Government Shutdown Standoff - Live Blogs & Updates - ABCNews

Government Shutdown Standoff

  • ABC’s JOHN PARKINSON: More votes in the House tonight? Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., just emerged from the Speaker's office and told reporters to expect more votes in the House. They said it won't be on a clean CR, but declined to elaborate on what options may remain.
  • ABC’s JEFF ZELENY: With Speaker Boehner and other Republicans in their offices, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is a popular man tonight. "We can't win," he told reporters on Capitol Hill, urging Boehner to pass a "clean" CR.

    by Michael Falcone
  • ABC’s MARY BRUCE: A person familiar with the process tells ABC News that 11:30 pm Eastern is the latest that the director of the Office of Management and Budget can make the determination on directing agencies to begin implementing their shutdown plans -- an hour and 15 minutes away.
  • ABC’s JEFF ZELENY: House Republican leaders are moving to send the budget dispute to a conference committee. The House rules committee is meeting at 10:30 p.m. to decide on a rule to allow Majority Leader Eric Cantor to request a conference with the Senate.

    It’s an attempt to put pressure on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The bottom line: The government would still shut down in a little more than 90 minutes, at least until an emergency budget bill is passed.
  • ABC's STEVEN PORTNOY: White House photographer Pete Souza tweeted out this photo of President Obama, tie loosened, signing the “Pay Our Military Act,” ensuring those in uniform and the civilians who support them get paid on time when the government shuts down.

    by Michael Falcone


  • House GOP Leader Eric Cantor confirms the news that ABC's JEFF ZELENY tweeted earlier:



  • On the Senate floor, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said “absolutely not” to the House GOP’s proposal to go to a conference committee. “Speaker Boehner isn’t going to get away with this subterfuge,” Schumer said, adding later: “Speaker Boehner, no more games.”
  • ABC’s JEFF ZELENY: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rejected the suggestion by House leaders calling for a conference committee, declaring: “We will not go to conference with a gun to our head.” In a speech on the Senate floor at 11 p.m., Reid said he would not appoint negotiators to work with the House -- unless they passed a six-week emergency spending bill immediately -- without any provisions relating to delaying or defunding Obamacare. "They want to close government,” Reid said. “This is all a subterfuge to satisfy the Tea Party driven Republicans."

    BOTTOM LINE: The government is set to shutdown in less than an hour. House Republicans say they hope Reid will look unreasonable by rejecting the request for a conference committee, but Democrats point out that Republicans have rejected conference committees 18 times this year on other spending bills.

    WHAT’S NEXT: The day is ending with both sides just as entrenched as when the day began.


  • House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues are addressing reporters on Capitol Hill tonight, “I’d like to say good evening but it isn’t a very good one.”
  • ABC's JEFF ZELENY captures the Capitol, working late into the night, on the precipice of a government shutdown.

    by Michael Falcone



  • Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell issued a memo to the heads of government departments and agencies late tonight:

    MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

    FROM: Sylvia M. Burwell
    Director

    SUBJECT: Update on Status of Operations


    This memorandum follows the September 17, 2013, Memorandum M-13-22, and provides an update on the potential lapse of appropriations.

    Appropriations provided under the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (P.L. 113-6) expire at 11:59 pm tonight. Unfortunately, we do not have a clear indication that Congress will act in time for the President to sign a Continuing Resolution before the end of the day tomorrow, October 1, 2013. Therefore, agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations. We urge Congress to act quickly to pass a Continuing Resolution to provide a short-term bridge that ensures sufficient time to pass a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, and to restore the operation of critical public services and programs that will be impacted by a lapse in appropriations.

    Agencies should continue to closely monitor developments, and OMB will provide further guidance as appropriate. We greatly appreciate your cooperation and the work you and your agencies do on behalf of the American people.
  • The clock has struck midnight in Washington, DC. And with that, a shutdown of the federal government has begun. This is the first government shutdown in 17 years.




  • ABC’s JEFF ZELENY: At the stroke of midnight, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid arrived on the Senate floor and declared: ‘This is a very sad day for our country.”

    Reid added, “This is an unnecessary blow to America.” The government shutdown is happening, he said, because Republicans are “fixated on embarrassing our president.”

