CAMPAIGNING AGAINST COLLEAGUES: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has decided to host a fundraiser for Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Last year, Reid vowed he would not campaign against McConnell because he thought it would be inappropriate. One if the proposals in our Make Congress Work! action plan would ban sitting members of Congress from campaigning against each other because it hurts their ability to work together. Reid and McConnell should spend more time talking solutions instead of plotting campaign tactics: Alexandra Jaffe forThe Hill: Reid raises cash to oust McConnell
BUDGET SHOWDOWN: Republican leaders have failed to settle on an alternative plan to keep the government running after Sept. 30, Speaker John Boehner said Thursday. Boehner is now consideringturning to an unlikely source for help — the Democrats. However, in a bipartisan meeting this week,Boehner told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the Republicans are adamant about defunding the health care law. Still, President Barack Obama has said he is willing to sign a short-term spending measure to keep the government funded.
LESSON LEARNED? We've been there before, yet Congress continues down a path of dysfunction as each side continues to fight — meanwhile, we're inching closer and closer to a government shutdown. Burgess Everett and Jake Sherman take a look at how divided and panicked Washington is: Burgess Everett and Jake Sherman for POLITICO: Shutdown deja vu on Hill
LASTING RELATIONSHIP? Conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats united together in opposition to an attack on Syria, but is it a relationship built to last? "Indeed, Syria has tilted the political landscape 90 degrees, turning the familiar partisan divide into a vertical split between the leadership in both parties, which favors military intervention, and the parties’ anti-interventionist grassroots bases," writes Alex Seitz-Wald: Alex Seitz-Wald for National Journal: A Relationship or a One-Night Stand?
THE DAILY BREAK: There is a new world record for the world's smallest dog. Click here to check it out.
STAT OF THE DAY: The federal deficit was $148 billion for the month of August. August was the eleventh month of the 2013 fiscal year, and the September data will likely show that 2013 was the first year since 2008 that the government had an annual deficit of less than $1 trillion, writes Damian Paletta: Damian Paletta for The Wall Street Journal: Budget Deficit on Track for Smallest Shortfall Since 2008