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"This isn't some damn game!" House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, just declared, his voice rising, as he told reporters on Capitol Hill that he believes it's the Obama administration that's to blame for the four-day-old partial shutdown of the federal government.

With the partial shutdown of the federal government now into its fourth day, here are four stories to help bring us all up to speed:

The government shutdown grinds on with no immediate relief in sight.

President Obama says he's willing to talk with Republican lawmakers about adjustments to the health care law and other issues, but only after they re-open the government and lift the threat of a federal default.

"I'm happy to negotiate with you on anything. I don't think any one party has a monopoly on wisdom. But you don't negotiate by putting a gun to the other person's head," Obama says.

Experts in negotiation say the president's stance may be justified, but it's also risky.

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have had five years of fights and negotiations to learn how to work together.

The relationship has had ups and downs. Today it's as sour as it's ever been.

Even if they had a warm friendship, it might not be enough to solve the government shutdown. But the chilliness doesn't help.

'We Get Along Fine'

Their relationship has been a constant source of fascination in Washington. Interviewers ask the two men about it all the time. And they give pretty much the same response, year after year:

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For Tea Party, Shutdown Is Worth The Pain

Oct 3, 2013

Preston Bates considers the budget stalemate a good return on investment.

Bates is executive director of Liberty for All, a libertarian-leaning superPAC that last year spent more than $3 million helping to elect Republican congressmen such as Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan.

Those two are among the core group of House members refusing to support any deal that would reopen the government without delaying, defunding or destroying the Affordable Care Act, the health care law also known as Obamacare.

Many congressional staff members have been furloughed by the government shutdown. But that hasn't stopped the phones from ringing, or tourists from visiting.

So members of Congress have been forced to take on some additional responsibilities this week, in addition to legislating — the kinds of tasks typically handled by junior staffers and interns.

Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., are among those personally answering their office phones.

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Now we're going to sort through the various interpretations of what is or isn't going on to resolve the government shutdown with NPR's congressional reporter Ailsa Chang. Hi there, Ailsa.

AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: Hi there.

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Shutdown? Not For Political Fundraising

Oct 3, 2013

(Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET with RNC numbers)

The government shutdown might be bad for federal employees, but it's turning out to be a boon for political fundraising.

Party committees and outside groups on both sides of the aisle have latched on to the latest Washington budget crisis, using the moment to rile their bases and fill their coffers for the 2014 campaign.

Stone Apparently Replacing Suder on PSC

Oct 3, 2013

Nearly simultaneous press releases indicate that Scott Suder is moving to the Wisconsin Paper Council, while Rep. Jeff Stone will take a job with the PSC.

Investigators say the soil composition and fluctuating water table probably caused the corrosion. The rest of the Leo Frigo (I-43) Bridge appears solid.

DNR: State Parks and Recreational Areas Remain Open

Oct 3, 2013

While the federal government shutdown has closed federal recreational areas in Wisconsin, people can still visit state-owned lands.

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