Fiscal Year 2013 ends on September 30, so Congress must produce spending legislation by the end of the month so the government does not close up shop. Also, the Federal debt ceiling – the limit to the amount that America can borrow – must be raised sometime before the middle of October so the country can continue to pay its bills. Some conservative lawmakers would like to use this as an opportunity either to defund Obamacare or to push for more spending cuts. President Obama has said he refuses to negotiate on the debt ceiling and Democrats are resisting budget cuts, much less the effort to gut the health care law, their most important legislative victory in decades.
Boehner: No Resolution on Spending Bill to Avert Federal Government Shutdown (The Hill)
Leaders Meet as Fiscal Fights Loom Large (National Journal)
Boehner Prods on Debt Ceiling; Lew Doesn’t Budge (Wall Street Journal)
Veteran reporter Bob Woodward wrote a book, The Price of Politics, on the debt ceiling fight of 2011 and provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes view of the negotiating process. He has recently added a new afterword explaining the negotiations to head off the “Fiscal Cliff” of 2012. It is well worth reading to understand the dynamics of the situation as we head into a new round of fights.
Bob Woodward: The Inside Story of How Obama and Boehner Negotiate (The Washington Post)
In the decades since air travel has become more affordable, it has become the standard practice for lawmakers to leave DC and devote considerable time in their states and districts. Major legislation, like appropriations bills and continuing resolutions, can often throw a wrench in the works for these plans.
House Expects to Cancel Its September Recess (Politico)