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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

President Obama chastised congressional Republicans Monday for making "impossible promises" to their base -- namely, stopping Obamacare -- and leading the federal government closer to a shutdown.

"All of this is entirely preventable if the House chooses to do what the Senate is already done, and that is the simple act of funding our government without making extraneous and controversial demands in the process," Obama said at the White House. "The same way other congresses have for more than 200 years."

"Unfortunately right now, House Republicans continue to tie funding of the government to ideological demands like limiting a woman's access to contraception or delaying the Affordable Care Act," Obama said, "all to save face after making some impossible promises to the extreme right wing of their party."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Monday afternoon that it was up to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to get a bill passed to keep the government open -- but he wasn't optimistic.

"Tonight we'll see whether the Speaker is really willing to shut down the government, risking our economic recovery to extract callous political concessions," Reid said on the Senate floor. "I hope he makes the responsible decision. I doubt that he will. But I hope he does."

The Senate rejected the House's anti-Obamacare provisions passed Saturday as part of a spending bill. The House is expected to vote on at least one more spending bill, which will likely include more anti-Obamacare elements, before the end of the day. The federal government will shut down Tuesday if Congress fails to pass a new spending bill.

"Democrats are through negotiating with ourselves," Reid said. "That's what it amounts to. The fate of our country and our economy now rests with John Boehner."

The Senate approved by unanimous consent Monday a bill that would pay U.S. military members in the event of a government shutdown.

The bill, passed Saturday by the House, appropriates money to continue pay for military members even if the government's other spending authority expires. The federal government will shut down Monday at midnight unless Congress passes a new temporary spending bill.

Repeating a popular line on the day before a government shutdown, House Democratic leadership urged House Republicans to accept a clean government spending bill, saying it was already a win for the GOP because it would maintain across-the-board sequestration budget cuts that have been in place since a deal in 2011.

"We are asking them to take yes for an answer," House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told reporters Monday afternoon. "This is not a negotiation."

It was a position offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and other Senate Democrats earlier in the day. They dismissed calls from Republicans to give way on Obamacare to get a spending bill passed before the federal government shuts down Tuesday, asserting that they had already compromised by agreeing to keep sequestration

"What we will send back is already a compromise," Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) told reporters. "It continues cuts in every part of the budget that frankly we want to fix and replace to be able to restore critical investments, but we are willing to compromise."

The current bill temporarily funds the government at $986.3 billion, the levels set by sequestration, as TPM has reported. The House version sets funding until Dec. 15; the Senate version sets funding until Nov. 15.

Senate Democrats dismissed calls from House Republicans to compromise on Obamacare as part of the government spending bill, saying that Democrats had already compromised by agreeing to maintain sequestration.

"It's the numbers they want," Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) told reporters Monday. "We are taking their numbers. We're not happy about that. We're willing to compromise and take their numbers."

"What we will send back is already a compromise," Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said moments later. "It continues cuts in every part of the budget that frankly we want to fix and replace to be able to restore critical investments, but we are willing to compromise."

Boxer reiterated that the Senate would reject the anti-Obamacare provisions attached to the bill passed Saturday by the House. The Senate vote is expected Monday afternoon with hours to go until the federal government shuts down.

The current bill temporarily funds the government at $986.3 billion, the levels set by sequestration, as TPM has reported. The House version sets funding until Dec. 15; the Senate version sets funding until Nov. 15.

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) said Sunday that a federal government shutdown would probably be a "loser" for the Republican party.

“I think everybody agrees that this is a loser for us if the government shuts down,” Labrador said on Meet The Press. “That’s why I think the president and the Democrats want to shut down the government.”

A shutdown looked increasingly likely Sunday. The House passed Saturday a spending bill that would delay Obamacare for one year and repeal its medical device tax. Senate Democratic leadership has already said it's dead on arrival.

If, as expected, the Senate tables the House's Obamacare amendments Monday and sends a clean spending bill back to the House, there will be mere hours until the federal shuts down Tuesday.

“Let’s be really honest about this. The other side would like to see Republicans in trouble in 2014," Labrador said. "The other side wants to make sure that they’re not even willing to meet us halfway.”

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Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) said Sunday that the upcoming fight over raising the debt ceiling shouldn't be focused on Obamacare.

Asked by Meet The Press host David Gregory if defaulting on the national debt was worth doing over Obamacare, Labrador said: "Not over Obamacare."

"I have always told my leadership that I want the fight on the debt ceiling to be about debt, about spending, not about Obamacare," Labrador said. "Some people disagree with me."

The House GOP leadership's demands for raising the debt ceiling, released last week, included a one-year delay of Obamacare. Senate Democratic leadership and the White House have consistently said that they won't negotiate over the debt ceiling.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Sunday that the House and Senate should go to conference with the government spending bill bouncing between the two chambers.

"Why don't we have a conference committee on this?" Paul said on CBS's Face the Nation. 'We could appoint one today and have one tomorrow to hash out the difference."

Rather than go to conference, the chambers have been sending amended spending bills back and forth over the last week. The House passed a bill that defunded Obamacare; the Senate stripped the defund language and sent a clean bill back to the House. The House then passed Saturday a bill that would delay Obamacare for a year; Senate leaders have already said that it is dead on arrival in the Senate.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said that the Senate has wanted to take a spending bill to conference for months, but hasn't been able to get House Republicans to agree to it.

"We've been trying for more than six months to get Republicans to approve a conference committee on the budget," Durbin said on the program.

The federal government will shut down Tuesday unless Congress agrees to a new spending bill.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) asserted Sunday that he didn't compare those skeptical of his defund Obamacare effort to Nazi appeasers during his 21-hour quasi-filibuster last week.

"The premise of your question isn't true. I didn't make that comparison," Cruz said when asked by Meet The Press host David Gregory if he regretted the comments. "I went through the centuries where, over and over again, when facing big challenges, Americans have risen to the occasion... At every stage, there were the voices of conventional wisdom that said this can't be done, and every time, Americans have risen to the challenge."

Here's what Cruz said Tuesday during his floor speech, as TPM reported.

"If you go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany," Cruz said. "Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, 'Accept the Nazis. Yes, they'll dominate the continent of Europe but that's not our problem. Let's appease them. Why? Because it can't be done. We can't possibly stand against them.'"

"And in America there were voices that listened to that," he continued. "I suspect those same pundits who say it can't be done, if it had been in the 1940s we would have been listening to them. Then they would have made television. They would have gotten beyond carrier pigeons and beyond letters and they would have been on TV and they would have been saying, 'You cannot defeat the Germans.'"  

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) sought Sunday to lay the blame on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) if the government shuts down Tuesday.

"His position is 100 percent of Obamacare must be funded in all instances and other than that, he's going to shut the government down," Cruz said on Meet The Press. "I hope he back away from that ledge that he's pushing us toward."

Cruz also portrayed the spending bill passed Saturday by the House -- which would delay Obamacare for one year and repeal its medical device -- as a compromise, compared to the first bill that the House passed, which defunded the law.

The Senate rejected the House's first bill, and Senate leadership has pledged to turn down the bill passed Saturday.

"If we have a shutdown, it will only be because Harry Reid says: 'I refuse even to talk'," Cruz said. "What have Democrats compromised on? Nothing."

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