As unpalatable as it is, it appears a miracle is needed to prevent a government shutdown. President Barack Obama optimism that a deal will be struck by Friday at midnight is on the wane. President Obama said that the wheels are already in motion for a shutdown.
A marathon night of meetings with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada did not produce a compromise. Its become a true test of whom bends first. There is apparently more behind the door maneuvering to side-step blame for failure, than to find a clear path to getting a vote.
Along mostly party lines, House Republicans passed a temporary spending measure on Thursday to keep the Pentagon operating for six months and everything else going for another week, as well as cutting additional $12 billion in domestic spending. Its dead on arrival, because Obama has promised to veto it.
“There is absolutely no policy reason for the Senate not to follow the House in taking these responsible steps to support our troops and to keep our government open,” Boehner said.
The Obama administration called the temporary measure, “a distraction from the real work.”
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, told NBC talks have narrowed 70 percent of the differences, but Republicans and Democrats can not find enough room to agree on Republican riders that want to cut all money from Planned Parenthood and hamper the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to remain a watchdog for polluters.
“There’s no deal yet, said Hoyer. Hoyer blames the Republicans, recalling that “when we were in charge of the House and had disagreements with George Bush, we compromised.” Hoyer said he’s “embarrassed,” and he called it “inappropriate” that Congress has put American on a collision course for a shutdown.
A shutdown will harm hundreds of thousand of workers who will have to go without paychecks and rip a new hole in America’s shaky economy. That should provide enough of a catalyst to get moving, and get a deal. Lawmakers need turn this DTGIF (Don’t Thank God its Friday), around before the midnight hour.
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