    Over in the House, Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., declared: “The great government of the United States is now closed." It’s now become something of an endurance test – but with no compromise in sight. The House will stay in session, with votes scheduled for another hour or two. Now, it’s something of a symbolic marathon – with no end in sight.
  • ABC’s JOHN PARKINSON: I caught up with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor as he walked to the House chamber for votes tonight. Asked how he sees the shutdown getting resolved, Cantor told me “it’s really up to the Senate” to determine whether they are prepared to negotiate with Republicans. “I already heard Harry Reid on the floor saying he didn’t want to sit down and discuss things or resolve it. I just think that’s unacceptable to the American people,” Cantor, R-Va., said. “I mean the president likes to say that he won the election, but you know what? The people also elected a Republican House, and I think that the American people expect us to sit down and talk with one another.”

    Cantor added that Republicans “don’t feel Obamacare is good for this country” and feel “there should be no special treatment for anyone.”

    “We want to find a solution to keep the government open, and to make sure that the harmful effects for Obamacare…don’t take hold,” he concluded.
  • ABC’s JOHN PARKINSON: Eighty-five minutes after the government shut down, the House of Representatives adjourned and House Speaker John Boehner left the Capitol without an agreement in place to open it back up but adamant that the Affordable Care Act remains the GOP's chief target in the showdown with President Obama and Congressional Democrats.

    "The House has made its position known very clearly. We believe that we should fund the government and we think there ought to be basic fairness for all Americans under Obamacare," Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters at a late night news conference. "The Senate has continued to reject our offers but under the Constitution there's a way to resolve this process and that is to go to conference, and talk through your differences."

    Asked whether he is now prepared to vote on a clean continuing resolution, Boehner maintained that Republicans "are hoping that the Senate will take our offer to go to conference."

    "Let us resolve our differences," Boehner said. "The House has voted to keep the government open but we also want basic fairness for all Americans under Obamacare."

    Moments earlier the House voted 228-199 to adopt a rule providing that the House insist on its amendment and request a conference with the Senate. Nine Republicans opposed the measure, including Reps. Kerry Bentivolio, Paul Broun, Charles Dent, Michael Grimm, Walter Jones, Pete King, Frank LoBiondo, and Frank Wolf. Seven Democrats, Reps. Ron Barber, John Barrow, Dan Maffei, Sean Patrick Maloney, Jim Matheson, Mike McIntyre and Collin Peterson crossed the aisle to vote in favor of it.

    The path toward ending the shutdown is uncertain, with neither side signaling they are ready to buckle despite the political weight of a government shutdown. The House is scheduled to reconvene at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday morning while the Senate is expected to meet at 9:30 a.m.
  • ABC’s JONATHAN KARL: Hunker down. This government shutdown could go considerably longer than anticipated. Just a few days ago, key players in both parties assumed there would be no shutdown and even if it did happen, so the thinking went, it would only last a matter of hours or, at most, a day or two. It now appears likely the shutdown will drag on all week — and potentially beyond that. The White House is preparing for the possibility that President Obama’s planned trip next week (he is scheduled to leave Saturday) to Asia will need to be canceled. If this drags on into next week, and it easily could, the shutdown will be overshadowed by the far bigger problem: the prospect of US government default on October 17. Republicans seem to think Democrats will be forced into one big negotiation on both issues. There is no indication whatsoever that the White House will budge from its firm no-negotiation position on either one.

    Here’s how the next few days could unfold: As the White House and Congressional Democrats blame the Republicans for the shutdown, Republicans will accuse Democrats of being unreasonable for refusing to negotiate about anything. Look for the Republican-appointed “negotiators” — including GOP heavy hitters Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp — to convene for “negotiations” across from empty chairs, demanding that Democrats at least sit down to talk. The game will play out until somebody gives in.


  • Who’s “winning” the shutdown? By one measure, Democrats are saying they are. According to a Democratic National Committee official: “In the 24 hours preceding the GOP shutdown, the DNC raised nearly $850,000 from over 30,000 donors – 6,537 of whom gave for the first time ever. That’s the best single day of fundraising we’ve had this cycle. With Republicans shutting down the government and Obamacare going live, Democratic grassroots supporters are engaged, energized and ready to fight for the causes they’re committed to.”
  • ABC’s ARLETTE SAENZ: The Senate reconvened at 9:30 this morning and was back at it again – shooting down the House’s motion to go to conference on the budget bill. The Senate voted, yet again, on party lines – 54 to 46 – to table the House’s message calling for a conference committee on the continuing resolution.

