- National Journal 12:00 PM ET
With hundreds of thousands of federal employees furloughed and installations across the country closing down, the first shutdown of government since 1996 is underway. Our colleagues at National Journal will be posting updates all day, so check back here often.
UPDATE: 11:54 a.m.: Barricades Don’t Stop Veterans From Seeing World War II Memorial
A group of World War II veterans from Mississippi knocked over the barricades at the WWII memorial on Tuesday morning, despite it being closed due to the government shutdown, Stars and Stripes reporter Leo Shane tweeted.
There were reports that Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., was on her way to the memorial. (By Matt Vasilogambros)
UPDATE: 11:45 a.m.: House Republicans Call on Twitter For a Clean CR
Two members of the House GOP have taken to Twitter to push for a resolution to the shutdown.
Of course, that’s by no means the dominant position in the Republican party right now. We’ve got a ways to go yet. (By Matt Berman)
UPDATE: 11:38 a.m.: DCCC Targets Republicans Over Shutdown
The campaign arm of House Democrats is cranking up the pressure on vulnerable Republicans over the government shutdown, dispatching automatic calls to voters in 63 congressional districts Tuesday with messages that urge constituents to call their representatives and demand they “stop the nonsense.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s paid grassroots campaign targets lawmakers in competitive districts and blames the shutdown on Republican lawmakers, while noting that they’re “still getting paid.” “He’s just not listening to our frustration. All because of his demand to take away your benefits and protect insurance company profits,” one sample robocall reads. The message will then allow voters to dial 1 to be connected to their congressman’s office.
With the message, Democrats are trying to both make Republican lawmakers sweat and, perhaps, to incite the “moderate insurrection” against the hard-right faction in the House that never materialized Monday night ahead of the shutdown. It’s an escalation from President Obama’s request that voters call their members of Congress to pressure them to avoid a shutdown. (By Alex Seitz-Wald)
UPDATE: 11:34 a.m.: Snowe Slams Tea Party Republicans
Former Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe said on Tuesday “there’s no question” tea party members of the Republican Party are partly to blame for the government shutdown. “This is not the party I recognize,” the moderate Republican said on CNN. Republican leadership needs to regain control of their caucus, she said. (By Dustin Volz)
UPDATE: 11:15 a.m.: The Wait and See Game
Republican strategists said Tuesday that House Republicans were still waiting for Democrats to initiate compromise.
“House Republicans will be gauging public reaction and waiting for their Democratic counterparts to begin negotiations,” said GOP strategist Ron Bonjean. “They made a number of moves last night, so now it’s likely going to be a wait and see game.” (By Stacy Kaper)
UPDATE: 11:10 a.m.: Taliban?
If the shutdown has meant anything for Congress so far, it’s super hyperbolic rhetoric. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., took to the House floor to compare tea party Republicans to the Taliban. In response, Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said that he doesn’t “find that there are any American citizens who deserve that kind of rhetoric and name calling.”
We assume that the name calling will just get more and more heated from here. (By Matt Berman)
UPDATE: 11:01 a.m.: Senate Republicans Search for the Next Move
The impact of the shutdown has begun to trickle down to Senate offices. For instance, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said that after noon his staff of about 30 would dwindle to just four – which means any constituent calls about the shutdown will likely go unanswered. “They’ll get to hear my message,” Chambliss said.
As the Senate voted down the latest proposal from the House, a number of Senate Republicans signaled they were giving the House Republican caucus breathing room to strategize on what their next move should be.
“They have to make that decision for themselves based on their internal politics,” Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., told National Journal.
But Isakson, who was elected to Congress to replace Newt Gingrich after his resignation following the fallout from the 1995-1996 shutdown, also acknowledged where the standoff was eventually headed: “Right now, the way out is not clear except you’ve got a situation where you’ve got a very monolithic vote in the Democratic conference win the Senate, you’ve got a Democratic president and you’ve got a Republican House. Two-thirds of the power in this debate lies under rate control of the Democrats, which is going to ultimately going to decide what happens.”
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who had received some conservative backlash last week after he criticized Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, from the Senate floor, likewise withheld advice for House Republicans. “The Speaker has a tough job, and I’ll let him figure out how to get to 218 votes for something,” Corker said. “I don’t want to make it more complicated by saying things that could complicate that.”
But Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who has been highly critical of the shutdown strategy to derail the health care law, predicted the shutdown wouldn’t last “too much longer” and urged House Republicans to “accept the fact that we’re not going to defund Obamacare.”
“We had a presidential election that was based on that argument. We had other elections that were based on either keeping or repealing Obamacare,” he said. But as for whether House Republicans were risking their majority, McCain said “Many of them come from safe districts and they ran saying they would fight to repeal Obamacare, so I respect their position.” (By Elahe Izadi)
UPDATE 10:54 a.m.: House Republicans Will Hold Press Conference at Noon
House Republicans announced plans to hold a press conference with continuing resolution conferees at noon in the Speaker’s conference room to discuss the state of play on the shutdown.
The group includes House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Reps. John Carter, R-Texas, Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., and Tom Graves, R-Ga. (By Stacy Kaper)
UPDATE: 10:20 a.m.: Senate Leadership Blame Each Other for Shutdown
In a sign that any compromise could still be quite distant, Senate party leadership traded barbs on the floor Tuesday morning, with each side pointing to the other as the cause of today’s government shutdown.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., came out swinging, blaming the shutdown on Democrats for refusing to sit down and compromise.
“They’ve now said they won’t even agree to sit down and work out our differences,” McConnell said on the floor. “They won’t even talk about it. They literally just voted against working out a compromise.”
He added, “So we know the Democrats who shut down the government will yell and point fingers. They’ve already started that routine.”
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., immediately shot back: “My friend, the Republican leader, spoke as if George Orwell wrote his speech. This is 1984, where up is down, left is right, east is west,” he said. “It was the House of Representatives that shut down the government.”
Reid pointed out that Obamacare is going forward despite Republican opposition, and praised Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., for passing a budget and seeking to go to a conference with the House 18 times.
“Members of the House of Representative were unable to vote to keep the government running – only the Republicans,” Reid added. (By Stacy Kaper and Dustin Volz)
UPDATE: 9:55 a.m.: Senate Rejects Motion to go to Conference
The Senate voted 54 to 46 to reject the House’s request for conferees on its anti-Obamcare continuing resolution to fund the government Tuesday morning. The move kicks the ball back to the House, which had not announced how it plans to proceed nearly 10 hours after the government shutdown began. (By Stacy Kaper)