IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

First Read Flash: Trial balloon

Paul Ryan is taking center stage again with a pitch for a big debt deal as we enter Day 9 of the shutdown and the debt ceiling limit approaches. Plus: Tuesday featured dueling press conferences between President Obama & Speaker Boehner.
/ Source: MSNBC TV

Paul Ryan is taking center stage again with a pitch for a big debt deal as we enter Day 9 of the shutdown and the debt ceiling limit approaches. Plus: Tuesday featured dueling press conferences between President Obama & Speaker Boehner.

Associated Press: “President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are increasing the pressure on each other to bend in their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. Even as they do, there are hints they might consider a brief truce. With the shutdown in its ninth day Wednesday and a potential economy-shaking federal default edging ever closer, neither side was showing signs of capitulating. Republicans were demanding talks on deficit reduction and Obama’s 2010 health care law as the price for boosting the government’s borrowing authority and returning civil servants to work, while the president wanted Congress to first end the shutdown and extend the debt limit.”

Real Clear Politics: “When historians and political scientists dig deeper into the impasse that widened Tuesday between” Obama & Boehner, “they’ll describe two men who may have placed the wrong bets — on each other. In dueling press conferences Tuesday, each man explained his own calculations, offering no reassurances that the government can reopen or default can be averted by next week’s deadline.”

New York Times: “As President Obama steps up his declarations about the dire consequences of not raising the debt limit, increasing numbers of Congressional Republicans are disputing that forecast, as well as the timing of when the Treasury might run out of money and the implications of a default, further complicating the negotiating situation for both” Obama & Boehner “who must find a way out of the impasse….A surprisingly broad section of the Republican Party is convinced that a threat once taken as economic fact may not exist — or at least may not be so serious.”

National Journal: “Americans broadly do not understand how the debt ceiling works, according to the latest United Technologies/. More than twice as many Americans believe lifting the limit means authorizing more borrowing “for future expenditures” than believe it means ‘paying off the debts [the federal government] has already accumulated’—62 percent to 28 percent, respectively. The reality is that lifting the debt limit allows the Treasury Department to borrow money to pay for bills that Congress has already rung up.”

NPR: “The latest House GOP gambit in the fiscal fight is … wait for it … a supercommittee. But Republicans aren’t calling it a supercommittee since that’s the term for the failed panel that brought us the the sequester. Instead, it’s called the Bicameral Working Group on Deficit Reduction and Economic Growth. The special panel would have 20 members, evenly divided between the House and Senate, who would recommend a budget for fiscal 2014 (which began Oct. 1), and craft details of a new debt ceiling and spending cuts. One problem with the idea: The proposal has practically no chance of passing in a Senate led by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev).”

Roll Call: “While Democrats refuse to negotiate on the continuing resolution and the debt limit, apparently assuming the GOP will eventually cave, House Republicans insist they are prepared to bring borrowing authority to a screeching halt. ‘I can assure you it’s not posturing. It’s not a political play or anything like that,’ Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., told CQ Roll Call on Tuesday. Gingrey said Republicans were “absolutely” prepared to lose the House to extract concessions on the CR and the debt limit, and he said the White House is ‘missing the determination of the Republican Party.’”

House Budget Chairman and former Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) writes in the Wall Street Journal it’s time for President Obama to negotiate on the debt ceiling: “The president is giving Congress the silent treatment. He’s refusing to talk, even though the federal government is about to hit the debt ceiling. That’s a shame—because this doesn’t have to be another crisis. It could be a breakthrough. We have an opportunity here to pay down the national debt and jump-start the economy, if we start talking, and talking specifics, now.”

And House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) echoes in the Washington Post, “The president not only has refused to negotiate on issues of debt and spending but also has mocked the very idea of engaging with Congress. President Obama has repeatedly made clear that he feels it is beneath the office of the presidency to work in a bipartisan way with the legislative branch….In the 224 years of our nation’s history, one party has controlled the House, Senate and White House for 130 years. President Obama enjoyed two of those years, and it’s no surprise he wishes that were still the case. Yet while 28 of 44 U.S. presidents have found a way to lead in divided government, this president has not.”

Politico: “As he tries to navigate the politics of a government shutdown that he never wanted, leading a Republican Conference with little interest in being led, House Speaker John Boehner in recent days has scored an unlikely victory of sorts. Interviews with tea party-aligned House members and other hard-line conservatives reveal a modest if unmistakable rise in support for Boehner — a politician they have previously disdained and tried unsuccessfully to evict from power.”

Washington Post: ‘The House has passed 11 bills, each funding just one agency or a handful of them. Eight more are in the works. The point is to make Democrats acknowledge something embarrassing — that even as they decry the shutdown, they will reject legislation to reopen popular agencies. But, in the process, House Republicans have revealed something about themselves: The party of small government is struggling — mightily — to decide how much government it actually wants.”

