Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Two weeks

Perhaps the fifth time will be the charm. (Don’t hold your breath).

OBAMA-SPEECH/Looks like legislation to keep the government funded for another two weeks is heading for approval. “I think we’ll have a vote on that in the next 48 hours,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said.

But then what?

This would be the fifth temporary measure passed by Congress to prevent a government shutdown this fiscal year. The last one is set to expire on Friday.

That’s a half year the government has functioned on continuing resolutions, with another half year to go. (Yes it adds up).

President Barack Obama called House Speaker John Boehner to talk about the negotiations and they spent 10-12 minutes on the phone, according to White House spokesman Jay Carney. Seems like a substantial amount of time to chat between busy men.

Financial regulators and lawmakers came to our Washington bureau for Day 2 of a Reuters finance summit. SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh, Senator Jack Reed and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau adviser Elizabeth Warren. See coverage at http://www.reuters.com/summit/FutureFinance11

Washington Extra – Action or inaction

Pizza as a predictor?

CONGRESS GUNFIRECongress returns next week and will decide by action or inaction whether the federal government shuts down.

The White House sounded a note of optimism (which at this point is the only way to go — best to save the podium pounding for when it gets down to the wire).

“All of us agree that a government shutdown would be bad for the economy,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said. “We believe that a compromise can be reached. But I’m not going to speculate on a position, what position we may or may not hold down the road.”