Meridian Star

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October 11, 2013

Hope? Shutdown/debt talks but no resolution yet

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

Ironically, Boehner's plan stirred grumbling among relatively moderate Republicans who said the shutdown should end, but little if any unhappiness among the staunch conservatives who often part company with party leaders.

One Republican said he and fellow tea party allies deserved at least partial recognition for the plan that would raise the debt limit without reopening the government.

"I actually went to (Majority Leader) Eric Cantor a couple days ago and I proposed this. I said, 'You're going to think this is crazy but I, as a conservative, would be willing to vote for a debt ceiling for six weeks.," said Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho.

Republicans also were ready to claim victory on another front, noting that they were now in negotiations with the president, who had said repeatedly there would be none until the government was open and default prevented.

Yet there was fresh polling to suggest it might be time for the GOP to cut its losses. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey said that 24 percent of those polled approve of the job the Republicans in Congress are doing, and 53 percent blame GOP lawmakers for the shutdown while 31 percent say Obama is at fault.

For his part, Reid has proposed no-strings-attached legislation to raise the debt limit by $1.1 trillion, enough to prevent a recurrence of the current standoff until after the 2014 elections.

In remarks on the Senate floor during the day, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the GOP leader, said that Democratic measure "just won't fly. ... The American people can be persuaded to raise the debt ceiling, but they're not in any mood to simply hand over a blank check."

Since the current standoff began more than two weeks ago, Republican demands have shifted continuously, while the president's position has remained essentially unchanged.

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