Shutdown countdown: Five things standing in the way of a spending deal; Boehner’s thankless job; and Treasury waits on inversions

Shutdown countdown: Five things standing in the way of a spending deal; Boehner’s thankless job; and Treasury waits on inversions

By Kelsey Snell September 21 at 9:15 AM


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., left, and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

SHUTDOWN COUNTDOWN. Congress has until the end of the day, on Sept. 30, to reach a spending deal to keep the government open. The House is in session for four days before a potential shutdown, and the Senate is in session for six.

THE FIVE THINGS KEEPING CONGRESS FROM A SPENDING DEAL. Time is running out, but the political hurdles to reaching a deal to avert a shutdown aren’t shrinking. The five things preventing a deal are 1. time; 2. presidential candidates angling for free airtime; 3. conservatives don’t trust leadership; 4. the fight is no longer just about Planned Parenthood; 5. conservatives hate President Obama’s policies and want to force him to use his veto power.

“The fight that started in July over the fate of Planned Parenthood has merged with growing frustration among a pocket of loud conservatives over Boehner’s speakership and the presidential ambitions of several senators.

Boehner and McConnell aides are working closely together to craft a solution, and the Appropriations committees have done the technical work necessary to provide a short-term bill. The leaders agree on the need for a short-term, stopgap bill and Democrats say they are ready to talk.”

IT’S NOT EASY BEING BOEHNER. It may appear that the fight in Congress is all about spending and federal funds for Planned Parenthood, but House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is also fighting to reassure conservatives that he’s the right man for his job. The Post’s Mike DeBonis writes that the job Boehner’s fighting for might be so awful that nobody else wants to do it.

“Rumblings about Boehner’s imminent demise, stoked by a GOP member’s July proposal to remove Boehner from the speaker’s chair, are tempered by the fact that no rivals have emerged to challenge Boehner.

‘The members who are advocating or conspiring to take down the speaker haven’t put forward a horse of their own,’ said Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.). ‘I mean, who’s their champion?’

On Thursday, the members best positioned to succeed Boehner called on Republicans to rally around him. But those most determined to depose him may be the least equipped to build the broad coalition necessary to lead the fractious House Republican caucus.”

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