Dylan Scott

Dylan Scott is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He previously reported for Governing magazine in Washington, D.C., and the Las Vegas Sun. His work has been recognized with a 2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors award for Best Feature Series and a 2010 Associated Press Society of Ohio award for Best Investigative Reporting. He can be reached at dylan@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Dylan

In a letter sent Wednesday to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) asked House Republicans to pass a temporary government spending bill and then appoint House members to negotiate with the Senate on a long-term budget.

It's Reid's rebuttal to Boehner' move Monday night, asking for negotiations over the temporary spending bill. The counteroffer is: Get the government reopened, and we'll then negotiate on government spending.

Boehner's office quickly dismissed the proposal. "Offering to negotiate only after Democrats get everything they want is not much of an offer," Boehner spokesman MIchael Steel said in a statement.

The full letter is below.

  Reid Letter to Boehner by tpmdocs

The House will consider Wednesday two additional partial funding bills -- one to pay for National Guard and other military reserve; another to fund the National Institutes of Health -- alongside the three bills that failed Tuesday night.

The House Rules Committee posted the bills Wednesday morning. Votes are expected Wednesday afternoon.

The three previous bills -- to fund part of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Parks Service and the Washington, D.C., government -- failed to get the two-thirds majorities they needed to pass Tuesday night. They will be brought up again with the two new bills under procedures that require only a simply majority to pass. 

Nearly three million people have visited the federal health insurance marketplace created by Obamacare on its first day, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Since midnight, 2.8 million people have visited the website, which will serve consumers in more than 30 states, and 81,000 have called the marketplace's call center. Those numbers were current as of late Tuesday afternoon.

"We are certainly very pleased with the level of interest we've seen," an HHS official said in a conference call with reporters. HHS would not, however, confirm how many people had actually enrolled for coverage.

That volume had also led to long load times and other glitches, as TPM reported earlier Tuesday. HHS officials assured reporters that those issues have largely been resolved, and users were experiencing fewer problems.

"People are able to start and finish the enrollment process," an official said. Asked about one specific reported problem with creating an account on the site, the official said: "You should not have that issue now. Folks are signing up, and we're pleased."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) shot down the House GOP's latest plan to fund the federal governemnt with a piecemeal approach.

"Republicans understand finally the the government is shut down. But now they are focusing on trying to cherry pick some of the few parts of government that they like," Reid said Tuesday on the Senate floor. "They don't like it all but they like a few parts of it. It's just another wacky idea from the tea party-driven Republicans. You can tell that the tea party still wants to keep the government shut down."

Reid suggested the piecemeal bills, which the House will consider momentarily, wouldn't go anywhere in the Senate.

"If they wanted to reopen the government, they would do it by bringing the Senate's bill to their floor, let it pass with a majority vote," Redi said. "We could reopen the government in a matter of minutes if Speaker Boehner had the courage to stand up to the tea party."

Throughout the government spending drama, one of the central themes has been the insurgence of House conservatives, spurred on by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT). They've been in many ways setting the House's agenda, much to the chagrin of House leadership.

That dynamic took center-stage again Tuesday when Cruz and Lee took credit for the House's latest plan to end the government shutdown.

Read More →

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) dismissed the House GOP's latest plan to take a piecemeal approach to funding the government.

"We're going to wait and see, obviously, what they have to offer," Durbin told reporters on Tuesday. "But that Sen. Ted Cruz is now going to pick his favorite federal agencies to reopen? Come on. Let's get serious about this. There are a lot of agencies of government that need to be open. I'd suggest opening all of them."

Before the government shut down, Cruz had urged House Republicans to pass funding bills for individual agencies if Senate Democrats refused to budge on Obamacare. On Tuesday, House GOP leadership released a plan to approve bills funding part of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the national parks system.

President Obama said Tuesday that the government shutdown caused by House Republicans is going to be a drag on the U.S. economy -- not Obamacare.

"What is weighing on the economy is not the Affordable Care Act, but the constant crisis and unwillingness to pass a budget by a faction of the Republican Party," Obama said. "I want to underscore the fact that Congress doesn't have to just reopen the government. It has to stop governing by crisis and break this habit. It is a drag on the economy. It is not worthy of this country."

He also reiterated that Congress was obligated to raise the debt ceiling and that he would not negotiate on the issue.

"There is a whole bunch of things I would like to see passed through Congress that the House Republicans haven't passed yet," Obama said. "And I am not out there saying, 'I am going to let America default unless Congress does something they don't want to do. That's not how adults operate. Certainly that's not how the government should operate."

President Obama blasted Republicans Tuesday for their crusade to dismantle Obamacare, which he said had led to the federal government shutdown.

"You know, the shutdown is not about budgets or deficits. This shutdown is rolling back our efforts to provide health insurance to folks who don't have it," Obama said. "It is all about rolling back the Affordable Care Act. This more than anything else seems to be what the Republican Party stands for these days."

"I know it is strange that one party would make keeping people uninsured the centerpiece of the agenda, but that apparently is what it is."

Obama also pointed out that the law's health insurance marketplaces had still gone live on Tuesday, despite the shutdown.





President Obama said Tuesday that House Republicans had forced the government shutdown by demanding changes to Obamacare in exchange for funding the government.

"One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government shut down major parts of the government all because they didn't like one law," Obama said. "They've shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny afford health insurance to millions of Americans. They demanded ransom just for doing their job."

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said Tuesday that the House GOP's willingness to shut down the government over Obamacare could be a bad sign for the upcoming fight over raising the debt ceiling.

"It raises real concerns," Hoyer told reporters. "This is a harbinger of a destabilizing confrontation once again. The debt limit ought not to be subject to any political disagreements."

The debt ceiling will be breached on Oct. 17, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.