Crabbing season starts today in Alaska, well, except it doesn't. Crabbers and their boats are stuck in port because they can't get the permits that they need to begin their work. Federal workers who issue those permits are off the job because of the partial government shutdown and this is cutting into the short three month Alaska crab season, which is worth upwards of $200 million for the crabbers alone.
So what is going on behind closed doors? Just how do these top-level congressional talks work? We're going to get some inside dope now from a former insider, Jim Manley who was a top adviser to Senator majority leader Harry Reid and, before that, press secretary to Senator Ted Kennedy. Jim Manley, welcome.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
President Obama says he's hoping for a new spirit of cooperation to end the two-week old government shutdown and avoid a crippling default. And there are some encouraging signs this afternoon. Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate say they're optimistic a deal can be reached soon. The President had summoned congressional leaders to the White House this afternoon, but that meeting was postponed to allow more time for talks to continue on Capitol Hill.
I'm joined now by Republican Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma. He's also House deputy whip, one of those who counts and cajoles fellow Republicans ahead of a vote. Congressman Cole, welcome to the program.
REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: It's great to be with you.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. Both the House and the Senate were in session today as the country closes in on the debt ceiling deadline. If Congress doesn't raise the debt limit before Thursday, the White House says the country will likely begin defaulting on its obligations. President Obama postponed a meeting with congressional leaders this afternoon.
Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 5:34 pm
This post was last updated at 6:10 p.m. ET.
The House and Senate were in session on Columbus Day, the 14th day of the federal government shutdown. A meeting that had been arranged between President Obama, Vice President Biden and the four main leaders of Congress was postponed, as the White House cited the progress being made in negotiations.
The latest word of a possible deal calls for raising the federal debt limit through Feb. 15 and funding a return to work for the government through Jan. 15. We'll update this post as more news comes in.
Congress and the White House continue to work through the twin fiscal crises of funding for the federal government and the debt ceiling. Steve Inskeep and David Greene explore the dimensions of this massive political drama with Cokie Roberts, who weighs in on political topics most Mondays on Morning Edition, Robert Costa of the National Review, who's been following developments on Capitol Hill, and Terence Samuel of The Washington Post, who has been following public attitudes nationally.