With the partial shutdown of the federal government now into its fourth day, here are four stories to help bring us all up to speed:
-- "Rattled Congress Seeks Way Out of Its Standoff." The New York Times says that "Republican efforts to resolve the fiscal standoff that has closed much of the federal government heated up Thursday, the third day of the shutdown, with new talks over a broad budget deal and an effort by more moderate House members to break the logjam."
-- "GOP Begins Seach For Broad Deal On Budget." The Wall Street Journal takes a tack similar to the Times, writing that "senior Republicans in Congress, frustrated over their inability to strike a deal to reopen the government, began shifting from their drive to undercut the 2010 health-care law, which has been the central element of the dispute, toward a broader budget deal. The new focus comes as Congress is beginning to confront the need to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, which the Treasury said must be done this month in order to pay the nation's obligations."
-- "GOP Aides: Boehner Tells Colleagues He Will Avoid A Default On Federal Debt." According to The Washington Post, the focus may indeed be shifting to the debt ceiling deadline. "With the government shuttered and a deadline for raising the debt limit just two weeks off, anxious Republicans began steering the party away from a dead-end debate about the health-care law and toward discussion of a broader deal to reduce the nation's debt."
-- "Bad Blood: Four Feuding Leaders." But Politico heads off in a much different direction, saying that " the relationship between the nation's top political leaders is now brimming with acrimony, distrust and pettiness at a perilous time for the country's economy. The government shutdown — the first in 17 years — is in its fourth day with no end in sight."
Meanwhile, Morning Edition offers this report: "For Obama And Boehner, No Sign Of Thaw In Frosty Relationship." And, as we reported late Thursday, the White House has canceled President Obama's planned trip to Asia, citing the shutdown as the reason.