US GOVERNMENT IN PARTIAL SHUTDOWN

Fox News on October 1, 2013, reported on a partial US government shutdown – the first in 17 years. Excerpts below:

…the deadline was missed after the stand-off over ObamaCare could not be resolved, despite a volley of 11th-hour counterproposals from the House. Each time, Senate Democrats refused to consider any changes to ObamaCare as part of the budget bill.

House Republicans, for their part, refused to back off their demand that the budget bill include some measures to rein in the health care law – …

As House Republicans endorsed one more counterproposal in the early morning hours, lawmakers spent the final minutes before midnight trying to assign blame to the other side of the aisle.

House Speaker John Boehner claimed that Republicans are the ones trying to keep the government open but “the Senate has continued to reject our offers.”

Ahead of the deadline, the White House budget office ordered agency heads to execute an “orderly shutdown” of their operations due to lack of funds. Americans will begin to feel the effects of a shutdown by October 2, as national parks close, federal home loan officers scale back their caseload, and hundreds of thousands of federal workers face furlough.

The question now is how long the stand-off will last. Congress is fast-approaching another deadline, in mid-October, to raise the debt limit or face a U.S. government default.

The House repeatedly passed different versions of a bill that would fund the government while paring down the federal health care overhaul. Each time, the Senate said no and sent it back.

The latest House bill, which the Senate shot down late on October 1, would delay the law’s individual mandate while prohibiting lawmakers, their staff and top administration officials from getting government subsidies for their health care.

The House voted again to endorse that approach and send the bill to conference committee.

“Senate Democrats have made it perfectly clear that they’d rather shut down the federal government than accept even the most reasonable changes to ObamaCare,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said.

Amid the drama, President Obama said he was holding out hope that Congress would come together “in the 11th hour.”

Such a deal did not come to pass.

A prior Republican effort to include a provision defunding ObamaCare in the budget bill failed. House Republicans then voted, early September 29, to add amendments delaying the health care law by one year and repealing an unpopular medical device tax.

The Senate, in a 54-46 vote, rejected those proposals on September 30.

Republicans on September 29 hammered Reid and his colleagues for not coming back to work immediately after the House passed a bill early on September 29.

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