Politico: “The most conservative House Republicans are starting to worry that the growing focus on the debt ceiling could overshadow their top priority: gutting Obamacare. The health care law has always been at the center of the fight over government funding. But the debt ceiling fight, which is already rattling financial markets, could touch on a broader range of policies, including tax and entitlement reform, the Keystone XL pipeline and broader efforts to slash the deficit.”

Reuters: “Senator John McCain said on Tuesday that members of Congress should be “embarrassed” and “ashamed” for the suspension of death benefits for American soldiers recently killed in Afghanistan. Speaking on the Senate floor, McCain said these $100,000 payments have been denied to at least five families because of the government shutdown, now in week two.”

New York Times: “President Obama will nominate Janet L. Yellen as chairwoman of the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, White House officials said Tuesday night, ending an unusually prolonged and public search to fill one of the most important economic policy-making jobs in the world. Ms. Yellen, 67, has been the Fed’s vice chairwoman since 2010, when Mr. Obama nominated her to the post and she was easily confirmed on a voice vote by the Senate. She would be the first woman to run the central bank.”

Los Angeles Times: “Over the last seven years, a series of decisions by the Supreme Court has opened the way for hundreds of millions of additional dollars to flow into the nation’s political campaign system. On Tuesday, the justices appeared sharply divided over whether to allow the wealthy to contribute even more by lifting restrictions on the amounts they can give directly to candidates. At times, the argument turned into a debate among the justices over the relationship between money and the political process.”

McClatchy: “Thousands of people from across the country gathered Tuesday on the National Mall to demand a revamping of U.S. immigration policy, and about 200 people – including eight members of Congress – were arrested for blocking the street directly in front of the Capitol.”

Roll Call: “Senate Republicans believe the silver lining of the government shutdown will be linking moderate Democrats up for re-election in 2014 to the more liberal leaders sticking them with politically unsavory votes. The problem for the GOP is that not everyone reads the current stalemate that way — especially not Democrats themselves.”

GEORGIA: Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Political rookie Michelle Nunn is about to underline her status as the leading Democratic candidate in Georgia’s race for U.S. Senate with an eye-popping $1.7 million raised in the first three months of her campaign….She’s on a path to outraise every Republican in the contest.”

KANSAS: Kansas City Star: “U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas now has a tea party opponent. Leawood radiologist Milton Wolf, 42, announced Tuesday evening that he will oppose the veteran lawmaker in next year’s Republican primary. Wolf — a cousin of President Barack Obama — is well known among conservatives and tea party activists. He has been mentioned on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, has appeared on various Fox News programs and writes a conservative-leaning column.”

KENTUCKY: Lexington Herald-Leader: “If the Supreme Court decides with U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell on a campaign finance case that was argued Tuesday, Kentuckians could be overwhelmed next year as donor floodgates are opened. McConnell, a longtime warrior against campaign finance reform, was allowed by the court, in a rare move, to include his lawyer’s efforts inMcCutcheon vs. FEC, which could invalidate previous campaign finance laws and allow unlimited donations to parties and campaign committees.”

NEW JERSEY: Newark Star Ledger: “In a debate that featured sharp attacks but no raised voices, Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic challenger Barbara Buono on Tuesday night showed voters they disagree on just about every Jersey issue, accusing each other of failing to get the job done in Trenton. Far behind Christie in the polls and in fundraising, Buono attempted to make the most of her chance to bring her message to a wide audience, repeatedly hammering Christie over the state’s unemployment rate, high property taxes and low rate of economic growth.”

PolitickerNJ: “Newark Mayor Cory Booker maintained his lead over U.S. Senate challenger Steve Lonegan in the latest Quinnipiac University Poll, and it showed the news regarding his social media exchanges with a stripper have not done much damage. A 31-point lead among women overcomes his deficit among men, today’s poll showed. The Democrat holds a 53 – 41 percent likely voter lead over former Bogota Mayor Lonegan, the Republican.”

NBC’s Andrew Rafferty: “Christie may be running for re-election but he kept the door open to a 2016 presidential run on Tuesday, saying he will not make a decision about his political future ‘until I have to.’ ‘As we go forward, I’m going to continue to do my job the best way I possibly can and  I am not going to declare tonight… that I am or I’m not running for president,’ Christie said. ‘The people out there in New Jersey don’t expect me to, they expect me to do my job.’”

VIRGINIA: Washington Post: “The fate of a third-party candidate in the Virginia governor’s race — and even the result on Election Day — could rest on a fraction of a percentage point on a political Web site. On Oct. 24, Ken Cuccinelli II (R) and businessman Terry McAuliffe (D) are expected to clash at Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus for their final debate of the contest. It’s not clear whether they will be joined on stage by the race’s wild card: Libertarian Robert Sarvis.”