The Latest on Budgetfuck 2011

UPDATE: @thinkprogress is reporting that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) expects a shut-down, because although "the numbers are basically there on deficit reduction," the GOP "won't agree to keep the government running unless they defund Planned Parenthood."

The GOP are now officially holding the entire nation hostage over women's healthcare.


New York TimesObama Meeting Fails to End Stalemate Over Federal Budget:
President Obama and Congressional leaders said Wednesday that a late-night White House bargaining session produced no budget breakthrough that would avert a government shutdown this weekend but agreed the two sides had narrowed the issues in efforts to strike a deal.

Emerging from a 90-minute meeting with Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, and Speaker John A. Boehner, the president said aides would work through the night and he and Mr. Reid expressed optimism that a compromise could be reached.

"I remain confident that if we're serious about getting something done, we should be able to complete a deal and get it passed and avert a shutdown," Mr. Obama said.
Looks like that biparisanship is working out GREAT. The tone of Washington has really changed since the last time a Democrat was president.

CNN—Government shutdown could affect operations at the White House:
The Executive Office of the President encompasses almost 50 different departments at the White House, ranging from the Executive Residence to the social secretary's office to the White House press secretary to the White House Counsel.

According to the Office of Management and Budget, the law exempts some employees from a furlough if their work is deemed essential during a shutdown. The OMB describes 'excepted employees' as those who are necessary for 'safety of human life and protection of property.' But there's also a clause of which exempts employees that 'perform certain other types of excepted work.' The meaning of that remains undefined."
And that's one tiny piece of the government that would be affected. As Michael Tomasky points out here: "A shutdown affects the economy immediately and directly. Hundreds of thousands of people in the public sector aren't working and therefore aren't spending. Hundreds of thousands more in the private sector who depend almost entirely, or at least largely, on government contracts for their livelihoods are out of luck. This is everyone from GM to pencil manufacturers. A huge swath of the economy just closes. If the shutdown lasts long enough, layoffs come along. Two bad months slow the tender momentum that now exists."

ABC News—Speaker Boehner on Budget Negotiations: 'No Daylight Between Tea Party and Me':
Speaker of the House John Boehner said he is in lockstep with the Tea Party on budget negotiations despite claims from Democrats that there could be a deal if only he could buck the Tea Party.

"Listen, there's no daylight between the Tea Party and me," Boehner told me [George Stephanopoulos] today during our exclusive interview.

"None?" I asked

"None. What they want is they want us to cut spending. They want us to deal with this crushing debt that's going to crush the future for our kids and grandkids. There's no daylight there," he said.
The profundity of my contempt is cavernous.

Meanwhile: "A prominent libertarian constitutional lawyer and civil libertarian has drafted an article of impeachment against President Obama over his attack on Libya, throwing down a legal gauntlet that could be picked up by some Congressional Republicans." Of course.

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