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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Inconclusive deal on shutdown is in the air -- By Donald Lambro, The Washington Times

Pounding Obama on his ailing economy is next

As the government's partial shutdown enters its third week, the smell of an inconclusive deal is in the air, though one that has status quo written all over it.

After all the sound and fury over defunding Obamacare, or even delaying it, that issue has vanished for now as the attention turns to a grab bag of palliatives in the Senate to temporarily suspend the standoff and raise the debt ceiling for at least a few more months.

The intense negotiating battle going on behind closed doors is about how short or long the extension will be and what else each side gets in other provisions to seal a deal that can win a majority in both chambers.
Some of the options included repealing, or delaying, the tax on medical devices, tightening loose income rules on insurance subsidies under Obamacare and demands by Democrats to abandon the automatic sequestration spending cuts.

Clearly, Congress — including some of its most fire-breathing conservatives — appears ready for a deal. "We need to get an agreement and open the government back up," says libertarian Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Even Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas sounds like he may be open to a timeout, telling reporters, "We need to see what the details are."

If conservatives intend to hold out for a make-or-break deal, the automatic sequestration cuts must be at the top of their list of demands. Love it or hate it, it's the only tool that has effectively kept a lid on spending.

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