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Shutdown-default: All quiet on compromise front

Lots of talk, no steps to end the shutdown

  • Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, left, gets into an elevator following a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. President Barack Obama is making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, left, gets into an elevator following a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. President Barack Obama is making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

  • Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, left, gets into an elevator following a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. President Barack Obama is making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, left, gets into an elevator following a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. President Barack Obama is making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. is escorted by Capitol Hill police after a news conference on the ongoing budget battle, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama was making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. is escorted by Capitol Hill police after a news conference on the ongoing budget battle, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama was making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. is escorted by Capitol Hill police after a news conference on the ongoing budget battle, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama was making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. is escorted by Capitol Hill police after a news conference on the ongoing budget battle, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama was making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • In this Oct. 8, 2013, photo, Andrea Bentley, with the American Federation of Government Employees, protests the government shutdown outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A new poll says Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown. The Associated Press-GfK survey finds plenty of disdain to go around as people size up the federal impasse. Most now disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling his job. And Congress’ approval rating is a perilous 5 percent. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    In this Oct. 8, 2013, photo, Andrea Bentley, with the American Federation of Government Employees, protests the government shutdown outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A new poll says Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown. The Associated Press-GfK survey finds plenty of disdain to go around as people size up the federal impasse. Most now disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling his job. And Congress’ approval rating is a perilous 5 percent. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • In this Oct. 8, 2013, photo, Andrea Bentley, with the American Federation of Government Employees, protests the government shutdown outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A new poll says Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown. The Associated Press-GfK survey finds plenty of disdain to go around as people size up the federal impasse. Most now disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling his job. And Congress’ approval rating is a perilous 5 percent. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    In this Oct. 8, 2013, photo, Andrea Bentley, with the American Federation of Government Employees, protests the government shutdown outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A new poll says Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown. The Associated Press-GfK survey finds plenty of disdain to go around as people size up the federal impasse. Most now disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling his job. And Congress’ approval rating is a perilous 5 percent. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • In this Oct. 8, 2013, photo, Andrea Bentley, with the American Federation of Government Employees, protests the government shutdown outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A new poll says Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown. The Associated Press-GfK survey finds plenty of disdain to go around as people size up the federal impasse. Most now disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling his job. And Congress’ approval rating is a perilous 5 percent. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    In this Oct. 8, 2013, photo, Andrea Bentley, with the American Federation of Government Employees, protests the government shutdown outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A new poll says Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown. The Associated Press-GfK survey finds plenty of disdain to go around as people size up the federal impasse. Most now disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling his job. And Congress’ approval rating is a perilous 5 percent. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • In this Oct. 8, 2013, photo, Andrea Bentley, with the American Federation of Government Employees, protests the government shutdown outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A new poll says Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown. The Associated Press-GfK survey finds plenty of disdain to go around as people size up the federal impasse. Most now disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling his job. And Congress’ approval rating is a perilous 5 percent. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    In this Oct. 8, 2013, photo, Andrea Bentley, with the American Federation of Government Employees, protests the government shutdown outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A new poll says Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown. The Associated Press-GfK survey finds plenty of disdain to go around as people size up the federal impasse. Most now disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling his job. And Congress’ approval rating is a perilous 5 percent. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., left, and Sen Bob Corker, R-Tenn., walk out of a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. President Barack Obama is making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., left, and Sen Bob Corker, R-Tenn., walk out of a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. President Barack Obama is making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

  • Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., left, and Sen Bob Corker, R-Tenn., walk out of a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. President Barack Obama is making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., left, and Sen Bob Corker, R-Tenn., walk out of a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. President Barack Obama is making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

  • From left, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and others stand on the Senate steps on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, during a news conference on the ongoing budget battle. President Barack Obama was making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown.  (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

    From left, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and others stand on the Senate steps on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, during a news conference on the ongoing budget battle. President Barack Obama was making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • From left, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and others stand on the Senate steps on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, during a news conference on the ongoing budget battle. President Barack Obama was making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown.  (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

    From left, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and others stand on the Senate steps on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, during a news conference on the ongoing budget battle. President Barack Obama was making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • From left, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and others stand on the Senate steps on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, during a news conference on the ongoing budget battle. President Barack Obama was making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown.  (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

