themselves through the pro-Cruz audience at the conservative Family Research Council's Values Voters annual conference and repeatedly interrupted his red-meat speech. Several were forced to leave, and those who remained were drowned out by Cruz fans chanting U-S-A.

Looking Ahead

Both the House and the Senate are scheduled to be in session over the weekend. House Republicans are expected to meet Saturday morning for an update on where matters stand.

Congress was scheduled to be on recess next week for the Columbus Day holiday, but now both chambers are scheduled to be in session.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit


Why Do We Love Football So Much? Theater Tackles Tough Questions

A play based on interviews with former NFL players, their families and fans digs deep: What's so fun about a sport that devastates bodies and brains? And what if it can't be made safer?

Shake Shack Sizzles With IPO As McDonald's Fizzles

Shares of the burger chain shot up Friday, its first trading day. Shake Shack and other fast-casual joints are taking a bite out of McDonald's, which can't recast itself to fit the current trend.
WAMU 88.5

Krupicka Wants Landlords To Be More Transparent About Mold

The Northern Virginia delegate has introduced legislation to make sure renters have access to information about mold.

Media Outlets Partner With Snapchat To Appeal To Younger Users

As people disappear from the audiences of conventional news organizations, 11 media outlets have partnered with Snapchat in the U.S. to offer its younger users easily digested fare within the app.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.