Via The Hill:
Congress missed a midnight deadline to avert a shutdown of the federal government, as the Republican-led House and the Democratic-led Senate battled through the night on legislation to keep the lights on.
National parks and museums were set to shutter Tuesday morning, and hundreds of thousands of federal employees will stay home on furlough with no financing in place at the start of a new fiscal year.
Just before midnight, President Obama’s budget director Sylvia Matthews Burwell issued guidance to agencies directing them to execute their plans for an orderly shutdown of the government.
“Unfortunately, we do not have a clear indication that Congress will act in time for the president to sign a continuing resolution before the end of the day tomorrow, October 1, 2013,” the memo said. “Therefore, agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations.”
Less than two hours before the deadline, House GOP leaders moved to set up a House-Senate conference committee, acknowledging that the two chambers had been unable to resolve their differences.
Debate on the motion had not ended when the clock struck midnight, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Democrats would not agree to a formal conference until the House passed its continuing resolution.
“The Senate has continued to reject our offers, but under the Constitution there’s a way to resolve this process, and that’s to go to conference and talk through your differences,” he continued, “and I would hope that the Senate would accept our offer to go to conference and discuss this so that we can resolve this for the American people.”
The House approved the conference committee at about 1:30 a.m. and in a brief appearance before reporters after the final House vote, Boehner made no reference to the government shutdown.
“The House has made its position known very clearly,” he said. “We believe that we should fund the government and we think there ought to be basic fairness for all Americans under ObamaCare.
Earlier on Monday, last-minute efforts to resolve the stalemate failed, as the Senate rejected multiple attempts by House Republicans to dismantle President Obama’s signature healthcare law as a condition of funding the government.
Why did this shutdown happen? Because jerks like Harry Reid would rather play political games than to offer up a compromise from the Senate end that would keep the government open. Republicans have made multiple offers to avoid a shutdown (and unlike the Senate, has actually passed a budget), but the dum dums in the majority party in the Senate won’t have any part of it. The media won’t hold him accountable, but this shutdown is all on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He wanted it. President Obama wanted it, because they both believe ultimately the American people will blame the GOP for the shutdown come the 2014 elections. Polls are mixed on the issue.
Regardless, Republicans need to press the point home about Reid and the Democrats in the Senate in every single interview, public appearance, and comment they make, even after the shutdown is over. Senate Democrats need to own this, including the red state Democrats vulnerable in 2014 (like NC’s US Senator Kay Hagan) who decided to side with Reid in the battle over the CR rather than avoid a shutdown.
Memeorandum has more.