Politics

The Government Shutdown
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Beyond The Shutdown, There's A Bigger Battle Brewing

The Capitol is mirrored in its reflecting pool early Tuesday, as the partial federal shutdown began. But there's a battle still to come in which the stakes are even higher.
J. David Ake AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

This week's government shutdown could be just a warmup for an even bigger budget battle in a couple of weeks.

Congress has to raise the limit on the amount of money the federal government is allowed to borrow by Oct. 17. If the debt ceiling is not raised on time, President Obama warns that Washington won't be able to keep paying its bills.

"It'd be far more dangerous than a government shutdown, as bad as a shutdown is," Obama said Tuesday. "It would be an economic shutdown."

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Politics
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Rep. Dent: Congress Has An Obligation To Fund Government

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

Melissa Block speaks with Republican Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania on ways to resolve the government shutdown.

The Salt
2:11 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Shutdown Leaves Program Feeding Women And Infants In Lurch

At a farmers market in Washington, D.C., recipients of federal food assistance like the WIC program can use vouchers to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 3:23 pm

Among those affected by the chaos of the government shutdown are 9 million low-income women and children who may be worrying where next week's meal is going to come from.

They rely on the government for food assistance through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

How The Shutdown Is Affecting The Military

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:52 pm

Larry Abramson, who covers national security for NPR, sent us this missive, about how the shutdown of the federal government is affecting the Pentagon:

If you are a soldier, sailor, airman or marine, you will be paid during a shutdown. But only half of civilian defense workers are supposed to show up for work, and the rest do not get paid.

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It's All Politics
1:16 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

No Talks Underway To Resolve Shutdown

A sign announces the closing of the Statue of Liberty on Tuesday.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:53 pm

If you're wondering how long the shutdown will last, well, don't hold your breath.

As of this writing, there are no indications that talks are underway — or even in the offing.

Indeed, the Democratic-controlled Senate rejected House legislation Tuesday morning calling for a House-Senate conference to try to settle the disagreement behind the first federal government shutdown in 17 years.

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Pop Culture
10:33 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Reporting On The Shutdown, One Facebook Post At A Time

Craig Thoricht's wife Linda.
Courtesy of Craig Thoricht

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 8:26 am

Shutting down the government is nothing new; Congress did it 18 years ago, suspending federal operations for three weeks.

History suggests Americans will accept the inconvenience for the duration, and Congress eventually will find a compromise.

But what if history is bunk? What if what we think we know about government shutdowns doesn't apply to this one?

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It's All Politics
10:07 am
Tue October 1, 2013

The Panda Cam? That's Shut Down, Too

A self-portrait taken by the NASA exploration rover Curiosity in Gale crater on Mars.
NASA AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:17 am

By now, you've probably heard that the federal government shut down at 12:01 a.m. ET Tuesday after members of Congress were unable to reach a budget agreement in time to keep the government funded.

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The Two-Way
4:11 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Hillary Clinton Films That GOP Objected To Are Canceled

Hilary Clinton at last week's Clinton Global Initiative forum in in New York City.
PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 9:15 am

Both of the Hillary Clinton biopics that drew protests from the Republican National Committee have now been canceled before even being made.

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The Two-Way
3:15 am
Tue October 1, 2013

No End In Sight As Government Shutdown Nears First Full Day

Members of the U.S. Park Service place barricades around the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. A partial shutdown of the federal government has led to the closing of national parks.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:08 pm

Update at 8:18 p.m. ET. Impasse:

As first day of a federal government shutdown came to a close, Congress was not any closer to a resolution.

Case in point: Republicans in the House proposed three bills that would have reopened national parks, the Department of Veteran's Affairs and kept the D.C. government afloat. But all three bills didn't even make it out of the House.

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It's All Politics
3:13 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Boehner's Blues: Why Would Anyone Want This Job?

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, makes his way to the House chamber for a procedural vote on Saturday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

John Boehner might not have the worst job in politics, but not many people envy the House speaker these days.

The GOP rank and file won't listen to him, grass-roots conservatives don't trust him, and Democrats say he can't deliver votes.

For a man who occupies the most powerful position in the House, Boehner's inability — or, possibly, his unwillingness — to persuade his fellow House Republicans to accept a budget without delaying or blocking parts of the Affordable Care Act has resulted in the first government shutdown since 1996.

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The Two-Way
3:09 am
Tue October 1, 2013

After Shutdown, A Familiar Feeling At The White House

Steve Inskeep interviews President Obama in the Oval Office on Monday for NPR's Morning Edition.
Pete Souza The White House

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 9:17 am

President Obama spoke with NPR in the Oval Office on Monday, as a visiting group of young people in suits got a tour of the Rose Garden outside the windows. The most striking part of our encounter in this moment of crisis was how familiar the atmosphere seemed.

