Good morning, fellow political junkies.Today finds the Senate in continued debate aimed at reaching a legislative agreement that keeps the federal government open into the new fiscal year which starts Oct. 1.
Meanwhile, there seems to be a growing mood among congressional Republicans to test President Obama’s resolve to not negotiate over raising the debt ceiling in a few weeks.
Here are some interesting political items or themes that caught my eye this morning.
- Trying to buy more time before a federal government shutdown that could happen October 1 without a budget deal, some lawmakers are raising the prospect of a one-week spending bill, writes The Hill’s Alexander Bolton. One downside is it would force the crisis over how to keep the government open one week closer to the crisis over raising the debt ceiling which the Obama administration now says must be accomplished by mid-October. .
- Republicans are coalescing around an idea to shift the Obamacare fight to the debt-ceiling debate, while Democrats, for their part, are united in their position that Republican attempts to link conditions to raising the same debt ceiling are a non-starter, report Manu Raju, Jake Sherman and Ginger Gibson of Politico.
- Sen. Ted Cruz may have won over many grassroots conservatives with his 21-hour anti-Obamacare Senate talkathon, but many of his Republican colleagues view him as selfish, divisive and counterproductive, and that’s only for starters, writes Jeremy Peters in the New York Times. Meanwhile, Los Angeles Times’ cartoonist columnist David Horsey has a fairly withering Cruz commentary.
- Former president George H.W. Bush served as the official witness at the wedding of two long-time friends in Maine where same-sex marriage was legalized in December, as my NPR colleague Mark Memmott reports.
- Lawmakers are seeking to extend a visa program for Iraqi interpreters, perhaps adding it to the continuing resolution to keep the government operating into the new fiscal year, reports The Hill’s Jeremy Herb. That brought to mind a recent story by NPR’s Quil Lawrence on the plight of the Afghan translator whose U.S. visa was delayed despite the best efforts by a U.S. soldier who owes him his life.
- Alan Simpson, the wise-cracking former Republican senator from Wyoming, is known for speaking his mind. One person who apparently had heard just about enough from him was Lynne Cheney, wife of former vice president Dick Cheney. Simpson reports she told him to “shut up” at a Wyoming social event, reports Laura Hancock of the Star Tribune.
- Staying on the wild-west theme, the Center for Public Integrity’s Michael Beckel provides a good reminder that not all is as it seems in the sometimes untamed world of online political fundraising. His “Hucksters for Hillary” report shows how easy it is for someone to misuse a famous politician’s name to try to raise money from the public without any apparent link to the politician’s campaign.
- So that happened. Comedian Dan Nainan allegedly punched journalist Josh Rogin in the fact, twice, in an apparent reaction to critical tweets by the journalist about the comic’s stand-up routine at a charity event at a DC comedy club. Rogin tweeted about the alleged attack in real (presumably painful) time and Huffpo threw together a short post.