US Gov’t Shutdown, How Will It End, When?
US President Obama and congressional Republicans came no closer to ending a standoff Tuesday that has forced the 1st US government shutdown in 17 yrs throwing hundreds of thousands of federal employees out of work.
As police cordoned off landmarks like the Lincoln Memorial and government agencies stopped cancer treatments and trade negotiations, Republicans in the House of Representatives moved to restore funding to national parks, veterans care and the District of Columbia.
An effort to pass the three bills fell short Tuesday evening, but Republicans plan to try again Wednesday. They are likely to be defeated by the Democratic-controlled Senate.
The standoff has raised new concerns about Congress’s ability to perform its most basic duties. An even bigger battle looms as Congress must raise the debt limit in coming weeks or risk a US default that could shake global markets.
Mr. Obama accused Republicans of taking the government hostage in order to sabotage his signature health care law, the most ambitious US social program in 50 yrs.
Republicans in the House view the Affordable Care Act as a dangerous extension of government power and have coupled their efforts to undermine it with continued government funding. The Democratic-controlled Senate has repeatedly rejected those efforts.
“They’ve shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans,” Mr. Obama said in the White House Rose Garden.
Spending authority for much of the government expired at Midnight Monday (12.01a EDT), but that did not prevent the Obama administration from opening the health-insurance exchanges that form the centerpiece of the law.
Republicans said Mr. Obama could not complain about the impact of the shutdown while refusing to negotiate. The White House position is unsustainably hypocritical, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said..
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