Top White House aides constantly refer to a "civil war" in the Republican Party.
They sometimes use the phrase with near delight, reveling in the tensions that threaten to pull apart the GOP. But for President Obama, the divided opposition creates a major problem: He has neither a partner to cut a deal with nor a high-profile adversary to vilify.
That situation stands in stark contrast to previous fiscal standoffs.
As expected, the Senate passed a bill Friday to keep the government funded through mid-November â€” without stripping any funding away from the president's health care law.
Now the action returns to the House, where Republicans earlier in the week tied the measure to defunding the Affordable Care Act. With the threat of a shutdown looming three days away, the question is now, what will the House do?
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 7:25 pm
As expected, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed its own version of a short-term spending bill. It's the version the House approved last week, minus language that would defund Obamacare. That effectively tossed the ball back to the Republican-controlled House.
And President Obama warned House Republicans to avoid the twin disruptions of a government shutdown (at midnight Monday) and a debt default (in mid-October).
If the government shuts down on Oct. 1, hundreds of thousands of federal employees could be temporarily forced out of their jobs â€” and we will almost certainly begin to hear a few of their stories soon after.
On NPR's Tell Me More Friday, Ron Elving, NPR's senior Washington editor, reminded us of a Social Security Administration worker, Richard Dean, who was laid off during the 1995-96 government shutdown and thrust into the forefront of the budget debate by President Bill Clinton.