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Inside the Capitol, lawmakers are battling over health care and the budget. Outside, many government services may come to a stop at midnight.
With less than 10 hours before a possible government shutdown and with no compromise in sight, the Democratic-led Senate voted to reject conditions that House Republicans attached to a temporary spending bill. The House version intended to delay President Barack Obama's health care law for a year.Democrats — and a few Republicans — are pressing for the House to approve a straightforward spending bill with no conditions.
- 9:50 p.m.: Obama addresses military as government begins shutdown
- 1:53 p.m.: Obama addresses possible shutdown
- 11:56 a.m.: Senate rejects House conditions on spending bill
- 6:56 a.m.: A look at Monday's schedule as government shutdown looms
As much of the federal government grinds to a halt, President Barack Obama is telling the U.S. military he'll push Congress to re-open the government as soon as possible.
In his sole response early Tuesday to Congress' failure to avert the first shutdown in nearly two decades, Obama addressed his comments in a video to American troops, rather than the lawmakers he's been scolding for weeks. Watch the video below:
There was no reference in the three-minute video message to Republicans, whose insistence that Obama's health care law be scaled back has been at the center of a grueling back-and-forth between the GOP-controlled House and the Democratic-led Senate.
"Unfortunately, Congress has not fulfilled its responsibility," Obama said. "It has failed to pass a budget and, as a result, much of our government must now shut down until Congress funds it again."
Troops in uniform in Afghanistan and elsewhere will stay on duty, Obama said, noting he'd signed a law Monday to ensure they get their paychecks on time. That GOP bill began in the House and was taken up by the Senate, reflecting a rare measure of agreement among Democrats and Republicans: No one wants to be blamed for the military not getting paid.
But thousands of civilians who work for the Defense Department face furloughs, compounding the damage already inflicted on the military by automatic spending cuts.
"I know this comes on top of the furloughs that many of you already endured this summer," Obama said. "You and your families deserve better than the dysfunction we're seeing in Congress."
Hundreds of thousands of government workers will be off the job Tuesday after a short work period to wind down operations, but some essential services, including border patrols, air traffic controllers and Social Security benefits, will continue. Meanwhile, it was unclear how long the shutdown would last or how Congress would find a way to agree on restoring funding.
On Tuesday, Obama planned to meet with Americans who will enroll in new insurance exchanges created by his health care law; ironically, implementation of the law and the opening of the exchanges on Tuesday will proceed despite the shutdown.
The spending fight is a prelude to the bigger confrontation over the nation's credit limit, expected to hit its $16.7 trillion cap in mid-October. Obama on Monday urged Republicans not to saddle the legislation to increase the debt ceiling with measures designed to undermine the health care law. He has vowed not to negotiate over the debt ceiling, saying that a default would be worse for the economy than a partial government shutdown.
On Wednesday, Obama is scheduled to meet with top Wall Street CEOs to discuss the state of the economy, including the debt ceiling. The meeting will be with members of the Financial Services Forum, a trade group representing the 19 biggest financial service institutions doing business in the United States, including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Citigroup. The Forum joined 250 other business organizations in a letter to Congress on Monday calling on lawmakers to avoid a shutdown, raise the debt ceiling and then address long-term spending issues and deficits. — The Associated Press
Update 1:53 p.m.: Obama addresses possible shutdown
The Democratic-led Senate has rejected conditions that House Republicans attached to a temporary spending bill.
On the brink of a government shutdown, the Senate voted 54-46 on Monday to strip a one-year delay in President Barack Obama's health care law from the bill that would keep the government operating. The Senate also stripped a provision that would have eliminated the tax on medical devices.
House Republicans had added the provisions early Sunday morning in their campaign to undo Obama's signature domestic program.
The vote came less than 10 hours before a possible shutdown and with no compromise in sight. Democrats — and a few Republicans — are pressing for the House to approve a straightforward spending bill with no conditions.
— Associated Press
But we do want to lay out the day's agenda.
As The Two-Way, It's All Politics and other NPR outlets have been reporting for weeks, the Republican-led House is insisting that legislation to fund government operations include provisions to either defund (the GOP's first suggestion) or delay (its latest) the rest of President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
The Democratic-led Senate is equally insistent and has already rejected the GOP's first suggestion. It's poised to later today reject the second. The White House has also said President Obama would veto any legislation that includes language scuttling Obamacare.
This is all happening with an important deadline looming. As USA Today reminds its readers, "the new fiscal year starts Tuesday, Oct. 1, so a bill to fund the government must be passed by both chambers in Congress and signed by Obama by midnight tonight."
The Senate is set convene at 2 p.m. ET. The Associated Press writes that "Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is expected to quickly move to kill the House legislation, a step that is not subject to a filibuster and permits majority Democrats to easily dispatch it."
Once the House legislation is killed, the Senate is then expected to pass a so-called clean bill that would keep the government running, but not touch Obamacare — putting the ball back in the House's court.
And if House Republicans follow through on what they've said they'll do, they again won't go along with what the Senate wants. It's likely midnight will arrive and no agreement will have been reached.
Here's how our friends on the NPR Newscast desk describe what will happen:
Hundreds of thousands of federal workers would be furloughed. Only what the government considers to be "essential services" would continue.
Among those essential services: homeland security, NASA's support of the International Space Station and day-to-day necessities such as weather forecasting, mail delivery, air traffic control and distribution of Social Security and Medicare benefits. Federal courts would also likely stay open for at least two weeks.
But the non-essential services that would be suspended would include: museums, tax audits, loan processing by the Federal Housing Administration and — except in emergencies — federal occupational health and safety inspections.
For more on what a shutdown would be like, check:
-- "8 Things To Know About A Government Shutdown." (It's All Politics)
-- "Impact Of A Government Shutdown." (The Washington Post)