White House has new shutdown secret weapon: Joe Biden.

Joe BidenOver the weekend, Republican “moderates” in the Senate introduced a compromise bill that they claimed would end the shutdown showdown once and for all, and the nation breathed a sigh of relief, at least briefly.

Immediately upon it’s filing, Harry Reid declined to bring the bill to a vote, effectively killing the measure, rebuffing non-Ted-Cruz-related efforts to resolve the current stalemate, and handing the public relations battle back to the Republicans. Susan Collins, who spearheaded the effort on behalf of a ragtag band of people Republicans typically hate anyway, capped off her weekend with a knock-down drag out with Democratic Senator Patty Murray over the Democrat’s end of the deal (which involved locking in Sequester-related cuts to spending), which absolutely no one in America wanted to see end in a mud pit.

The good news is, we have a framework, at least. The better news is, the relief pitcher coming in in the eighth inning to ensure a fair deal for everyone is Joe F***king Biden.

President Barack Obama will meet with leaders in Congress on Monday afternoon as the the contours of an deal to avert a default on the national debt and reopen the federal government started to emerge.

A White House official said that Obama and Vice President Joe Biden would host Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the White House at 3 p.m. this afternoon.

“With only a few days until the government runs out of borrowing authority, the president will make clear the need for Congress to act to pay our bills, and reopen the government,” the official said. “The president will also reiterate our principles to the leaders: we will not pay a ransom for Congress reopening the government and raising the debt limit.”

To be fair, this could just be a White House threat: come to a deal or you’re going to be trapped in a conference room for hours with a man whose favorite subject of discussion is pudding. Or, it could be the promise of a full-on Senate kegger at the Naval Observatory should this end in a way that is mutually acceptable. Nonetheless, at least they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is. Or, um, but their mouth where their mouth is.

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