Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 9:19 am
The federal government shutdown is now in its second week, and one big reason for the division in Washington is the growing divide between different kinds of voters back home. Those differences make news on Election Day, but they're visible every day.
Members in both parties find less and less common ground, in part because their constituents have such contrasting notions of government's proper role. And those contrasting visions often coincide with contrasting lifestyles — evident in many of the choices they make.
Robert Siegel interviews Sen. Mark Warner (VA-D), about why it's so hard to pull together moderate Democratic and Republican senators together to try and come up with ideas for ending the government shutdown and to avoid government default.
House Republicans had a closed door meeting this morning, and emerged with the same talking point they've used all week: They just want to negotiate with the president. President Obama quickly gave his response: He will not negotiate over the government shutdown or the debt ceiling.
President Obama held a news conference at the White House Tuesday to urge Republicans to vote on a bill to reopen the government, saying it was time to focus on the next issue: raising the debt ceiling.
The U.S. Supreme Court re-entered the debate over money and politics on Tuesday, hearing arguments in a case that could further erode limits on campaign cash.
Just three years ago, a narrow 5-to-4 conservative majority ruled that corporations are people, entitled to spend unlimited amounts on candidate elections as long as they do it separately from candidates' campaigns. On Tuesday, the court moved on to grapple with direct contributions to campaigns — in particular the aggregate limits on contributions by wealthy donors.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:54 pm
President Obama phoned House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday morning to tell him that he's open to discussing Republicans' fiscal ideas, but not until the government shutdown is over and the federal debt ceiling has been raised.
When it comes to political deal-making, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert speaks from experience.
"I always had a feeling whenever I had to negotiate ... you really needed to make sure that you knew where the hole in the box was, so if you got in there, you could get out of it again," says the Illinois Republican, who was speaker from 1999 until 2007.
Hastert tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that he can't say whether House Republicans now have themselves in a box in the government shutdown fight because "we don't know what the end of this thing is yet."