Government Shutdown – down to the wire

• The Dow Jones Industrial closed 133 points down as hope for progress in Congress bubbled and then waned Tuesday. After markets closed, Fitch Ratings put the United States on “rating watch negative,” signaling that it could downgrade the country’s current AAA rating if the debt limit is not raised.

• Key Senate leaders have resumed their on-again off-again talks after putting the negotiations on ice early Tuesday. By late Tuesday, ongoing talks between Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared to be down to the dotting of I’s and the crossing of T’s. Senate rules could still allow Tea Party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz or other dissenters to slow the consideration of the bill until after the Thursday deadline.

• Republican House Speaker John Boehner and House leaders abruptly pulled a bill from consideration that would have reopened the government until December and lifted the debt ceiling until January. That measure failed to garner support from conservatives who wanted more health care-related concessions from Democrats, so Boehner nixed a Tuesday evening vote rather than face a damaging failure on the House floor. Boehner may need to put the Senate-passed legislation on the House floor and look for Democratic House votes to get it through.

• “My expectation is it does get solved but we don’t have a lot of time,” President Obama said in an interview Tuesday with WABC. “What I’m suggesting to the congressional leaders is let’s not do any posturing, let’s not try to save face, let’s not worry about politics. Do what’s right.”

(via NBC News)