President Obama refused the offer by the House for a temporary hike in debt limit and nothing on the government shutdown. Now that Democrats are seeming to realize that they are in position to get something, they seem to be trying (shocking, right?).
Democrats lowered their spending levels down to $986 billion dollars, refusing $967 billion because they feel it threatens to lock in sequester cuts. They fought for over a week for a clear CR to be passed and a no strings attached debt deal. Now things are changing. After the compromise offer put together my Sen. Collins fell apart, Patty Murray has been advancing for Democrats to push for $1.058 trillion dollars in spending, while Harry Reid has been talking with Mitch McConnell. All this comes after hours of strategizing with President Obama. Are Democrats and President Obama FINALLY attempting to use their leverage and get something they want?
A win is needed for the White House and Dems right now. If they can pull off a major win it will only help them further, ignite the base, and damage the weak looking Republicans. Not to mention the message will be on their terms. But, they aren't looking for just any win, they want a big win. President Obama rejected the short term debt limit deal because he isn't looking to do this again in a few weeks right in the middle of the holidays. He wants a real deal of months or even a year. And for the shutdown, they are willing on a more short term deal, just not at Ryan Budget spending levels.
It wouldn't be surprising if the medical device tax of Obamacare eventually takes some sort of hit. It only amounts to $30 billion dollars after a decade and if it means getting a better deal on spending, it's worth the Democrats agreeing.
As Democrats in the Senate work on a new deal, the House GOP is working on their own thing. Sources say it will be a 6 week deal on debt limit, require income verification for Obamacare subsidies, follow the Lankford bill on budget (120 days to pass deal or 1% spending cuts every 90 days), and the Vitter amendment which ends employer contributions for federal workers health insurance cost now that they must go onto exchanges. This will obviously not earn the support of Democrats.
The GOP continues to lose support and favorability. Meanwhile, President Obama and Democrats are gaining supporters. Now, it seems they aren't wasting their leverage and looking for a deal of their terms without saying anything except "Please proceed, Republicans."