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OBAMA FORCED TO THE TABLE OVER SHUTDOWN - Republicans found a way to force President Obama and Senate Democrats to the negotiating table: Start talking about funding parts of the government rather than shutting it down. Obama, who Wednesday was still reiterating his vow to not negotiate with Republicans, did so anyway, inviting Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and their Democratic counterparts to the White House for a huddle. The president’s team tried to make it clear that the meeting was pointless, but the fact that talks have begun at all suggests that Republicans are starting to make some progress.
[Polling alert - The latest Fox News polls on ObamaCare, the government shutdown and more will be released tonight at 6 p.m. ET during “Special Report with Bret Baier.” Check out the full inventory of Fox News polls here.]
But can it last? - Democrats are starting to feel the burn as Republicans keep passing bills to reopen popular parts of the government. But House leaders know that time is short for them. Moderate Republicans are anxious to end the stalemate and are increasingly talking about giving in to the president’s demand for Republicans to capitulate on the emergency spending bill before discussing the looming debt-ceiling breach in two weeks. To keep them on board, Boehner has deployed House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp to encourage their fellow moderates to hold the line in hopes of striking a bigger deal that might include entitlement reform, changes to the president’s troubled health insurance program and an overhaul of the federal tax code. National Review has details.