It's Shutdown Week, and Nobody Trusts Anybody

Your guide to the next round in Washington's endless fiscal wars
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2013 8:50 AM CDT
It's Shutdown Week, and Nobody Trusts Anybody
President Obama meets with Congressional leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Washington has eight days left before the continuing resolution funding the government runs out, and this latest round of brinksmanship might be the worst yet, for a simple reason: None of the major players like or trust each other anymore, the Hill observes. Here are the relationships at play:

  • President Obama and John Boehner: They were briefly golf buddies. Then their 2011 "grand bargain" broke down, and Obama swore never to negotiate over the debt ceiling again. Boehner, meanwhile, felt burned by the fiscal cliff talks.

  • Boehner and Harry Reid: They averted a shutdown together in 2011. But then Reid suggested Boehner was out to keep his speaker gig at all costs in the fiscal cliff fight. Boehner's infamous reply: "Go f--- yourself."
  • Obama and Mitch McConnell: They've never been close, and now McConnell is focused on his reelection bid.
  • Reid and McConnell: Their once-close working relationship is on the rocks, thanks to Reid's push for filibuster reform, and Democrats' determination to oust McConnell in the election.
  • Boehner and Nancy Pelosi: There's no personal animosity here, but Pelosi would sure like the speaker gig back, and a shutdown might be just the thing to dislodge the GOP house majority. She's not likely to bail Boehner out.
  • Obama and Pelosi: They're divided on how essential ending the budget sequester is, with Pelosi urging Obama to reject any deal that includes it.
Hungry for more details on the fight to come? USA Today has a good explanation of the backstory and subplots at play here, while the Washington Post has a day-by-day breakdown of what we'll see on Capitol Hill. (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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