UPDATE: While still unable to access a vote tally, the Senate this afternoon voted to approve the bill from the House to continue paying the military in the event of an almost certain government shutdown. Certainly aren't hearing much about that in press reports, are we?
In this latest piece from Politico, Senator Harry Reid has convinced President Obama to cancel plans to meet with leaders in Congress to negotiate a deal on the coming CR shutdown showdown, convinced he will be able to force Republicans to cave completely before this is all over.
As Washington barrels forward to the first government shutdown in 17 years on Tuesday, the wily Reid has taken the lead role in pushing a hardball Democratic legislative strategy that can be summed up like this: Make the Republicans cave.
“He’s been the rock … and he’s had our whole caucus behind him,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), a close Reid ally who spoke with the majority leader nine times on Saturday afternoon. “Because if we negotiate on a short-term [government funding bill], what are [Republicans] going to do on a long-term bill? What are they going to do on the debt ceiling?”
Senator Reid thinks Dems have the upper hand and is ready to play chicken with Americans' well-being in the cross hairs:
A shutdown appears a near certainty at this point. After the Senate stripped out language to defund Obamacare in a bill to keep the government running until mid-November, the House in a rare Saturday session added in a yearlong delay of major portions of the health care law and a repeal of the law’s 2.3 percent tax on medical-device makers. On Monday afternoon, Reid will reconvene the Senate and quickly move to kill the House’s anti-Obamacare provisions on the votes of just Democratic senators.
Absent in this discussion is any mention of a separate bill the House unanimously passed early Sunday morning to fund the military in the event of a shutdown. I suppose Reid will just ignore and trash it because he's so responsible and all.
The Watercooler is always an open thread.