Slatest PM: House GOP Sets Up Shutdown Showdown

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 20 2013 4:40 PM

Slatest PM: House GOP Sets Up Shutdown Showdown

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U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) (2nd L) arrives with his press secretary Michael Steel (R) and other aides for a news conference September 12, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

As Promised: Washington Post: "The House passed a short-term spending plan Friday morning that would continue funding government operations through mid-December but withhold funding for President Obama’s signature health-care law, firing the opening salvo in what promises to be a contentious 10 days of debate on Capitol Hill over extending government operations by only three months. ... The legislation would fund federal agencies at an annualized rate of more than $986 billion but would also leave in place automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, set to take effect in January. It would include language to prohibit any funding going to implementing the health-care law and, additionally, authorize the Treasury to pay some bills and not others in the event that no deal is reached in October on increasing the country’s debt limit."

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What Happens Next: New York Times: "The 230-to-189 vote set in motion a fiscal confrontation whose outcome is anything but clear. Two Democrats voted for the measure, and one Republican voted against it. With no resolution, large parts of the government could shut down Oct. 1, and the nation’s first default on federal debt could follow weeks later. ... House Republican leaders met behind closed doors with their rank and file on Friday to lay out the next step in the budget battle: a bill that would raise the government’s statutory borrowing limit, delay implementation of the health care law for a year, and push a grab-bag of Republican initiatives like binding instructions to overhaul the tax code and mandatory construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. ... The two bills — to finance the government through Dec. 15 and raise the debt ceiling — were intended to unite House Republicans and placate an emboldened right wing of the party."

Return Serve: Politico: "But the CR is certain to return to Speaker John Boehner's chamber next week in drastically different shape following Senate action — Reid has said that defunding Obamacare is 'dead' and Democrats can strip out the language with a simple majority. Nonetheless, Sen. Ted Cruz—who started the defund movement—says he will do whatever he can, including a talking filibuster, to stall the measure’s passage in the upper chamber. Once the Senate returns its version of the CR to the House, it’s unclear how Boehner and other House GOP leaders will then react. Boehner is likely to receive the funding bill mere days away from a government shutdown, but Republican lawmakers and leadership aides say he might amend the Senate’s version and ship it back to the upper chamber."

It's Friday, September 20th, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees, and the whole team at @Slatest.

The Chicago Shooting: Associated Press: "Those behind a late-night attack at a southwest Chicago park in which 13 people were wounded, including a 3-year-old, used an assault-style weapon to spray the crowd with bullets, making it 'a miracle' no one was killed, the city's police superintendent said Friday. ... The attack happened shortly after 10 p.m. while the Cornell Square Park was still crowded with people watching a basketball game and enjoying a warm late summer night. Investigators believe several people took part in the attack but weren't sure yet how many fired shots. McCarthy said that based on witness interviews, it appears the attack was gang-related and that several victims are gang members."

So Much For Immigration Reform: USA Today: "The road to overhauling the nation's immigration laws became even more difficult Friday when two Republicans abandoned a bipartisan group that had been working to craft a solution in the House of Representatives. Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, and Rep. Sam Jonhson, R-Texas, put the blame for their decision to leave the House working group on President Obama. They said the bill they were developing put a lot of responsibility in the hands of the executive branch to enforce immigration law, and they couldn't trust him to follow through. ... Their decision brings to three the number of Republicans who have left the eight-member group that was originally made up of four Republicans and four Democrats and has been working for years to craft a bill both sides could tolerate. ... The final Republican in the group, Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, said he also worries about Obama's willingness to fully enforce whatever immigration measures are developed in an immigration bill."

Obama's Climate Action: Reuters: "The Obama administration on Friday announced first-ever regulations setting strict limits on the amount of carbon pollution that can be generated by any new U.S. power plant, which quickly sparked a backlash from supporters of the coal industry and are certain to face legal challenges. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's long-awaited guidelines would make it near impossible to build coal plants without using technology to capture carbon emissions that foes say is unproven and uneconomic. The rules, a revision of a previous attempt by the EPA to create emissions standards for fossil fuel plants, are the first step in President Barack Obama's climate change package, announced in June."

The iPhone 5's Golden Debut: Wall Street Journal: "Apple Inc.'s latest iPhones hit stores world-wide Friday with initial demand heavily tilted toward the more expensive model, particularly the gold-colored device. The launch is a further test of Apple's smartphone strategy, which is under attack on both the high and low ends. Strong demand for the latest versions would help allay concerns about the company's position in the smartphone market. Analysts expect Apple to sell at least as many iPhones over its launch weekend as it did last year, particularly because it is offering the devices to the Chinese market as part of the initial round of launches for the first time. ... Demand for the gold 5S was so strong in China and Hong Kong that Apple already has asked its suppliers to increase production of that model, people familiar with the matter said."

A Few More Quick Hits From Slate

That's all for today. See you back here Monday. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.

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