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Politics
3:03 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Transcript And Audio: NPR Interview With President Obama

President Obama speaks with reporters at the White House on Monday about the threat of a government shutdown.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images
  • Listen To The Full Interview

NPR's Steve Inskeep interviewed President Obama on Monday about the looming government shutdown, the upcoming debt ceiling fight and more. A full transcript of the interview follows:

STEVE INSKEEP: As you have watched what's happening in Congress, do you feel that House Republicans are coming any closer to anything that you could sign?

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It's All Politics
3:02 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Unable To Stop Shutdown, Obama Pins Blame On GOP

President Obama makes a statement to the press about the government shutdown in the White House briefing room Monday.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

President Obama says he's tired of the seemingly never-ending rounds of budget crises.

"When it comes to Congress paying its bills ... we cannot be a country that is lurching every two months or three months from crisis to crisis to crisis," Obama said in an interview Monday with NPR's Steve Inskeep.

Yet that is precisely the situation the president finds himself in.

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Politics
2:39 am
Tue October 1, 2013

House, Senate Stay Faithful To Their Measures

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:35 am

Before parts of the government began shutting down, the House and Senate bounced a series of stopgap spending bills between the chambers. The House would insert language to delay or limit the president's health care law, and the Senate would reject the Obamacare language and send the bill back. The two chambers did not reach an agreement before the midnight deadline.

It's All Politics
5:30 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Countdown To Shutdown: A Closure Appears Inevitable

As the sun started its descent behind the U.S. Capitol building on Monday, it seemed virtually certain to rise on a partially shuttered federal government.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Monday's Highlights:

Only hours before a partial shutdown of the federal government would take effect, House Republicans still hadn't arrived at a temporary spending bill that Senate Democrats were willing to approve to keep government workers on the job. A closure appeared inevitable.

On Monday afternoon, Senate Democrats rejected a stopgap spending bill passed by the House over the weekend because it contained anti-Obamacare measures that Democrats found objectionable.

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It's All Politics
5:26 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

The Shutdown: A Guide To What Would And Wouldn't Close

If Congress does not reach a budget agreement and the government shuts down, the U.S. Postal Service is one agency expected to remain in operation.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 6:05 pm

With House Republicans and Senate Democrats still miles apart on a budget deal, the federal government appears headed for a shutdown at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

Here's a quick breakdown of what government agencies and programs would and would not remain operational in the event of a shutdown:

What Stays Open

  • The Postal Service would continue to deliver mail on its regular schedule.
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Politics
2:32 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Obama: 'We Still Have A Window' To Avert A Shutdown

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 3:00 pm

Audie Cornish talks with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep about his interview Monday afternoon with President Obama. We hear excerpts from the interview, more of which will air Tuesday on Morning Edition.

Politics
2:32 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

With Shutdown Looming, Senate Takes Up Stopgap Spending Bill

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:09 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And on Capitol Hill, words of anger and frustration today over the increasing likelihood of a government shutdown. This morning in the House, members of both parties took to the floor and pointed fingers.

REPRESENTATIVE EARL BLUMENAUER: If you're serious about working together to solve problems, why don't you work together to solve problems?

REPRESENTATIVE TED POE: Where oh where has the Senate gone? Where oh where can they be? With time so short and issues so long, where oh where has the Senate gone?

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Economy
2:32 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

What Happens To The Economy If The Government Shuts Down?

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:09 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

There's no guarantee that a shutdown, if it happens, will be short. The mere possibility of a longer stalemate was enough to push down markets here and abroad today.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

If there is a shutdown, about 800,000 federal workers will be furloughed, although many will still be required to show up for work.

CORNISH: Social Security checks will still go out and the postal service will still deliver the mail.

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Politics
2:32 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Rep. Roe: 'We're Not Interested In A Shutdown'

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:09 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Earlier today, I spoke with Congressman Phil Roe, Republican of Tennessee. He's a member of the Tea Party Caucus. He's also a medical doctor. He'd like to see the healthcare law repealed or defunded but, he insists, he doesn't want to see a shutdown.

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Politics
2:32 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Hours From Shutdown, Senate Says No To House Plan

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:09 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Four more hours, that's how long lawmakers have to agree on a spending bill before the federal government shuts down. Hundreds of thousands of employees will be furloughed. National parks and museums will close and some food safety programs will shut down. This afternoon, President Obama criticized Congressional Republicans for the economic impact a shutdown would have.

