Feb. 13, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Shutdown Averted With Last-Minute Trade-Offs

Tom Williams/Roll Call
Speaker John Boehner’s chief of staff, Barry Jackson, negotiated around the clock to complete the deal.

In other cases, they agreed to requirements for studies or audits, such as a detailed accounting of health care waivers the administration has granted.

Boehner also gave up the most contentious rider — the provision to bar federal funding of Planned Parenthood — which threatened to scuttle the whole deal.

Jackson, Boehner’s chief of staff, had told Democrats the Planned Parenthood provision was non-negotiable. The president and Reid, during negotiations in the Oval Office on Thursday night, were equally inflexible.

Republicans at one point proposed requiring Democrats to strip the Planned Parenthood rider from the bill on the Senate floor and send the whole bill back to the House. The GOP wanted a guarantee that Obama would sign the overall bill if the Senate was unable to strip the provision. Democrats refused.

Boehner ultimately relented on the issue, but he won several significant concessions from Democrats — including barring the D.C. government from paying for abortions, restarting the D.C. school voucher program that Boehner has long championed and keeping the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, prison open.

As the dust settled over the weekend, what remained was for all sides to declare victory and for staff to hash out what had actually been agreed to. The bill still has to be drafted and both chambers still have to vote this week to finally implement the spending plan for the rest of this year.

But this is just the first in a trilogy of shutdown showdowns this year. A debt limit hike is due next month, and they get to do this all again come September, when next year’s budget is due.

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