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Boehner, Reid Staffers Spar Over Debt Limit and Shutdown

If the rhetoric coming from House and Senate staffers is any indication, the government shutdown isn’t ending soon — and Republicans and Democrats are miles apart on raising the debt limit.

On Monday a top aide for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent around a statement questioning Speaker John A. Boehner’s candor, particularly his claim over the weekend that a “clean” continuing resolution could not pass the House.

“Speaker Boehner has a credibility problem,” said Adam Jentleson, the Nevada Democrat’s communications director. “From refusing to let the House vote on a bill that was his idea in the first place, to decrying health-care subsidies for members of Congress and staff that he worked for months to preserve, to stating that the House doesn’t have the votes to pass a clean CR at current spending levels, there is now a consistent pattern of Speaker Boehner saying things that fly in the face of the facts or stand at odds with his past actions.”

Read More on Roll Call: Boehner, Reid Staffers Spar Over Debt Limit and Shutdown

Race Ratings Change: GOP Chances Improve in California’s 52nd

There aren’t many congressional races where a challenger is running ahead of an incumbent in the polls more than a year and a half before Election Day, but that’s the situation in California’s 52nd District.

Two polls (one GOP survey in the spring and a media survey in June) show former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio, a Republican, running ahead of Democratic Rep. Scott Peters.

Read More on Roll Call: Race Ratings Change: GOP Chances Improve in California’s 52nd

What the Government Shutdown Means to Your Advocacy Effort

With the government shutdown now in its second week and officials on both sides saying this may last through mid-October, Americans across the country are beginning to feel the effects of the showdown in Washington. While many have taken to the phones, social media and other traditional methods of advocacy to voice their concerns, the question is, are these messages even getting through? Even better, if the messages are getting through, is anyone there to read them?

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McConnell’s Real Legacy Now Hangs in Supreme Court’s Balance

The first high-profile oral argument of the new Supreme Court term comes Tuesday morning in a campaign finance case officially called McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. Across the street, the dispute may come to be known instead as McConnell v. Donation Limits.

Mitch McConnell is guaranteed to make the news almost every day as the Senate minority leader. That’s even been true this fall, when the complexities of his squeezed-on-both-sides campaign for re-election in Kentucky have distracted him from (or prompted him to cede) his customary role as the indispensable dealmaker.

McConnell has been garnering headlines all fall as the leader who isn’t there, on issues starting with Syria and now most prominently on the government shutdown impasse, the future of Obamacare and next week’s prospective debt ceiling collision.

Read More on Roll Call: McConnell’s Real Legacy Now Hangs in Supreme Court’s Balance

Boehner Works Behind the Scenes on ‘Grand Bargain’

House Republicans continued with the piecemeal government funding approach Thursday, even as chatter turned to whether Speaker John A. Boehner could finally pull off a “grand bargain” on government spending and the debt limit.

On Wednesday, the Ohio Republican met with groups of GOP lawmakers who want to pass a clean CR to reopen the government. Boehner and the lawmakers discussed the possibility of a “grand bargain” — a new one that would raise the debt ceiling, fund the government, address the sequester and extract concessions on Obamacare.

But later Wednesday night, the speaker met with President Barack Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at the White House. And the negotiations — or lack thereof — seemed to have left a sour taste in the mouth of Republicans.

Read More on Roll Call: Boehner Works Behind the Scenes on ‘Grand Bargain’