WASHINGTON – With no end to the shutdown in sight,
Boehner pushed back against reports that he was ready to "roll over" – and leave his majority behind by relying heavily on Democratic votes in this next battle – saying "that's not going to happen," according to lawmakers attending the private strategy session Friday in the Capitol basement.
“He was basically blowing it out of the water,” Rep.
Boehner's hard-line approach was met by applause in the room as the battle over the shutdown has expanded to include the next front: the need to prevent what could be a catastrophic debt default if Congress does not allow continued borrowing to pay the nation's bills past Oct. 17.
Democrats, though, also dug in, as President
The president’s chief of staff,
“When you get bullied by these people, if you give in, they’re going to bully you worse and worse and worse, and sooner or later you got to stand up,” said Sen.
House Republicans had little choice but to stay in Washington over the weekend once Obama canceled his trip to Asia because of the shutdown. The president had been set to depart Saturday for the
Once the House called for lawmakers to stick around, the
The House is planning to continue approving legislation to re-open specific parts of government – an approach Obama and Democrats in the Senate have rejected, saying they have no interest in picking winners and losers among federal operations.
So far Republicans, with some Democratic support, have approved eight bills to keep open favored aspects of government – paying for military troops, funding to open national parks and museums and, on Friday, money for disaster relief, as tropical storm Karen barreled toward the Gulf Coast.
Only the bill to keep paying the military has become law. On Saturday, the House was set to approve a bill Obama has indicated he would not veto like the others: back-pay for furloughed workers once the shutdown ends.
The shutdown began as a fight to stop the president’s healthcare law, a
Republicans want to pursue a grand budget deal that would reduce spending on
"A grand bargain while the government is shut is virtually impossible," Schumer said. "A promise to talk about a grand bargain isn't."
A punt could get both sides out of the stalemate, much the way the 2011 showdown over the debt ceiling was ultimately resolved. In that standoff, the two sides agreed to paper over their inability to agree by creating a new committee to debate budget changes.
Whether they can find a similar mechanism that would save face for both sides may determine whether the government can avoid an economically damaging default on its debt.
Top House Republicans are working on the demands the GOP will make in exchange for raising the debt limit and reopening government, according to those familiar with the internal strategy.
Still smarting from Boehner’s past failed efforts to negotiate a budget deal with the
Following Ryan's lead, Republicans are expected to revisit the components of past budget battles: cuts to Medicare, Social Security and other entitlement programs, as well as reforming the tax code, a long-standing interest.
They may also seek to gain the Obama administration's approval of the Keystone XL pipeline between Canada and the United States, as well as pursue smaller changes to the healthcare law, including repeal of the tax on medical-device makers and an end to the individual patient advisory board.