UPDATE — 10:31 PM ET, 10/02/13:
About 200 patients each week with rare or especially severe diseases seek treatment at the [National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md], and the federal agency Tuesday began turning away patients for next week. About 30 of these are children, many suffering from cancer.
“We’ve had to tell people, ‘I’m sorry, you can’t come here,’ ” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins. In addition, Dr. Collins said in an interview, 73% of NIH employees were sent home on furlough. Many of them are trainees and younger employees whose financial resources already are stretched thin, Dr. Collins said.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va) responded by introducing a bill that would restore funding to the NIH, but it was rejected by Democrats who are not going to let House Republicans pick and choose which portions of government remain open:
“I would like to guarantee that the people who are suffering, not getting treatment at the NIH could be answered tomorrow,” Mr. Cantor said in a statement. “For the Democrats to say we’re going to play a political game and we’re not going to help those kids – we’re really tired of playing games.”
“It’s time for Republicans to stop throwing one crazy idea after another at the wall, in hopes that something will stick,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said when the Senate opened on Wednesday. “Nothing is stuck. There’s been a sensible plan to reopen the government right in front of House Republicans all along.”
UPDATE — 9:59 PM ET, 10/02/13: “Due to #shutdown, social programs such as WIC, which provides 9 million moms with money for baby formula, have been deemed non-essential.” – @ABCWorldNews
PresidentBarack Obama, unwavering in his position, is refusing to negotiate with House Republicans on Obamacare and the debt ceiling, said House Speaker John Boehner to reporters after meeting with the president this afternoon, Politico reports.
The president called a meeting with Vice-President Joe Biden and congressional leaders, including Boehner (R-Ohio), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev) and Treasury Secretary this afternoon to discuss the Republicans’ inability to separate funding the government from defunding Obamacare.
Though the GOP considered it to be a small win that President Obama was “negotiating,” Rep. Pelosi made it very clear that conversation did not equal concession.
House Speaker John Boehner described the meeting as a “nice conversation, a polite conversation,” but told reporters that Obama refused to negotiate on the budget and the upcoming debt ceiling increase.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said there would be no give on efforts to defund or delay parts of the Affordable Care Act. “We are locked in tight on Obamacare,” Reid said.
Now that the House Republicans have caused the shutdown, they are anxious for President Obama and the Democrats to share in the blame, with Boehner quick to claim that “Obama owns this shutdown now.”
That assertion is false.
To end the government shutdown, House Republicans simply have to agree to a clean CR (continuing resolution) that funds the government without delaying the Affordable Care Act.
*Stay with NewsOne for updates*