    “The government is closed because of irrationality of what’s going on on the other side of the Capitol,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said. With this latest rejection, the House is back at square one and the Senate, once again, signaled it won’t negotiate on the continuing resolution and won’t pass anything but a clean spending measure.
  • A tweet from House Speaker John Boehner's spokesman:

  • ABC’s JEFF ZELENY: The Capitol is hopelessly deadlocked. The House and Senate can keep passing the poisonous budget baton back and forth for days, but that’s not likely to change the will on either side. So what will break the logjam? Public opinion and public sentiment is the best — or perhaps the only — antidote. The shutdown has been theoretical until now. But as soon as lawmakers start hearing voices from back home and real examples of hardship start dominating local news coverage and dinner table conversations, there is likely to be movement. The late-night House GOP idea of trying to send this to a conference committee took the Senate by surprise. But even though it was clever, it doesn’t change a thing. Why would we presume that a small group of lawmakers could settle what the rest of Congress cannot?
  • What do Americans think of the government shutdown? A Quinnipiac University poll out this morning shows that American voters, by an overwhelming 72 percent to 22 percent margin, oppose Congress shutting down the federal government to block implementation of Obamacare. And more than half of all voters in the survey (55 percent) mainly blame Republicans for gridlock gripping Washington. “President Barack Obama enters this standoff over the budget with an edge over Congressional Republicans in the voters’ eyes,” according to Quinnipiac pollster Peter A. Brown.
  • ABC’s ARLETTE SAENZ: On the Senate floor Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the government shutdown amounts to a “good day for the anarchists.” Why? Because the government is closed,” Reid said. “Speaker Boehner and his band of Tea Party radicals have done the unthinkable. They’ve shut down the federal government.”

    “It’s too late to avert the worst effects of the shutdown, but it’s not too late to send the federal employees back to work,” he said, calling on the House to vote on a clean spending bill. But Senate Republicans were quick to blame the Democrats for the closing of government. “Democratic leaders in Congress finally have their prize – a government shutdown that no one seems to want but them,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said.


  • ABC’s KAREN TRAVERS: Athletic officials from the Naval Academy and Air Force Academy aren't sure how the shutdown will affect their game scheduled for Saturday in Annapolis. Some players are considered military personnel and could be subject to travel restrictions

    More from Maryland's Capital Gazette: “Troy Garnhart, associate athletic director for Air Force, said there was a chance the game could not be played. ‘It is a possibility,’ Garnhart said. Garnhart explained that upper-class cadets at the Air Force Academy are considered military personnel, which means they could be subject to travel restrictions under the shutdown. Scott Strasemeier, Naval Academy associate athletic director, could not confirm Tuesday morning whether the game will take place.”
  • ABC’s JOHN PARKINSON: This is the first sign of the shutdown I saw this morning -- right as I pulled up to the parking garage at the Rayburn House Office Building. The usual checkpoint I enter every day was closed. 

    by Michael Falcone
  • According to tweets from Leo Shane III, the Capitol Hill, White House and Veterans Affairs reporter for Stars and Stripes, a U.S. military newspaper, a group of World War II veterans visiting Washington, DC took matters into their own hands today.


  • ABC’s ALEX LAZAR has been talking to experts -- of various political stripes -- about the affects of a shutdown. Here are two perspectives:

    Scott Lilly, Senior Fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress and longtime staffer on House Appropriations Committee, Joint Economic Committee, and Chief of Staff to David Obey: “The cost to the taxpayer of the 1995 shutdown was initially placed at over a billion dollars. Later analysis has shown it may have been much higher. But it is likely that the cost of such events to the U.S. economy and our well-being as a people is much greater. It is a signal of monumental national incompetence and of the growing power of extremist factions within our society that cannot resolve differences in a civilized and orderly manner. Such signals materially weaken our society here at home and the perception of us by others. It cannot help but weaken the resolve of those considering investments in new American based enterprises. It dampens the willingness of consumers to make the purchases we need for economic growth. It makes tax payers believe that their hard earned dollars will not be well used and weakens our capacity to use government to solve the problems that only government can solve. It is a big deal and a very bad deal.”

    Dr. June O’Neill, CBO Director from 1995-1999, now at Baruch College and the conservative American Enterprise Institute: “As I recall, the actual shutdown was not actually as important as its current press would suggest. Around the agencies people joked about who was ‘essential’ and could not be furloughed. The biggest complaints from the public as I recall concerned the closing of the passport office for a few days. An unusually huge snowstorm held up DC during or after the second shutdown (they had little snow removal equipment at that time) and really made it difficult for the government to function, adding to the bad press for the shutdown. Also, the period coincided with Christmas holiday when many take vacations. Usually the only ones in town are those working on the budget or writing final reports. I think that those who were furloughed were eventually reimbursed.”


