Shutdown Looms: Washington Post: "Top House Republican leaders Thursday rejected the short-term spending plan expected to be passed by the Senate in coming days, increasing the possibility of a government shutdown next week. ... Once the bill returns to the House, any move to change it would by necessity mean that the fight over funding the government would almost certainly continue at least until the final minutes of the fiscal year late on Monday night since the Senate’s arcane, time-sensitive rules would make swift consideration unlikely."
A Second Front: New York Times: "House Republican leaders shifted the budget battle on Thursday to a potentially more consequential fight over raising the government’s borrowing limit, rolling out conditions for a debt-ceiling increase that they pulled from three years of frustrated efforts to roll back regulations and undo President Obama’s first-term achievements. ... With just days remaining until a cascade of economic events crash onto Washington, the budget showdown between Congressional Republicans, Senate Democrats and President Obama is growing only more tangled. Democratic and Republican leaders were trying on Thursday to negotiate an agreement for final votes on a stopgap spending measure through mid-November that would likely be stripped of language defunding the health care law."
A Last-Second Audible: Politico: "House Republican leaders are considering a drastic change to their strategy and might postpone their vote on lifting debt ceiling for a few days or a week, according to multiple senior GOP sources. During a canvassing of House Republicans Thursday, leadership found that the rank and file would like to see what kind of deal House Republicans end up with on the government funding fight before voting on a debt ceiling package. If the final continuing resolution ends up disappointing Republicans, the House GOP will want to beef up their debt ceiling proposal. A debt ceiling hike vote was tentatively scheduled for this weekend."
Unpaid Vacation: Los Angeles Times: "The Obama administration told union leaders Thursday morning that federal employees will know by the end of the week whether they can report to work Tuesday if the government shuts down. Supervisors will tell employees informally by the end of the day Friday if they can expect to be furloughed, the president of the National Treasury Employees Union said in a statement. They would receive an official notice on Tuesday if a continuing resolution to fund the government is not passed in Congress and signed into law by then. ... Plans are expected to be similar to the ones made in 2011 in preparation for a shutdown that was narrowly avoided. They outline how many workers are deemed "excepted" because they are considered essential to performing activities required by law or for the protection of life and property. Those who are not paid with annual appropriations would also avoid furloughs."
Syria Deal Close: NBC News: "World powers have reached a deal to compel Syria to hand over its chemical weapons — a resolution that includes enforcement language but is not explicit on military action, diplomatic sources told NBC News on Thursday. The United States and Russia have been at odds on how to force the handover. Those two countries negotiated the deal, and France played a large role in helping come up with compromise language, the sources said. ... The agreement envisions the removal of chemical weapons from Syria by the middle of next year."
30 Days Later: Associated Press: "A former Montana high school teacher was released from prison Thursday after completing a 30-day sentence for raping a 14-year-old student, a term that is under review by the state's high court and has critics calling for a judge's removal. Stacey Rambold, 54, left the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge after serving the sentence handed down by District Judge G. Todd Baugh of Billings for the 2007 rape of Cherice Moralez. The judge drew outrage last month over the sentence's leniency and comments he made that appeared to pin some of the blame on Moralez. The teen committed suicide in 2010 before Rambold went to trial."
MLB Commish To Retire: ESPN: "Bud Selig said Thursday he plans to retire as baseball commissioner in January 2015 after a term of more than 22 years marked by robust growth in attendance and revenue along with a canceled World Series and a drug scandal. Some owners—even his wife—have been skeptical in the past that he really would do it, but this marked the first time that Selig, 79, issued a formal statement that he intends to step down from the sport's top job. ... Selig said he will leave on Jan. 24, 2015, which would mark the second-longest term for a baseball commissioner behind Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who served from November 1920 to November 1944."
A Few More Quick Hits From Slate—
- Future Tense: After Snowden Leaks, Countries Want Digital Privacy Enshrined in Human Rights Treaty
- The Slatest: It's (Not Quite) Official: Wendy Davis Reportedly Will Run For Governor
- Future Tense: High Cost and Lack of Access Keep Millions of Americans Offline. That's Insane.
- Future Tense: Bill Gates Says Control-Alt-Delete Was “a Mistake”
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