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In a similar vein, moderate-to-conservative House Democrats, especially from the South, have all but vanished.
The result is a House full of lawmakers confident in the rightness of their views, and in the likelihood of their re-election next year. So no matter how many times the Democratic-controlled Senate rejects efforts to curtail "Obamacare," Republicans keep trying.
Other developments Thursday
Next crisis looms » President Barack Obama pointedly blamed House Speaker John Boehner for keeping federal agencies closed, while the bitter budget dispute moved closer to a more critical showdown over the nation’s line of credit. Obama canceled a trip to Asia as the Treasury warned of calamitous results if Congress fails to raise the debt limit.
Back pay » House Republicans could vote as early as Friday on legislation backed by some of the chamber’s top Democrats to give furloughed federal workers their missed pay when the government reopens.
Utah National Guard » Colorado will use state funds to pay the next wave of National Guard soldiers rebuilding a key highway damaged by flooding because of the government shutdown. About 120 Utah National Guard soldiers are set to arrive Friday and start work Saturday on U.S. Highway 36 from Lyons to Estes Park, relieving a Colorado National Guard crew.
No investigators » The National Transportation Safety Board wasn’t sending investigators to Tennessee to probe a deadly church bus crash that killed eight people and sent 14 others to the hospital.
No jobs report » The Labor Department said it wouldn’t release the highly anticipated September jobs report on Friday because the government remains shuttered.
Mars mission cleared » Planetary scientists were relieved after NASA’s MAVEN mission to Mars was cleared for liftoff. The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN mission, scheduled for launch between Nov. 18 and Dec. 7, had been put on hold after the shutdown stopped most NASA activities. That hold raised fears that the spacecraft would miss its narrow launch window and be grounded for years.
‘Hypocrisy’ » Senate chaplain Barry Black opened the session with an unusually pointed prayer: “Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable. Remove the burdens of those who are the collateral damage of this government shutdown.”
Grand Canyon » Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer wants the Grand Canyon, the state’s signature national park, reopened and has offered to pay for it with state money, but her proposal was rejected by a park official who said such a plan isn’t an option during the shutdown.
West Point » Some classes at West Point are being combined or canceled and military faculty members are being forced to fill in for furloughed civilian instructors, academy officials said.
Smuggling prosecution » The top federal prosecutor in San Diego said prosecutions of immigrant and drug smuggling offenses will be fully restored three days after they were curtailed.
Sources » The Associated Press,
"We want them to admit there are problems with Obamacare," said GOP Rep. James Lankford of Oklahoma, where Obama won 33 percent of the vote last year. As for how long the shutdown might last, he said: "I have no idea."
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