OVERNIGHT MONEY: Congress stuck in a stalemate

This was the first time Obama has met with congressional leaders to discuss the stalemate.

It also is the first time the White House has indicated it wants to link funding the government to talks on raising the debt ceiling, a movement that seems to be taking root on Capitol Hill, as well. 

What that means is still uncertain. 

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The default deadline is Oct. 17 and there is even greater pressure for lawmakers to hit that target or face grave and immediate economic consequences, economists, financial industry leaders and pretty much every business group are arguing. 

Even polls are showing that people are worried about Congress breaching the debt ceiling. 

Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans remain mired in their own version of trench legislative warfare, with each occasionally lobbing a salvo over to the other side of the Capitol only to discover they've tossed another dud.

House Republican leaders say they won't abandon their piecemeal plan to provide funding for certain parts of the federal government, presumably all except those dealing with ObamaCare. 

"We are going to take every issue that is out there that we have agreement on, and put it on the floor,” Cantor said on the second day of the government shutdown.

That approach has hit a dead end with Senate Democrats and Obama who argue that the House needs to pass a stopgap spending measure to fund the entire federal government, even if only for a short period of time. 

The White House renewed its vow to block the piecemeal funding approach pushed by House Republicans.

In a statement of administration policy, the White House called that approach "not a serious or responsible way to run the U.S. government."

"Instead of opening up a few government functions, the House of Representatives should re-open all of the government," the administration stated. 

To that end, the GOP moved forward with passage of a series of bills on Wednesday night to provide funding for Washington, D.C., and other parts of the government, including the national parks and the National Institutes of Health.

Thud. 

House Democrats did attempt to get the Senate's clean government funding bill on the agenda for a floor vote, but the move was rejected.

Meanwhile, Reid offered to open negotiations on tax reform, appoint budget conferees and even consider changes to the healthcare law if Republicans would just agree on a six-week funding bill.

But that was quickly shot down by Boehner’s office, and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) objected to the budget conference committee.

Thud. 

Earlier in the day, Obama said he is "exasperated" by the sequence of events that led to the government shutdown.

"That is irresponsible," he said.

The president maintained that the instability of the government shutdown would have a profound impact on the economy.

We'll see what Thursday brings on the brinksmanship front. 

Just as long as Bill Murray doesn't turn up at the Capitol with a furry critter in tow.  


WHAT ELSE WE'RE WATCHING

Trade chat: The Washington International Trade Association will talk on Thursday about the African Growth and Opportunity Act and U.S.-African trade relations with government officials and policy experts. 

Chain gang: The Congressional Progressive Caucus will gather on Thursday on forming a human chain to oppose cuts to Medicare and Social Security, especially a switch to so-called chained Consumer Price Index, which they argue would reduce future benefits and harm seniors. 


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Initial Claims: The Labor Department releases its weekly filings for jobless benefits. 

Challenger Job Cuts: The Chicago-based firm will release its report on the number of jobs cuts that are planned by U.S. employers in September. 

ISM Services Index: The Institute for Supply Management will release its September index that measures the service sector's pace of growth. The sector employs 90 percent of all workers, including those at restaurants, hotels and retailers, and has been responsible for the bulk of hiring during the recovery. 


WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

— Obama says government shutdown won't slow his pick for Fed chief

— Poll: Most think not raising debt ceiling would harm nation

— Private sector adds 166,000 jobs in September


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