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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 2, 2013) — It’s Day 2 of the Republican shutdown of the United States government. (That’s right. Just one party deserves credit for this national disgrace.)
Below is the roundup of news coverage and opinion from both Washingtons.
The highlight is today’s Seattle Times editorial, which calls out Washington states Republican members of Congress:
The milquetoast response of the Republicans in the state delegation is shameful. Instead of meekly going along with the crowd, they should push for a substantive legislative process. Washington voters will respect Republican representatives who attempt to lead and who promote principles of good government. This pack behavior of going along with the howling mob is cowardly, not conservative.
► In today’s Washington Post — D.C. braces for prolonged government shutdown — Washington began bracing for a prolonged government shutdown on Tuesday, with House Republicans continuing to demand that the nation’s new health-care law be delayed or repealed and President Obama and the Democrats refusing to give in.
► In The Hill — Republicans following Cruz’s playbook as crisis unfolds — House Republicans have more than taken a page out of Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) shutdown playbook. They’re following it to a “T.”
► In today’s NY Times — Staunch group of Republicans outflanks House leadership — Their numbers may be small, but they are large enough to threaten the speaker’s job if he were to turn to Democrats to pass a spending bill that reopened the government without walloping the health law. Their strategy is to yield no ground until they are able to pass legislation reining in the health care law; if the federal government stays closed, so be it. And they believe they are winning.
► In The Hill — Business leaders dread debt-limit battle — Business lobbyists have been pushing Congress to raise the debt ceiling without drama or delay, but say the chances of that happening are shrinking with every passing hour.
► In today’s Washington Post — Corporate America sees little return from bet on GOP — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent more than $60 million in 2010 and 2012, helping elect tea party Republicans and winning GOP control of the House. But the decision to shut down the government underscored the fading influence of traditional business interests in the Republican Party — and the rising influence of more confrontational and conservative tea party groups.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Shutdown’s ripple effects in state: Workers sent home, tourists disappointed — Thousands of civilian federal-government employees throughout Washington state were sent home with the shutdown of the federal government Tuesday. A prolonged shutdown would eventually impact government operations from building maintenance to the courts.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Time for Republican independence during shutdown (editorial) — The milquetoast response of the Republicans in the state delegation is shameful. Instead of meekly going along with the crowd, they should push for a substantive legislative process. Washington voters will respect Republican representatives who attempt to lead and who promote principles of good government. This pack behavior of going along with the howling mob is cowardly, not conservative.
► In today’s Olympian — GOP dead-enders on path to self-destruction (editorial) — Congress is approaching single-digit approval in the polls. Moderate Republicans should be standing up for Americans and against their colleagues from the far right. We believe this grossly irresponsible behavior will backfire on them in next year’s midterm elections.
► In today’s NY Times — John Boehner’s shutdown (editorial) — The Republicans’ reckless obsession with destroying health reform and with wounding the president has been on full display. And, as the public’s anger grows over this entirely unnecessary crisis, it should be aimed at a party and a speaker that are incapable of governing.
► In today’s Washington Post — House Republicans are failing Americans in their effort to kill Obamacare (editorial) — This Congress is failing. More specifically, the Republican leaders of the House of Representatives are failing. They should fulfill their basic duties to the American people or make way for legislators who will.
► In today’s Seattle Times — A shutdown that can make you ill (by Danny Westneat) — Think of all the debacles in recent years that Congress didn’t find momentous enough to warrant a torch-the-joint battle like this. There was the trillion dollars and 4,400-plus U.S. lives spent looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. There were budget squabbles over this, but even war-gone-wrong was never considered shutdown-worthy. Or there’s how we bailed out the big banks for wrecking the national economy and then squirmed as they handed out fat bonuses with our money. Nobody went to the mat on that one, either. No, what finally brings the whole political system to DEFCON 1 is… health care for poor people.
► In today’s NY Times — Why the health care law scares the GOP (by Eduardo Porter) — The argument that half the Republican Party has simply lost its mind has to be an unsatisfactory answer, especially considering the sophistication of some of the deep-pocketed backers of the Tea Party insurgency. There is a plausible alternative to irrationality. Flawed though it may turn out to be, Obamacare could fundamentally change the relationship between working Americans and their government. This could pose an existential threat to the small-government credo that has defined the G.O.P. for four decades.