No End In Sight: Shutdown Showdown Enters Week 2
The second week of the shutdown is, so far, looking a lot like Week 1. Even so, here are a few data points that might be worth your attention:
U.S. civilian defense workers heading back to work on Monday
As The Two-Way's Bill Chappell reported earlier, the Department of Defense is ordering most of its furloughed civilian employees — amounting to about 400,000 workers — back to work.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made the announcement Saturday. It stems from the "Pay Our Military Act," legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Obama last week.
Hagel says the law "does not permit a blanket recall of all civilians," but it can be used to bring back workers who support service personnel.
Shutdown bleeding into debt ceiling debate
Politico points out what we've all known was coming:
"There were no signs of serious negotiations over the weekend, and the longer the standoff drags on the more likely the fight will bump up against the Oct. 17 deadline to raise the debt ceiling — setting the stage for a giant battle over fiscal policy in the coming weeks."
In a weekend of tit-for-tat partisan barbs, "More than a dozen lawmakers took to the Sunday shows to keep making their rhetorical case about which side is being unreasonable in the congressional stalemate," Politico says.
The Shutdown Scorecard: Losers And Not-Quite Losers
The Washington Post, starting from the caveat that "No one in Washington — not President Obama, not House Republicans, not Senate Democrats — looks good as the federal government shutdown enters its second week," nonetheless goes on to provide a guide to the losers and not-quite losers.
According to the Post, Republican governors with White House ambitions are faring better than their partisan colleagues on Capitol Hill:
"The Bobby Jindals and Chris Christies of the world are having a field day right about now. Need evidence that all of Washington is broken and that a problem-solver from outside the Beltway is the only answer? The shutdown — along with the name-calling that has followed — says it all."
Meanwhile, the work of government is piling up
"Across America the government's work is piling up, and it's not just paperwork. It's old tires and red Solo cups littering a stretch of river in Nebraska. Food poisoning microbes awaiting analysis in Atlanta. The charred wreckage of a plane in California, preserved in case safety investigators return."