A bit more info on the current impasse in negotiations to prevent a government shutdown.
A Senate source explains why numbers have changed in recent hours — and it has to do with riders. Yesterday evening, Senate Dems were holding firm at cutting spending by $34.5 billion. Republicans wanted something closer to $39 billion. Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) acknowledged, in a roundabout way, that the new consensus figure was $38 billion, and aides have since confirmed that number.
The source said the additional $3.5 billion was put on the table to sweep all the remaining riders off the table — that was the price. But for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), that price doesn’t include the measure that would defund Planned Parenthood. He has not agreed to that.
At least not yet. Some high-profile Republicans, including anti-abortion members of his own party, are publicly suggesting that he drop the issue. For his part, Boehner is publicly denying that the zero-hour impasse has anything to do with riders — and that it’s all about spending. This is somewhat belied by the fact that Dems keep publicly admitting to giving up more and more money.
Boehner will be meeting with his conference this afternoon to run the current state of play by members. Government set to shut down in 12 hours. Stay tuned.