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Live updates: The shutdown

The U.S. government shutdown continues with no clear end in sight, but the political debate has now pivoted to the debt ceiling limit and whether or not the government will run out of money to pay its bills by Oct. 17, and therefore default on its debt.

Check here for the latest updates on all the political jostling and practical impacts.

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Government shutdown: What’s open, what’s closed

House votes to pay federal workers

The House voted Tuesday night on two GOP-proposed measures to ease or end the partial government shutdown.

The first measure, to ensure that federal employees currently on the job despite the impasse would be paid on time, passed 420-0, with a strong Democratic support. The second measure calls for establishing a 20-member “working group” comprised of House and Senate lawmakers to draft a bipartisan plan to raise the federal debt limit and sort through other fiscal issues.

Both proposals are expected to be ignored by the Democratic-controlled Senate, which continues to call on the GOP-controlled House to quickly pass measures to reopen the federal government and raise the federal debt limit before launching on negotiations on broader fiscal concerns.

Video: How Obama can raise debt ceiling without Congress

If Congress refuses to act, President Obama has three last-minute options he could use to avoid a default on the nation’s debt. (In Play)

House set to vote on bipartisan panel, back pay

The House is slated to vote tonight on the latest GOP offers to end the partial government shutdown.

The first measure would ensure that federal employees currently on the job despite the impasse would be paid on time. The second measure calls for establishing a 20-member “working group” comprised of House and Senate lawmakers to draft a bipartisan plan to raise the federal debt limit and sort through other fiscal issues.

Both proposals are expected to be ignored by the Democratic-controlled Senate, which continues to call on the GOP-controlled House to quickly pass measures to reopen the federal government and raise the federal debt limit before launching on negotiations on broader fiscal concerns.

Harry Reid uses Vine ...

… to make a point about the GOP’s posture in the current debate.

The House GOP's piecemeal CRs, explained

House Republicans have passed or are proposing several piecemeal continuing resolutions that would fund portions of the federal government.

But just what exactly would the bills do?

For more, click on the graphic below …

Piecemeal

Boehner, White House trade barbs on 2011

After President Obama in his news conference accused John Boehner of walking away from their 2011 “Grand Bargain,” Boehner returned the favor at his news conference and said it was Obama who walked away.

The White House isn’t going to let that go either.

Here’s a recap of just how talks collapsed in 2011. Basically, just like today, both sides back then accused the other of changing its mind after agreeing to a deal.

Boehner: 'There is going to be a negotiation'

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said at a news conference just now, flatly, that there will be a negotiation on the debt ceiling and budget.

“The long and short of it is there is going be a negotiation here,” Boehner said.

Boehner added: ”This isn’t about me, and it’s frankly not about Republicans. This is about saving the future for our kids and our grandkids.”

Boehner also took issue with Obama’s suggestion at his own news conference Tuesday that Boehner walked away from their so-called “Grand Bargain” in 2011.

“While the president today suggested that I walked away from a deal, I would remind the president that I was in his office, along with (House Majority Leader) Eric Cantor, when we in fact had an agreement which the president walked away from,” Boehner said.

Senators participate in rare live quorum call

In what could be described as a rare, if orchestrated, airing of grievances among senators, most of the U.S. Senate sat and listened as some more senior members implored both parties to come together to reopen the federal government and increase the federal debt limit.

“It is time for us, members of this august body, to stand before the American people,” Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said after he took the rare step of summoning all senators to the floor. The exchange began around the same time that President Obama started addressing reporters at the White House.

Several senators started leaving moments after the live quorum call began, including Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), who were followed later by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and others.

But Reid pressed ahead, telling his GOP colleagues that “Democrats stand before you unified asking the speaker to reopen the government – the whole government – and not in some piecemeal fashion that further demonstrates to the world that we are unable to find real solutions. Open the whole government so we can get back to work.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has maintained a low profile in recent days, spoke next, reminding Democrats that they will need to negotiate with Republicans in the House  to break the impasse.

Demonstrating the consistent differences between the two parties, Republicans objected when Reid attempted to permit three Democratic senators to speak consecutively without yielding to waiting Republicans. Reid later agreed to allow the parties to alternate between members of both parties.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) noted that the partial government shutdown has forced Arizona charities to truck food and supplies into the far reaches of the Grand Canyon  to reach workers stranded within the park. McCain – and Reid before him – also noted that the families of slain U.S. military service members were having death benefits withheld because of the impasse.

But McCain also focused his ire on Republicans who have pushed to repeal or at least delay portions of the Affordable Care Act.