  • President Obama, speaking in the Rose Garden, criticized Republicans for forcing a shutdown of the federal government "all because they didn't like one law."

    "This Republican shutdown did not have to happen," Obama said.
  • Obama: "We may not know the full impact of this Republican shutdown for some time." The president noted that the last shutdown in 1996 "hurt our economy."
  • "The longer this shutdown continues, the worse the effects will be," Obama said, specifically placing the blame on House Republicans.

    "They don't get to hold the entire country hostage over ideological demands," he added.
  • Of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, the president said, "is here to stay." Today is the opening day of the health care exchanges set up by the new law and, he added, "because of its funding sources it's not impacted by a government shutdown."


  • More from ABC's ANNETA KONSTANTINDES, JARED KOTLER and NICOLE ROSSOLL on that group of 92 Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight Veterans who refused to let a government shutdown stop them from entering the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C., this morning:

    Though the memorial was technically closed due to the government shutdown that went into effect early this morning, they managed to enter the memorial and tour the site. Reps. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., said in interviews that the gates were opened for the veterans to access the memorial. The vets were taking part in the Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight that was originally established in 2011 to help fly the state's WWII veterans to Washington D.C., free of charge, and provide tours so that they may see the memorials dedicated to honor their service.




  • Although a group of veterans visiting Washington, DC crossed the barricade of the World War II Memorial earlier today, it appears they will be the last to see it – at least as long at the shutdown lasts. ABC’s JACK DATE reports that the memorial will be re-closed this afternoon and remain closed until funding is restored. National Mall and Memorial Parks Communications Officer Carol Johnson tells ABC News the memorial will be shut down and cleared by Park Police. Honor Flights scheduled for the month of October have been notified that the memorial will be closed until the Federal Government re-opens. A group of 100 veterans were expected to arrive from Chicago tomorrow.
  • ABC’s JOHN PARKINSON: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor tweeted out this photo of the (all white male) conferees meeting at an empty table.

    House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi then tweeted this: "Only took you 192 days and a #GOPshutdown. By the way, #WhereAreTheWomen"

  • Although we are still in the midst of a federal government shutdown, House Speaker John Boehner penned an Op-Ed for USA Today looking ahead to another battle -- the fight over the debt ceiling:

    “[In] just a few weeks, Congress must act to raise the debt limit to pay the tab for President Obama and Washington's out-of-control spending. There is no way Congress can or should pass such a bill without spending cuts and reforms to deal with the debt and deficit and help get our economy moving again. But President Obama refuses to even talk about negotiating such a bipartisan agreement. For years, the president has said that in a divided government, no one gets 100% of what they want. But when will his words match his actions? As for House Republicans, we will continue our efforts to keep the government running and deal honestly with the problems we face. We hope that Senate Democrats – and President Obama – change course and start working with us on behalf of the American people.”
  • ABC's ARLETTE SAENZ: As Capitol Hill was absorbed with a government shutdown Tuesday, congressional Democrats took a moment to cheer for the Affordable Care Act. Joined by labor leaders, medical professionals, and uninsured Americans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and congressional Democrats lauded the start of enrollment in healthcare exchanges.

    “After decades of dreaming of fighting for the dream of healthcare reform, we have added a third pillar of security – the Affordable Care Act -- to make healthcare a right for all, not just a privilege for the few,” Pelosi said in news conference Tuesday. But Reid and Pelosi said that despite the start of the program, Republicans were determined to derail its success and willing to compromise the state of the government in the process.

    “Since the day this was signed into law, Republicans have been obsessed with doing something to stop this. We found that last night when they shut down the government trying to kill injure hurt or destroy Obamacare,” Reid said. “We will work together and reach out and try to get government open again and work for the American people,” Pelosi said. “While it was sad that they shuttered the doors of America’s government, they cannot diminish our enthusiasm for the history we are making today.”
  • ABC’s KAREN TRAVERS: Republican Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told ABC News there is enough Republican support to pass a clean continuing resolution with House Democrats -- it's a matter of whether it can get to the House Floor for a vote. "Right now if it's put out there, we certainly have enough to pass it, that's for sure," he said.

    King said some Republicans from the Northeast have been saying enough was enough "quietly for the past four or five days" -- and they're now starting to say it more openly. "There's no doubt a large number of Republicans want this to end but the question is when are they going to go public and say it," King said.

    As for House Speaker John Boehner putting a clean CR on the House Floor, King was uncertain. "I would think the Speaker probably wants to wait until the Tea Party people come to him and say that's enough," he said.


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