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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) poured cold water Friday on conservatives’ effort to shut down the government if legislation to keep it open after Sept. 30 includes funding to implement Obamacare.

He said there aren’t enough votes to make it happen in the Senate.

“In order to avoid a government shutdown, we need 60 votes in the Senate and 218 votes in the House to pass a continuing resolution,” Cantor told National Review’s Robert Costa. “To get 60 votes in the Senate, you need at least 14 Democrats to join Republicans and pass a CR that defunds Obamacare. Right now, I am not aware of a single Democrat in the Senate who would join us. If and when defunding has 60 votes in the Senate, we will absolutely deliver more than 218 votes in the House.”

The remarks appear to be the first from a House Republican leader on the push, which is being advanced by conservatives during the August recess.

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With the fiscal cliff rapidly approaching, President Obama was unflinching in his tax stance on Friday, threatening to use his leverage to force Republicans into an unenviable position if they fail to agree to a deal in time.

After a White House meeting with congressional leaders, Obama held a news conference to issue a tough ultimatum to Congress: reach a deal now or block my middle class tax cut in the new year.

“So if we don’t see an agreement between the two leaders in the Senate,” the president said, “I expect a bill to go on the floor — and I’ve asked Senator Reid to do this — put a bill on the floor that makes sure that taxes on middle class families don’t go up, that unemployment insurance is still available for 2 million people and lays the groundwork then for additional deficit reduction and economic growth steps.”

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Stewart “Now, of course, we could show you Democrats and Republicans taking opposite positions on filibuster reform, when their roles were reversed seven years ago, but eeh.  There’s something about this I, actually, don’t understand.  If the Republicans can filibuster anything the Democrats can propose, they how can the Democrats reform the filibuster without being filibustered?”

Reporter 11-30-12 “Democrats have said they won’t move forward on any changes before January, when the one hundred thirteenth Congress begins.  At that point, under conditions that only apply on the first day of a new session, they could alter the Senate rules by a simple majority.”

Stewart “Now you’re just making (stuff) up.  What kind of rule is that?  Well, we can’t do it, except on the first day of a new session, when Orion is in the house of the rising sun, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, and it’s opposite day and the girl Senators get to ask the boy Senators to the dance.  When crazy rules like these get in the way, how do you expect anything to get done?”

Sen Harry Reid 12-8-06 “The Senate was not established to be efficient.”

Stewart “Well, mission bleeping accomplished.”

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has a message for his conservative members: cool your jets on the most politically volatile issues for now — we have an election to win.

At his weekly Capitol press briefing Thursday, the nation’s most powerful Republican subtly but unmistakably sought to quell his right-wing members who have been pushing to reignite battles over government funding levels and President Obama’s requirement that employer health insurance plans cover contraception without co-pays.

Since the spring, House Republicans have been barreling toward another government shutdown standoff by passing budgets and appropriations bills that violate last fall’s bipartisan debt limit agreement. Boehner signaled a preference for a continuing resolution that keeps the status quo until after the election.

“We’re going to come to an agreement with our colleagues in the Senate to try to make sure that the government’s funded — that there’s no opportunity for games to be played,” he told reporters.