The latest from the star reporter of the shutdown:
In other words, the House bill as modified will be even less palatable to the Senate. All both sides are doing now is killing time when there’s not much time left.
Harry Reid called the House GOP position “a blatant attack on bipartisanship” and vowed that it “won’t pass the Senate.” Boehner is already reacting, scrounging for more GOP votes by promising to stick it to Congressional staff. National Review’s Robert Costa reports that Boehner is reversing his position that aides should be held harmless in this fight, and will agree to nix the federal government’s contribution to their health insurance as well. It could move further right still. And as before it may not pass anyhow.
Tim Murphy reports that the House GOP is considering other additions:
[S]everal Republican legislators said there was another provision they wanted included in the legislation: a so-called “conscience clause” that would exempt employers from having to provide coverage for birth control as part of the health care plans they offer employees. This idea has been on the Republican wish list for years—Obamacare already has this sort of exemption for churches, mosques, and other places of worship—and with Washington in full-on crisis mode, GOPers are looking to exploit current circumstances to win this long-running fight.
Kilgore says a “conscience clause” won’t fly:
That’s a big deal-breaker with Democrats in both chambers and in the White House. If conservatives get behind that demand, it’s another way of saying Boehner doesn’t have the votes for his proposal, and will have to rely on Democratic votes for passage. And if that’s the case, he might as well just go along with the Senate proposal, which would shorten the end-game by several crucial days.
And Chait explains why the House Republican leadership is committed to these petty demands:
The only point of the demands is to maintain the precedent that the House can hold the debt ceiling hostage. But of course the chaos and frenetic timing of the events serve only to show why it is so crucial that Democrats — or any sane American — not allow this precedent to be enshrined. The white-knuckle terror being inflicted on the world economy is the conservative movement’s vision of how divided government should be conducted from now on. Paying even a tiny ransom now means that debt-ceiling ransoms will continue in perpetuity until one party finally miscalculates and the explosives go off.