Earth to Arkansas: It's the Republicans' fault | Arkansas Blog

Earth to Arkansas: It's the Republicans' fault

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UPDATE: Reports grow that the House will vote on the Senate deal and avert catastrophe. The Washington Post put together the outline above  in easy graphic form. The link takes you to a page for more info.

Following is what I posted earlier this morning when things were looking grimmer, still worth remembering for how we got here:

As we say goodbye this morning to the temporarily lofty heights of our retirement accounts, let's consider again some of the concrete evidence that House RepublicansTom Cotton, Tim Griffin, Rick Crawford, Steve Womack — are responsible for the looming disaster. Thanks mostly to Talking Points Memo's essential Live Wire:

Former Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain: "Republicans have to understand we have lost this battle."

* Republican U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent: "I believe that John Boehner will likely be in a position where he will have to essentially pass the bill that is negotiated between Sens. McConnell and Reid."

Senate GOP aide: "Ted Cruz And His Tortilla Coast Republicans Are Leading Us To A Default"

* Wall Street Journal To GOP: "It's Time To Wrap Up This Comedy Of Political Errors" Note reference to Tom Cotton and Tim Griffin:

...  the small band of 20 or so House conservatives who have been all but running the House since this fiasco began

* Heritage Action, a conservative Republican-loving lobby: Will rate legislators on vote to fund government and raise debt ceiling. Translation: Survival of the country as we know it is a negative to Heritage Action. (Heritage Action loves Tom Cotton, BTW.)

* The New Republic is good.

As it happens, Reid and McConnell came very close to inking a deal Monday night, but then McConnell suspended their negotiations on Tuesday to give Boehner a chance at passing a bill, which promptly collapsed under the weight of his own ineptitude and your basic garden-variety House Republican lunacy ..

From Politico: "Warring GOP factions sink John Boehner plan."

There's more. Lots more. It shouldn't be necessary to recap. But in darkest Arkansas, according to a recent sounding, the split was 40-35 on whether President Obama (40) or Republicans (35) were more responsible for the coming apocalypse.

By roll calls today, we shall know them. But that 40 percent yellow-dog-Republican base in Arkansas is unaccustomed to being swayed by facts. By faith alone they shall be known.

PS — An interesting sidelight from Politico this morning on one of the most shameless tactics used by Republicans in their battle to kill health care for millions of Americans. I refer to their use of veterans as shields.

Republicans have turned the National World War II Memorial into the government shutdown’s poster child.

But there’s one big problem with their protest: Veterans streaming into Washington to see the monument don’t really face any obstacles in their visits, and many complain that they are being used for political gain.

Duh.

Speaking of vets: State Rep. Charles Armstrong, a military veteran, joined others (see photo below) outside the VA's day center on Main Street today to call on Rep. Tim Griffin to stop blocking a clean financial solution. (A day center that Griffin originally opposed.) Griffin might cave in the final analysis, though he joined the government shutdown letter from the Gang of 80. His biggest financial backer is investment banker Warren Stephens, who told our Leslie Newell Peacock yesterday that the Republicans' effort to defund Obamacare was a bad strategy. Stephens wants the U.S. to stand behind its credit. For a few billion obvious reasons.

ALSO: Sen. Mark Pryor notes that he was at the heart of a bipartisan working group that came up with a Senate compromise. Rep. Tom Cotton?  He was under the same restaurant roof (though he claims not in the same room) with the Cruz Kamikazes, who were plotting to screw the government.

PRYOR NEWS RELEASE

Pryor Works Toward Bipartisan Resolution as Cotton and Fringe Allies
Add to Washington Dysfunction


Pryor’s widely covered efforts to negotiate with GOP colleagues has laid the groundwork
for a possible resolution — statement from Pryor below

Cotton continues to advance narrow political agenda that puts personal ambition above common-sense solutions

LITTLE ROCK – Since Friday, Sen. Mark Pryor has been a key leader in bipartisan Senate negotiations to end the government shutdown and avoid a credit default that would harm the U.S. economy. Even as Congress enters a pivotal day with many questions outstanding, it’s clear that Pryor’s leadership within a group of 14 of his good-faith colleagues from both sides of the aisle has built the framework for a possible deal that would end the irresponsible gridlock, reopen the government and avert dire consequences for Arkansas seniors and families.

Pryor’s intensive efforts to work with Republicans on a real solution to the crisis stands in stark contrast with his opponent, Rep. Tom Cotton, who has championed a fringe strategy to shut down the government and default on our nation’s debts, forcing a reckless political agenda on Arkansas families, small business, and seniors.

“I’m working hard for Arkansans who tell me they’re tired of the political games; they want us to do the responsible thing, show some leadership and find a way out of this manufactured mess,” said Sen. Mark Pryor. “This is about putting the needs of Arkansas families before politics or personal ambition, and I hope this fringe group in the House of Representatives can set aside their narrow political agenda and start acting like adults.”

Pryor’s long history of bridge building and problem solving made him the go-to phone call when Republican Sen. Susan Collins decided Friday to start building a coalition of reasonable senators to hash out a budget plan that could meet approval by a majority in the House and Senate. With Pryor on board, the group worked collaboratively over the weekend on a framework to bridge the impasse, and after presenting their plan to Senate leadership Monday, they were again tapped to rework a plan yesterday evening after the House once again failed to appease the narrow partisan demands of fringe members like Cotton.

A default on the United States’ financial obligations would come at a severe cost to our nation and the world economy, moving us back toward a recession and crippling our ability to provide seniors with the Social Security and Medicare benefits they earned through a lifetime of hard work.

As Pryor worked with bipartisan colleagues this past week to find a solution, it was reported yesterday that Cotton met secretly with members of his fringe group of allies on Capitol Hill Monday night, including Sen. Ted Cruz, who have pushed for a default as a way to force their damaging and short-sighted political agenda.

Cotton has sought to downplay the severe impact of a default — standing at odds with all mainstream economists — and back in January he endorsed the reckless strategy of shutting down the government during upcoming fiscal negotiations. Now, even his fellow Republicans are crying foul, saying this ploy was a waste of time that harms our nation’s economy and Arkansas families’ bottom line.

The members of the bipartisan group are:
Democrats: Pryor, Manchin, Heitkamp, Klobuchar, Donnelley, Shaheen.
Republicans: Collins, McCain, Murkowski, Ayotte, Johanns, Kirk, Flake.
Independent: King.

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