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It's All Politics
2:32 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Here's Something Congress Can Agree On: Helium

Party On: Legislation passed last week allows the Federal Helium Reserve to continue selling the stockpiled gas. Above, Jonathan Trappe launches his 370-balloon craft from Caribou, Maine, in an attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 12.
Alexandre Ayre Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 3:03 pm

With the government on the brink of a shutdown, Republicans and Democrats in Congress have come together to compromise on helium. Legislation passed late last week will keep the gas used in party balloons flowing from a national reserve.

The helium bill's passage shows that compromise is still possible in the fractious political climate. But finding agreement over this inert gas was tough. The new law came after more than a year of intensive lobbying by some of America's largest businesses and academic institutions.

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Who's Likely To Lose The Shutdown 'Blame Game'?

Sign of the times? A room where the Senate Democratic caucus was meeting on Monday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 3:07 pm

With the seeming certainty of a federal shutdown at the stroke of midnight, there's been some polling in the past week or so aimed at divining the political fallout.

Who will be blamed?

Will it be House Republicans, with their unyielding efforts to defund and delay Obamacare, or Democrats (and President Obama) who will be viewed as unwilling to compromise?

Here's a short guide to some recent polling:

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Obama And Netanyahu Discuss Iran And Syria At White House

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives Monday at the White House to meet with President Obama. The two are expected to discuss Iran's nuclear program, Syria's civil war, and peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 7:03 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is at the White House, meeting with President Obama to discuss security and intelligence matters, including Iran's nuclear program.

The White House says the two will discuss "final status negotiations with the Palestinians, as well as developments in Iran, Syria and elsewhere in the region."

Update at 4:45 p.m. ET: Leaders Describe Their Meeting

The White House has released a transcript of the two leaders discussing their meeting. Below are some highlights.

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It's All Politics
6:15 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Monday Morning Political Mix

There's definitely an air of foreboding as Washington prepares for a partial government shutdown.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 9:44 am

Good morning, fellow political junkies.

It's not just any morning. It's what may be government-shutdown eve, since it is looking more likely that the federal government will experience its first partial closure in 17 years come 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

Given that, little of the political coverage and analysis this morning is what most people would call uplifting. Here are some of the more interesting items and themes we've come across so far:

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The Two-Way
4:56 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Are You Ready For Some Shutdown? Here's Monday's Schedule

Inside the Capitol, lawmakers are battling over health care and the budget. Outside, many government services may come to a stop at midnight.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 9:37 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Ailsa Chang on what's expected to happen Monday
  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Scott Horsley on the history of shutdowns

We probably don't need to tell you that it's almost certain there will be a partial shutdown of the federal government just after midnight Monday.

But we do want to lay out the day's agenda.

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Analysis
2:34 am
Mon September 30, 2013

House, Senate Disagree On How To Keep Government Open

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 5:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Let's try to understand a congressional boxing match that, for all we know, could continue beyond the final bell.

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Governing
1:32 am
Mon September 30, 2013

A Short History Of Government Shutdowns

With President Jimmy Carter watching, Benjamin Civiletti is sworn in by Chief Justice Warren Burger as U.S. attorney general on Aug. 16, 1979. The following year, Civiletti issued a legal opinion saying that federal work cannot go on until Congress agrees to pay for it.
AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 7:54 am

Drawn-out fights over spending bills are nothing new for Congress. But that's where the fights used to stay: in Congress. The rest of the country didn't have to pay much attention to countdown clocks and all this drama.

"In the '60s and '70s down until 1980, it was not taken that seriously at all," says Charles Tiefer, a former legal adviser to the House of Representatives, who now teaches at the University of Baltimore Law School. In the old days, he says, when lawmakers reached a budget stalemate, the federal workforce just went about its business.

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Shutdown Standoff: 'How Dare You,' And Other Views From Congress

The federal government remains on track to miss a midnight Monday deadline to fund its operations. Chambers of Congress sharply disagree over a temporary funding bill. Here, the Capitol is seen Saturday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 10:10 am

The federal government has moved closer to the brink of a shutdown, as the House of Representatives approved a temporary funding bill Saturday night that the Senate and White House say has no chance of becoming law.

The House bill would avert the budget deadline at midnight Monday by funding the U.S. government into December. But it also includes a one-year delay of Obamacare — a provision that Democrats and some Republicans say has no place in a stopgap funding bill.

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Politics
6:02 am
Sun September 29, 2013

The Ins And Outs Of A Shutdown

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 9:22 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

For more on the budget standoff, we're joined now by NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Good morning, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.

MARTIN: Sounds like this is happening, Mara. Are we on our way to a government shutdown?

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