John Boehner decided as a next step to push Senate Democrats to join House Republicans in a conference committee to hash out their differences over the government-funding bill. In othe words to force the reluctant Senate to negotiate.
The House Rules Committee began meeting at 10:30 Monday night to set parameters for debate on a motion to consider a resolution to appoint conferees to such a bicameral panel, putting the ball in motion.
According to GOP sources the House will not pair the effort with any kind of one-week stopgap funding bill to provide a bridge while the two parties find an agreement so the government is going to shut down at least for a few days.
The government, scheduled to run out of funding at midnight Monday, would likely be considered shut down during those discussions, a GOP leadership aide told NBC News.This move could put Harry Reid in a pickle. He could refuse to conference highlighting the fact that the Democrats refuse to negotiate, or he could appoint members to the conference committee and make concessions or refuse to budge. Either way it illustrates the fact it is Reid who is the stumbling block in this continuing resolution battle.
"It means we're the reasonable, responsible actors trying to keep the process alive as the clock ticks past midnight, despite Washington Democrats' refusal - thus far - to negotiate," the GOP aide said.
UPDATE: Harry Reid just appeared on the Senate floor and called the GOP House conference committee effort a "gambit" and said on the Senate floor, "we will not go to conference with a gun to our head "(actually he hasn't agreed to negotiate at all).