Twelve days remain in the fiscal year, and the threat of a second government shutdown in three years remains very much in play. The big problem remains a showdown over funding for Planned Parenthood, with conservative Republicans who are upset about recent undercover videos demanding that the group lose all federal funds. With the clock ticking, party leaders still have "no concrete plan" to avoid the shutdown, reports Politico. One possibility is to pass a temporary measure before the end of the month to allow more time for negotiations in the fall, but that's not a slam dunk—because House conservatives demand that even such a continuing resolution block Planned Parenthood funding, reports the Hill.
They're also threatening to try to oust John Boehner—who opposes abortion and Planned Parenthood but doesn't want to hand Democrats a potential gift in the form of a shutdown—as speaker if he backs down. The AP sees a possible way out of what it calls this "political Rubik's Cube." House leaders are pushing through a number of abortion-related measures, including one that passed today to defund Planned Parenthood for a year. The measures stand virtually no chance of becoming law, but leaders hope they will be enough to mollify the conservative rank-and-file. It "remains unclear" whether that will be the case, however, notes the Washington Post. Lawmakers are in session only five more days until the deadline, and about the only safe bet is that the drama will go down to the final day, if not hour. (Read more government shutdown stories.)