“To somehow think that we were going to repeal Obamacare, which would have required 67 Republican votes [in the Senate], was a false premise,” McCain said.

But moments later, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) was recognized and once again raised concerns with the new health-care law.

“I hope we come together, resolve this, fund our vital priorities and at the same time respond to the millions of people who are hurting because of Obamacare, who are losing their jobs, who are pushed into part-time work, who are facing skyrocketing insurance premiums and who are losing their health insurance,” he said.

The discourse between senators eventually ended, with the two sides no closer to a final agreement.

10 ways the shutdown is making us less safe

Wonkblog’s Lydia DePillis writes:

In planning for shutdown, the federal government has taken some steps to keep safety-related personnel on duty. But lots of jobs are necessary to human health over the longer term — when they’re undone, things bear a higher risk of falling apart.

Her 10 examples are here.

Boehner to make statement at 4:30 p.m.

Stay tuned for updates.

Another Republican distances himself from clean CR

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) is the latest House Republican whose office is asking that he be removed from lists of members willing to support a so-called “clean” continuing resolution.

Forbes had reportedly told the Virginian-Pilot that he backed a clean CR. But his office said Tuesday that his remarks were “misrepresented” by the newspaper.

“Congressman Forbes would not support the CR as amended by the Senate and he would need to read any other iteration of a proposal providing full funding for the government before he could say where he stands on it,” Forbes spokesman Dean Petrone told Post Politics.

The Virginian-Pilot says its report was accurate and Forbes merely changed his mind.

Forbes’s decision is an interesting one, given that he comes from one of the most heavily military districts in the country. Three other House Republicans in eastern and Northern Virginia support a clean CR.

Previously, Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) and the offices of Reps. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) and Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) also said they did not support a clean CR after offering comments supportive of it.

Despite the defections, the bill still appears to have majority support, according to our latest whip count:

35 percent of Congress refusing/donating shutdown pay

A Washington Post count of House and Senate members forgoing pay during the government shutdown has risen to at least 226 (0f 535), as of early Tuesday afternoon.

Among members added to lists are Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).

Amid much public outcry over members of Congress collecting pay while 800,000 Americans have had their pay deferred since Oct. 1, some Senate and House representatives are vocal about keeping their paychecks. However, at least two — Reps. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) — have been forced to reverse themselves after their public comments caused outrage.

Obama: 'I may — not I may — I have flaws'

President Obama generally doesn’t lack for confidence.

But he acknowledged at today’s news conference that even he has flaws. Though initially, he threw a qualifier in front of it.

“I think the American people understand, you know, I may — not I may — I have flaws,” Obama said. “Michelle will tell you. One of them is not that I’m unwilling to compromise. I’ve been willing to compromise my entire political career.”

Obama weighs in on campaign finance Supreme Court case

During his news conference at the White House on Tuesday, President Obama offered his views on Shaun McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission,  a Supreme Court case that could roll back campaign finance restrictions to those before the Watergate era.

Video: Obama apologizes for shutdown

President Obama apologizes to the American people for the shutdown and bashes the GOP’s extreme criticism of the Affordable Care Act.

Obama: Boehner should have taken 2011 deal

Obama said he often reminds House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that he should have taken the so-called “grand bargain” during the debt ceiling negotiations in 2011.

“You should have taken the deal I offered you back then,” Obama said he tells Boehner.

Obama blames gerrymandering

Obama has repeatedly acknowledged that most Republicans stand to gain little personally from working with him — and in fact, they stand to lose.

Just now, Obama attributed that fact to gerrymandering — the process of drawing congressional districts for your own side’s political gain.

“A big chunk of the Republican Party is in gerrymandered districts where there’s no competition,” Obama said, noting that most of them only have to worry about tea party primary challenges.

Obama: Trillion-dollar coin wouldn't solve problem

President Obama suggested that he won’t authorize the Treasury to mint a trillion-dollar coin to resolve the debt ceiling debate — something some on the left have advocated for.

Obama noted that some say, “Well, the president can roll out a big coin.”

“What people ignore is that ultimately what matters is what do people who are buying treasury bills think,” Obama said, adding: ”There are no magic bullets here.”

Obama takes on default deniers

Obama rejected Republicans’ arguments that the country wouldn’t actually default on its debts if the debt ceiling deadline isn’t met next week.

“We’ve got a lot of other obligations — not just people who pay treasury bills,” Obama said. “We’ve got senior citizens who are counting on their Social Security checks arriving on time.”

Obama also mentioned veterans awaiting their VA benefits.

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