Senate Returns Amid Little Indication Congress Will Avert Pending Shutdown; Spencer Bachus to Retire

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  • With just hours to go until a gov't shutdown, Senate Dems are promising to torpedo the House's latest legislative volley, a CR that delays health care implementation by a year; GOPers are formulating last-minute plans to score a victory against Obamacare; and both sides are digging political entrenchments that make shuttering the government increasingly likely (National Journal Daily).

  • The Senate is scheduled to return at 2 pm Monday (Hotline reporting).

  • Pres. Obama said Friday that he phoned Iranian Pres. Hassan Rouhani, becoming the first POTUS to speak with Iranian leader "since the Tehran hostage crisis more than three decades ago. ... The two agreed to accelerate talks aimed at defusing the dispute over Iran's nuclear program and afterward expressed optimism at the prospect of a rapprochement that would transform the Middle East" (New York Times).

  • In the NJ SEN Special, VP Biden will campaign for Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) on 10/11 (AP).

  • In VA GOV '13, the NRA "will begin airing" $500K "worth of statewide television and online ads" on Monday, "hitting" ex-DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe (D) for his stances on gun laws (Washington Post).

  • According to a new Des Moines Register poll of IA adults, conducted 9/22-25 by Selzer & Co., 54% approve of the way Gov. Terry Branstad (R) is handling his job, while 36% disapprove. But asked if Branstad "has been in office long enough," or if "he should seek another term," 55% think he's been in office long enough, while 35% think he should seek another term (release).

  • According to a new Siena College poll of NY RVs, conducted 9/22-26, 52% would reelect Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), while 39% would "prefer someone else." In the previous poll, conducted 8/4-7, 55% would have voted to reelect Cuomo, and 35% preferred someone else (release).

  • Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) "will not seek another term in Congress," he said Monday morning on a local TV station (WBRC-TV).

  • Radio host Ed Martin (R) "announced Friday that he will run" against Rep. Ron Barber (D) in AZ-02 (Arizona Republic).

  • Ex-Senate staffer Amanda Renteria (D) "kicked off her campaign" on Sunday against Rep. David Valadao (R) in CA-21 (Hanford Sentinel).

  • DoJ "will file suit against" the state of NC on Monday, "charging that the Tar Heel State's new law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls violates the Voting Rights Act by discriminating against African-Americans, according to a person familiar with the planned litigation." The suit will also seek to reinstate preclearance requirements (Politico).


  • According to a new CNN/ORC Int'l poll of nat'l adults, conducted 9/27-29, 46% think cong. GOPers would be more responsible if the federal gov't shuts down, while 36% think Obama would be more responsible (release).


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day

• With a government shutdown less than 24 hours away, defections within GOP ranks are already emerging, with blue-state Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) speaking out against the House GOP strategy. By contrast, red-state Dems up in '14 (Pryor, Begich, Landrieu) are united with the WH. That's as good a sign of any as which side holds greater leverage in the battle.

• One side that's seen its leverage fade in recent fiscal and debt ceiling emergencies is the Chamber of Commerce, whose statements urging the GOP to fight its budget battles on different ground have been ignored by the decisive bloc of Republican lawmakers. That's part of the reason the Chamber plansheavier involvement in future GOP primaries, where it will have to catch up with other outside groups that were quicker to recognize the high value of a dollar spent in a primary.



  • "If [Senate Maj. Leader] Harry Reid forces a government shutdown, that will be a mistake. I hope he backs away from that ledge that he's pushing us towards" -- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), on "Meet the Press" Sunday (NBC News).

  • "It's time to govern. I don't intend to support a fool's errand at this point" -- Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who said he's "prepared to support a clean resolution" if it comes to the House floor before midnight (New York Times).

  • "The Speaker's Slog" (National Review).

  • "I woke up and gave a few people a phone call and said, 'Hey, let's go for a hike'" -- Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), who went hiking with Reps. Aaron Schock (R-IL) and Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) on Sunday, hours after voting on the House CR early Sunday morning (Washington Post).

  • Federal prosecutors investigating VA Gov. Bob McDonnell's (R) "ties to a wealthy donor are unlikely to file charges or resolve the case before" this Nov.'s election, "as they conduct new witness interviews and continue to review evidence, people familiar with the investigation said" (Washington Post).

  • Ex-Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), who "has floated the possibility of running" for NH SEN next year, has put his Wrentham, MA, home on the market, listed at just shy of $560K (Boston Globe).

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) "said in an interview that she was not interested in seeking the presidency" (New York Times).

  • "Finally, all Americans will have access to health care" -- Headline of a Biden op-ed in the Des Moines Register this weekend.

  • "You know, I think most of them probably don't" -- NJ Gov. Chris Christie (R), asked if NJ voters care if he runs for WH '16 (CBS News).

  • Christie on Friday "vowed to appeal" a court ruling giving same-sex couples "the right to marry ... all the way to the state Supreme Court" (Newark Star-Ledger).



  • Oscar DePriest (R-IL) was the first African-American GOPer elected to Congress in the 20th century.

  • The winner is Millicent Dixon, and here's her Swizzle Challenge: "Who were the last three presidents who did not serve in the Armed Forces?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



As a student at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in Cambridge, MA, NYC Mayor '13 nominee Bill de Blasio (D) "was nicknamed 'Senator Provolone,' in a nod to the generous Italian sandwiches he would bring to lunch and to his 'overweening investment in political life,' said Gerry Speca, who was de Blasio's drama teacher" (Boston Globe).


Vito: "I never wanted this for you. I work my whole life, I don't apologize, to take care of my family. And I refused to be a fool dancing on the strings held by all of those big shots. That's my life, I don't apologize for that. But I always thought that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the strings. Senator Corleone, Governor Corleone, something."

Michael: "Another pezzonovante" ("The Godfather").

Josh Kraushaar, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Executive Editor