Bluff called. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has rejected the House GOP’s attempt to fund the government department by department instead of a continuing resolution that funds the entire federal government or “clean CR.” The House Republicans, in response to negative press coverage and hopes of breaking the Senate Democrats’ will, offered to fund the national parks (responsible for the World War II memorial) and NIH (cancer research for children) – and nothing else.
“I, we, support veterans and parks and NIH and all these different elements of government that are closed. But we also are not going to choose between veterans, cancer research, disease control, highway safety or the FBI,” Mr. Reid said.
But despite the rejection and public statements by Senate leaders, the House Republicans still think Reid and the rest of the Democrats will break according to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) vowed to bring forward more piecemeal spending bills Thursday, as he expressed confidence President Obama would eventually be forced to negotiate.
In a memo sent to House Republicans, Cantor called the Democratic position “untenable” and “unsustainable,” adding that a steady diet of narrow funding bills would force Democrats to deal. “I am confident that if we keep advancing common-sense solutions to the problems created by the shutdown that Senate Democrats and President Obama will eventually agree to meaningful discussions that would allow us to ultimately resolve this impasse,” he wrote.
So we enter day 4 of the federal government shutdown with clearer if not more calcified positions by the two parties and two chambers and no end in sight.