Politics

7:00am

Thu October 3, 2013
The Two-Way

On Day 3 Of Shutdown, It's Deja Vu All Over Again

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 1:35 pm

national forests remain open — they're too large to close." href="/post/day-3-shutdown-its-deja-vu-all-over-again" class="noexit lightbox">
A gate leading into the Joshua Tree National Park California is latched (though not locked) because of the partial government shutdown. Though national parks are technically closed, national forests remain open — they're too large to close.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Pick your comparison.

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5:35am

Thu October 3, 2013
Shots - Health News

From Therapy Dogs To New Patients, Federal Shutdown Hits NIH

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 1:00 pm

The Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.
National Institutes of Health

Abbey Whetzel has a 12-year-old son named Sam who has been at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Maryland for over a month. He has leukemia that is no longer treatable. And in this difficult time, one source of joy has been the therapy dogs that come to visit the sick kids.

"They can only come once a week, but it's the highlight of Sam's week," says Whetzel. But this week, she says, her son got some bad news. "They came and stopped in, and told Sam that the therapy dog wouldn't be coming because of the government shutdown."

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5:17am

Thu October 3, 2013
Politics

Government Shutdown Will Add To VA's Backlog

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:53 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

All right. The partial government shutdown could take an especially painful toll on American veterans. The most serious consequences will not come unless the shutdown continues for weeks. Those consequences would include cutting off disability and education benefits. Politicians on both sides have scrambled to show their support for vets, but as NPR's Quil Lawrence reports, veterans applying for new benefits may already be suffering.

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5:17am

Thu October 3, 2013
National Security

NSA Head Admits Testing U.S. Cellphone Tracking

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:53 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Top U.S. intelligence officials are now warning about the threat to security posed by the partial federal shutdown. It is now idling most of the civilian workforce in the intelligence community. This follows an earlier warning to Congress about limiting their ability to monitor phone and data traffic.

That plea began during a Senate hearing about possible changes to intelligence laws, as NPR's Larry Abramson reports.

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5:17am

Thu October 3, 2013
Politics

Why A Handful Of Hard-Liners Has A Hold On Boehner

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:53 pm

House Speaker John Boehner speaks to the media after a meeting with President Obama at the White House on Wednesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

To understand House Speaker John Boehner's role in the government shutdown, you have to understand the 30 or so House Republican hard-liners and his relationship with them.

It's an uneasy one at best.

"Listen, we've got a diverse caucus," was how Boehner put it in mid-September, shortly after the 30 forced him to ditch his original plan for a temporary government funding bill.

"Whenever we're trying to put together a plan, we've got 233 members — all of whom have their own plan," he said. "It's tough to get them on the same track. We got there."

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3:05am

Thu October 3, 2013
Around the Nation

While Others Underfunded Pensions, Milwaukee Held Firm

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:53 pm

Bill Averill, 62, has retired from the City of Milwaukee assessor's office and is collecting his pension. Milwaukee's fund is consistently rated as one of the best-performing in the country.
Erin Toner WUWM

After more than two decades in city government, Bill Averill has a pretty impressive mental inventory of Milwaukee real estate. He started in the city assessor's office when he was 34, after leaving a private sector job that paid better but had no retirement benefits.

"That was one of the main reasons I went to work for the City of Milwaukee," he says. "And so I knew the pension at some time, way out in the future, would be a benefit to me."

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3:05am

Thu October 3, 2013
It's All Politics

Reid's Tough Tactics In Shutdown Drama Draw Notice

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:53 pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pauses outside the West Wing of the White House after meeting Wednesday with President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

As the leader of Senate Democrats, Harry Reid has been in a lot of fights — but this one may be different, in that Reid has drawn a line.

Throughout the weeks leading up to the shutdown, through four votes in the Senate with not a single defection from the Democratic caucus, and once again after the meeting at the White House, Reid has rejected any of the changes in the Affordable Care Act that House Republicans have demanded as a condition for funding the federal government.

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6:45pm

Wed October 2, 2013
It's All Politics

Shutdown Diary: Day 2

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 9:12 pm

Anti-shutdown protesters in Los Angeles may have had enough of the budget crisis, but it appears to be far from over.
Jae C. Hong AP

Wednesday's Highlights:

White House

Day 2 of the federal government shutdown found President Obama summoning congressional leaders to the White House to urge House Republicans to pass legislation to reopen agencies and raise the debt ceiling to avoid a first-ever default by the U.S. (Nothing was resolved; here's the story.)

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6:05pm

Wed October 2, 2013
It's All Politics

GOP Establishment Grapples With A Tea Party That Won't Budge

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., is among the Republicans who want to pass a spending bill not tied to defunding or delaying the Affordable Care Act.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The old line in Washington is that the "establishment" controls everything.

But the fights that have resulted in the government shutdown have turned that cliche upside down.

This time, it's the Tea Party and its allies in Congress calling the shots. The "establishment" — on Capitol Hill and in the business community — has so far been on the outs.

You can hear the frustration in the voice of 11-term Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., as he runs a gantlet of reporters at the Capitol.

"I'm just more concerned about there not being a clean CR," he says amid the hubbub.

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5:11pm

Wed October 2, 2013
It's All Politics

Shutdown Gives Americans New Reason To Hate Washington

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:59 pm

Regina Whittington (right) of Little Rock, Ark., and her friend Diana Fuller, of Noble, Okla., walk toward the entrance to the Gateway Arch Wednesday in St. Louis.
Jeff Roberson AP

There's nothing like a government shutdown to make people angry about government, or at least the politicians who are running things.

"The people we have in the Senate and the House of Representatives, I don't know who they're working for, but they're not working for us," says Larry Abernathy, an insurance broker in St. Louis. "I think both parties are useless."

It's a widely shared belief. People in this Midwestern city may be far removed from the back and forth of the budget debate that has paralyzed Washington, but the partial shutdown is very much on their minds.

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