    From left, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and others stand on the Senate steps on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, during a news conference on the ongoing budget battle. President Barack Obama was making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • In this Oct. 8, 2013, photo, Andrea Bentley, with the American Federation of Government Employees, protests the government shutdown outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A new poll says Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown. The Associated Press-GfK survey finds plenty of disdain to go around as people size up the federal impasse. Most now disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling his job. And Congress’ approval rating is a perilous 5 percent. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    In this Oct. 8, 2013, photo, Andrea Bentley, with the American Federation of Government Employees, protests the government shutdown outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A new poll says Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown. The Associated Press-GfK survey finds plenty of disdain to go around as people size up the federal impasse. Most now disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling his job. And Congress’ approval rating is a perilous 5 percent. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, left, gets into an elevator following a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. President Barack Obama is making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
  • Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, left, gets into an elevator following a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. President Barack Obama is making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. is escorted by Capitol Hill police after a news conference on the ongoing budget battle, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama was making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. is escorted by Capitol Hill police after a news conference on the ongoing budget battle, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama was making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
  • In this Oct. 8, 2013, photo, Andrea Bentley, with the American Federation of Government Employees, protests the government shutdown outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A new poll says Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown. The Associated Press-GfK survey finds plenty of disdain to go around as people size up the federal impasse. Most now disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling his job. And Congress’ approval rating is a perilous 5 percent. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • In this Oct. 8, 2013, photo, Andrea Bentley, with the American Federation of Government Employees, protests the government shutdown outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A new poll says Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown. The Associated Press-GfK survey finds plenty of disdain to go around as people size up the federal impasse. Most now disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling his job. And Congress’ approval rating is a perilous 5 percent. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • In this Oct. 8, 2013, photo, Andrea Bentley, with the American Federation of Government Employees, protests the government shutdown outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A new poll says Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown. The Associated Press-GfK survey finds plenty of disdain to go around as people size up the federal impasse. Most now disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling his job. And Congress’ approval rating is a perilous 5 percent. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • In this Oct. 8, 2013, photo, Andrea Bentley, with the American Federation of Government Employees, protests the government shutdown outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A new poll says Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown. The Associated Press-GfK survey finds plenty of disdain to go around as people size up the federal impasse. Most now disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling his job. And Congress’ approval rating is a perilous 5 percent. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., left, and Sen Bob Corker, R-Tenn., walk out of a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. President Barack Obama is making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., left, and Sen Bob Corker, R-Tenn., walk out of a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. President Barack Obama is making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
  • From left, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and others stand on the Senate steps on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, during a news conference on the ongoing budget battle. President Barack Obama was making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown.  (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
  • From left, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and others stand on the Senate steps on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, during a news conference on the ongoing budget battle. President Barack Obama was making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown.  (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
  • From left, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and others stand on the Senate steps on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, during a news conference on the ongoing budget battle. President Barack Obama was making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown.  (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
  • In this Oct. 8, 2013, photo, Andrea Bentley, with the American Federation of Government Employees, protests the government shutdown outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A new poll says Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown. The Associated Press-GfK survey finds plenty of disdain to go around as people size up the federal impasse. Most now disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling his job. And Congress’ approval rating is a perilous 5 percent. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Its approval ratings scraping bottom, Congress took no discernible steps yesterday to end the now 10-day partial government shutdown or to head off a threatened default by the national Treasury.

Instead, the House passed legislation that the Obama administration already had rendered unnecessary, while Speaker John Boehner and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi met face to face – and promptly disagreed even about which side had requested the get-together.

Across the Capitol, the Senate marked time under 18th century rules, focusing its attention on a test vote – next weekend – on a $1 trillion increase in the debt limit to avert a default.

“Enough is enough,” said Barry Black, the Senate chaplain who has delivered a series of pointed sermonettes in recent days as lawmakers careen from crisis to crisis.

Evidently not.

With Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on tap to testify before lawmakers today, officials said he was expected to reiterate that Congress needed to raise the government’s borrowing limit by next Thursday to be sure of preventing default.

Despite warnings from leaders of both political parties that a financial default could plunge the economy into recession, cause interest rates to rise and home values to plummet, one Republican lawmaker, Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, said a default wouldn’t be the worst calamity to befall the country.

“Insolvency and bankruptcy” would be worse, he said, warning that that would be the result of yet another increase in the debt limit without attaching measures to bring down the federal budget deficit.

The partial shutdown ground on, although an Associated Press-GfK poll suggested the impact was anything but uniform.

Only 17 percent of those polled said they or their households had experienced any impact, while 81 percent said they had not.

Who’s at fault? Some 62 percent said Republicans were mostly or entirely to blame for the partial shutdown, which began Oct. 1, while 49 percent said as much for President Obama.

There was widespread agreement on one point. The country is widely dissatisfied with elected lawmakers.

A new Gallup poll put approval for Congress at 11 percent, a mere one in every nine adults.

The AP-GfK survey made it 5 percent approval – and only 3 percent among independents, whose votes are the main prize in next fall’s midterm elections.

Nationally, a whopping 83 percent of adults disapprove of Congress’s actions.

Inside the Capitol, neither private meetings nor public votes offered any hint of progress toward ending the latest gridlock.

Republicans are seeking negotiations on budget, health care and other issues as the price for reopening the government and raising the debt limit.

Obama and Democrats say no talks unless legislation is first passed.

The House voted, 252-172,
to reopen the Federal Aviation Administration. Democrats generally opposed the measure and the White House issued a veto threat, saying the government should be reopened all at once, not on a piecemeal basis.

There is only 1 reason there would be a default. The democrats have had on their table a bill from the House called "The Full Faith & Credit Act". The Responsible Republicans have passed and forwarded to the democrats a bill that will prioritize the govt spending once a debt ceiling is reached. This bill puts the 1st $20 billion+/- for interest payments at the top of the list of the $200+/- Billion in monthly spending. The debt, deficit and default democrats refuse to pass this bill - there is your problem -

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