It's Tuesday, Oct. 1. The federal government is officially shutting down and ObamaCare's health care exchanges are officially open for business. The New York Times has a really useful visual roadmap to how we got here, but as of Tuesday morning, this is where we are:
After midnight, the House approved a continuing resolution funding the government, so long as Senate Democrats and the White House agreed to delay ObamaCare's individual mandate for a year and force all members of Congress, their staff, President Obama, his staff, and political appointees to pay the entire cost of their insurance on the new exchanges.
The House also requested that the Senate meet in conference to negotiate a final stopgap spending measure. At 11 p.m. on Monday, after sending the House another "clean" CR but before adjourning the Senate until Tuesday morning, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) preemptively rejected that request: "We will not go to conference with a gun to our heads."
Right before midnight, when it was clear Congress wasn't going to meet the deadline, Obama's Office of Management and Budget made the shutdown official, issuing an order for federal agencies to "execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations." Obama himself didn't appear to make a statement, but right after midnight, he released a video to all U.S. military personnel and Pentagon employees. (Watch above)
The message, as summarized by Business Insider's Brett LoGiurato, is simple and clear: "Congress has failed you." In one sense, though, active-duty military personnel are the only federal employees Congress did step up for. As Obama notes in the video, he signed a bill Monday ensuring that troops, at least, will get paid during the shutdown. The video works as a message to all Americans, though, as New York's Frank Rich notes:
Obama prerecorded midnight video message to troops political genius if weird in a Hal / 2001 kind of way. http://t.co/NKQ0LuIaDc
— Frank Rich (@frankrichny) October 1, 2013
With Obama presumably in bed and the government shuttered, House Speaker John Boehner did face the cameras after 1 a.m. He spoke for a little over a minute, including responding to two questions from reporters. He did not mention the government shutdown. His message, says David Weigel at Slate, was "that... something is happening, and the GOP is trying to make Washington more fair by raising health care costs for federal employees." Watch:
"OK, we waited for that?" said Fox News' Bret Baier. "That was not a lot."
"He is tired, and he is frustrated," responded Fox News analyst Juan Williams. "Something's going on with John Boehner."