Meetings between Washington’s powerbrokers abound. Around midday on Wednesday, Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer formally met for the first time in a week. President Barack Obama will meet with a group of Republican lawmakers, including members of House leadership and committee chairmen.
Although the country’s eyes have been on the President and congressional leadership, rank-and-file Members of Congress still have a role to play in ending the shutdown. One Senator, moderate Republican Susan Collins of Maine, is crafting a plan to fund the government, but the legislation would include a repeal of Obamacare’s medical device tax and also allow agencies some discretion in implementing budget cuts, rather than implementing them automatically, per the sequester of the Budget Control Act.
Senator Collins is not the only Member proposing solutions. House of Representatives Budget Committee Chairman and former Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan has been mysteriously low-key in the shutdown fight. He’s recently surfaced, penning an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, outlining suggestions for fiscal reform. Some of these include making changes to Medicare and the tax code.
Some have argued that the shutdown will infuriate the public enough to encourage them to give the House of Representatives to the Democrats, and some think it just might happen. Stuart Rothenberg dismisses that claim.