Another night of budget talks failed to produce a deal acceptable to President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Reid said that money isn't the holdup, but rather the GOP's "line in the sand" over its hundreds of policy amendments, especially those to defund Planned Parenthood and curb EPA enforcement. Such big policy issues "have no place on a budget bill," Reid said. Could the government really shut down over Planned Parenthood?
The GOP is putting ideology first: The Democrats aren't blameless here — they should have just passed a budget last year, says Stephen Reader in Death + Taxes. But "Reid is right": If the government shuts down, it's because of "the Republican agenda" on "abortion and pollution." Democrats have met them "more than halfway" on spending. But clearly, the GOP thinks its social ideology is more important than your livelihood.
"The government shutdown is about abortion and pollution"
The ball is in the Dems' court: Republicans have done their part to keep government open, says John McCormack in The Weekly Standard. But Obama and Reid won't allow another one-week extension, which only contains two "riders" — neither of which deals with Planned Parenthood or the EPA. In fact, "it's quite amazing" that Democrats are "now insisting that taxpayer-funding of abortion" is more important than funding the troops and keeping "budget negotiations going."
"Harry Reid: We can't pass troop funding bill because..."
We just want a deal, not fingerpointing: Can we just stop it with the "cynical political games," says Doug Mataconis in Outside the Beltway. "If this was really about making sure the troops get paid," both sides would pass a rider-free bill to do so. And pushing off a shutdown "for another week just means we'll be back here again arguing the same stuff over and over again." Look, the public doesn't care; all we want is a deal. And polls show we'll "blame both sides pretty much equally" if D.C. fails to reach an agreement.
"Cynical political games, military pay, and government shutdowns"