Congress misses deadline for averting shutdown
Tue, 01 Oct 2013 04:10:03 GMT —
Congress has missed the deadline for averting the first partial government shutdown in 17 years.
As the clock struck midnight Monday, House Republicans were demanding that the Senate negotiate their demand for a one-year delay in making millions of people buy health insurance under President Barack Obama's 2010 health care law. Minutes before midnight, the White House ordered a shutdown.
At 1:30am Tuesday the House adjourned. The House is scheduled to reconvene Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. while the Senate is expected to meet at 9:30 a.m.
The Democratic Senate on Monday twice rejected GOP demands to delay key portions of what has become to known as Obamacare as a condition for keeping the government open.
An estimated 800,000 federal workers faced furloughs though many were told work a half day Tuesday. Critical functions like air traffic control and military operations will continue. Social Security benefits will be paid. National parks and most federal offices will close.
President Barack Obama is telling members of the military he'll work to get Congress to re-open the government as soon as possible.
Obama is addressing troops in a video message after Congress missed a midnight deadline to avert a partial government shutdown.
Obama says troops in uniform will remain on duty as usual. He says he's signed a law ensuring troops get paid on time. He says ongoing operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere will continue and the U.S. will ensure those in harm's way have what they need.
But Obama says Defense Department civilians may be furloughed. He says that compounds the damage from spending cuts that have already affected the military.
Hundreds of thousands of government workers will be off the job Monday, but some essential services will continue.
For many Americans who are civilian employees of the federal government, it means no more paychecks as they're forced onto unpaid furloughs. For those still working, it means delays in getting paid.
Some workers are allowed to work a few hours Tuesday to change voicemail messages or fill out time cards. But after that, they're under strict orders to do no work, even check their email.