Did the Shutdown Even Matter?

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty When budget negotiations began last month, Democrats felt confident that public opinion surrounding the government shutdown would force Republicans to the table, eager to prove their party could compromise.

But today, there’s little sense of urgency on a budget deal. With less than four weeks to go before the conference committee’s deadline, the public focus has shifted to the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act and pressure on Republicans has subsided.

“The shutdown is history. We are moving forward to try to get the next thing done,” William Allison, a spokesman for House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, said last week.

Asked whether Ryan and others feel pressure to get something done because of the shutdown, Allison was blunt: “Nah,” he said.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., a member of the conference committee, said the idea that Republicans may be feeling more at ease about the budget deadline now that concerns about the Affordable Care Act have taken center stage lined up with how many Democrats read the situation.

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