Despite President Obama's vow to veto the one-week stopgap measure proposed by Republicans, which would allow yet another extension of the debate over the budget for what's left of the full fiscal year, the GOP-dominated House passed the bill anyway this afternoon on a mostly party-line vote. Meanwhile, Speaker of the House John Boehner, Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Obama met again at the White House this afternoon to try to hammer out a deal. The money gap is narrowing, with Democrats reportedly offering somewhere around $34.5 billion in cuts, and the Republicans offering $39 billion. Keep in mind that that is a $4.5 billion difference out of a trillion-dollar-plus budget. Pretty small potatoes.
The other hurdle to overcome, though, is a disagreement over the inclusion in the bill of unrelated policy riders dealing with abortion and the environment. Reports HuffPo:
[A] source familiar with today's top-level White House talks told HuffPost most of the discussion was, in fact, about the riders.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and President Obama met at 1 p.m. today, and while their discussion started with the numbers, a senior Democratic aide said it soon went to the non-budgetary provisions like defunding Planed Parenthood, EPA rules, and then some.
"They started talking about the money, but most of meeting was spent on the riders," a senior Democratic source said. "It wasn't just the top line stuff. They got down into the smaller details and provisions -- things like mountain-top mining and other rules."
Another meeting is set for tonight, but it's looking increasingly likely that a government shutdown is going to begin this weekend. If that's the case, John Boehner may have a mess on his hands. A Facebook event with over 2,500 people attending (and counting) suggests that, when the government shutdown halts garbage pickup in D.C., everyone should bring their trash to Boehner's house (which is actually a basement apartment on Capitol Hill that he rents from a lobbyist friend). Just a little extra incentive for Boehner to get this thing done.
Progress Reported on Budget Standoff, but No Deal Yet [NYT]
Facebook event: Let's dump trash at Boehner's pad [Political Ticker/CNN]
The Main Topic Of White House Budget Powwow: The Riders [HuffPo]