Media outlets examine how House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have contributed to the Capitol Hill tensions surrounding the government shutdown and Obamacare fight-- both in their relationship with each other and their places within their respective parties.
The Washington Post: John Boehner, Between A Rock And A Hard Place On Shutdown And Debt Limit
Within the increasingly right-leaning GOP caucus, Boehner might survive one big vote that relied heavily on Democratic support. But two important votes — on the government funding and the debt ceiling — with mostly Democratic backing would leave the already embattled speaker on political life support. The result is that Boehner has thrown in with the most conservative Republican lawmakers. A few dozen of them have urged holding up the government funding legislation to extract concessions from Democrats on President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (Kane, 10/2).
The Wall Street Journal: Reid Sets Tone For Democrats In Shutdown Fight
Mr. Reid has emerged as the GOP's new public enemy No. 1 because he is the man driving his party's hard bargain against Republican leaders in the legislative back-and-forth over funding the government. Democrats have refused to negotiate with Republicans as long as they insist on delaying or defunding the 2010 health-care law. More than any other Democrat, Mr. Reid seems to be setting the tone of his party in the showdown over the shutdown. The impasse marks a shift this year by Democrats in Congress and the White House, who are no longer willing to barter with GOP leaders demanding major concessions in exchange for short-term government-funding bills or extending the nation's borrowing limit (O’Connor and Hook, 10/2).
And one GOP senator second-guesses if shutting the government down over funding the health law was a mistake --
St. Louis Beacon: Blunt Says Forcing Federal Shutdown Over Obamacare Was A Mistake
Although he’s no fan of Obamacare, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt said Wednesday that it was a mistake for House Republicans to have forced a government shutdown unless the health insurance program was repealed (Mannies, 10/2).