Updated from 9 am Sept. 30 through 12:10 am Oct. 1 EDT
With Margaret Talev reporting from the White House, Laura Litvan from Capitol Hill
Midnight arrived without any apparent hope of a compromise in the budget stalemate that brought the Congress of the United States to the brink of a partial government shutdown — and past that point — the first such lapse in 17 years.
Just before midnight, the president already had issued the shutdown order.
At dawn, hundreds of thousands of federal workers would arrive at offices, parks, garages and other places to learn who among them is considered essential.
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`Unfortunately, we do not have a clear indication that Congress will act in time for the president to sign a continuing resolution … Therefore, agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations,” Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell wrote. “We urge Congress to act quickly to pass a Continuing Resolution to provide a short-term bridge that ensures sufficient time to pass a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, and to restore the operation of critical public services and programs that will be impacted by a lapse in appropriations.”
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The House, Senate and president have agreed on one thing:
Members of the military will be paid in the event of a shutdown.
The bill cleared the House and Senate and got Obama’s signature.
President Obama signs H.R. 3210, Pay Our Military Act, tonight in the Oval Office: http://t.co/pe8smf8tHT
— petesouza (@petesouza) October 1, 2013
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I regret that our government has shut down: http://t.co/9nS8iIpCim
— GEN Martin Dempsey (@Martin_Dempsey) October 1, 2013
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“I am not at all resigned” to a shutdown,” President Barack Obama told reporters at the White House on Monday, with less than 12 hours left for Congress to agree on a stopgap spending plan and avert a midnight partial shutdown of the federal government.
“The bottom line is that the Senate has passed a bill that keeps the government open, does not have a lot of extraneous issues to it, that allows us then to negotiate a longer term budget and address a range of other issues but that ensures that we’re not shutting down the government and we’re not shutting down the economy at a time when a lot of families out there are just getting some traction and digging themselves out of the hole we’ve had as a consequence of the financial crisis.”
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Yet as midnight approached, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was publicly rejecting the House’s latest move, appointing conferees to work out their differences.
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There’s no real magic in midnight.
The clock striking 12 wouldn’t end the urgency of finding a solution to the stalemate between the Republican-run House and Democratic-led Senate. The question then would become how long Congress could tolerate a partial shutdown of the government.
Sen Bill Nelson D-FL thinks we will go past the shutdown deadline, but maybe “cooler heads will prevail by 6 am”
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) October 1, 2013
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The obstacle remained the House’s Republicans, according to the Democrats.
The solution, the House’s Democratic leaders said, is for the House to vote on a “clean” continuing resolution, a spending plan that has no contingencies related to the Affordable Care Act in it.
That “won’t happen,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters.
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The House cast yet another vote with provisions the Senate won’t accept.
The House voted 228-201 for its third version of a short-term extension of government funding in the past 10 days. Each attempt linked averting a shutdown to major revisions in the 2010 Affordable Care Act, and each drew veto threats from Obama.
The Senate rejected it 54-46.
— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) October 1, 2013
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The president and speaker had spoken by telephone before that this evening.
Their talk lasted just under 10 minutes, probably because of this:
“The speaker told the president that Obamacare is costing jobs and that American families are being denied basic fairness when big businesses are getting exemptions that they are not,” Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said.
A government shutdown will have a real impact on real people right away—and the House is hours away from forcing one. #EnoughAlready
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 30, 2013
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Boehner offered his own impression of the president’s position later:
Watch John Boehner Do An Impression Of Barack Obama http://t.co/Sqx60XpNVr
— BuzzFeed Politics (@BuzzFeedPol) October 1, 2013
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The president placed separate calls to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Boehner and Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi, according to the White House.
“The president made clear that Congress has two jobs to do: pay the bills on time and pass a budget on time,” the White House said in an e-mailed statement. “Failure to fulfill those responsibilities is harmful to our economy, small businesses and middle class families across the country. ”
“The president reinforced with the Republican Leaders that he will continue to oppose any politically-motivated attempts to defund or delay the Affordable Care Act, attempts which would never pass the Senate or become law. And he reiterated that he will not negotiate on the debt limit: Congress must pay the bills it has already incurred and avoid a devastating blow to our economy.”
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Not all of the House was going dry into the good shutdown night.
Congressmen apparently booze as government shutdown looms http://t.co/G44HTtiHdc
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) September 29, 2013
I can’t blame rank & file members of Congress for drinking tonight. I don’t think you can do this sober. Like dancing at weddings.
— Tony Fratto (@TonyFratto) October 1, 2013
Has anyone started a drinking game yet based on the House-Senate ping-pong? #PoundIt
— Maeve Reston (@MaeveReston) October 1, 2013
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Obama also had some public words about a shutdown.
If you’re on Social Security, he said, you’ll still collect your checks. If you’re on Medicare, doctors will still see you.
Troops will still serve. The Border Patrol will remain on their posts, but their paychecks will be delayed until government reopens.
Every national monument, from the Washington Monument to the Statue of Liberty, “will immediately close.”
Among the civilian workforce, hundreds of thousands will be furloughed and those who remain at work will do so without paychecks.
“The federal government is America’s largest employer,” the president noted in a statement delivered from the press briefing room of the White House shortly after 5 pm — with about seven hours left until that likely shutdown. “In the event of a shutdown, hundreds of thousands who stay on the job… will not be paid… What will not be furloughed are the bills they have to pay.”
“A shutdown will have a very real economic on real people, right away,” the president said. “It would throw a wrench into the gears of our economy at a time when the economy has gained some traction.”
“The idea of putting the American people’s hard-earned progress at risk is the height of irresponsibility, and it does not have to happen,” he said. “One party,” he said, has brought the government to the brink because of its opposition to his health-care law. “You don’t get to extract a ransom for doing your job… just because there’s a law there you don’t like.”
Read what the Secretary of Defense has to say about the potential government shutdown tomorrow http://t.co/LhKshBNaZP
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) October 1, 2013
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At midnight, the federal government faced a shutdown of non-essential services, unless Congress broke a stalemate among the House’s Republicans, the Senate’s Democrats and the president today — or Congress granted a brief extension of the budget resolution expiring tonight to continue the quest for a compromise.
The weekend brought a House vote on a budget delaying the implementation of the president’s health-care law, a non-starter in the Senate and veto material should it ever reach the White House. It also brought a lot of complaints from the House’s Republicans that the Democratic-run Senate was not here to respond to the latest offer.
Only four of the 423 House members who voted for the budget resolution broke party ranks, as Bloomberg’s Greg Giroux notes, underscoring the partisan nature of the debate.
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The response came today, during the final 24 hours of budget brinkmanship.
The Senate, in a 54-46 vote, rejected the House’s plan that came with Obama-care strings attached.
“Everyone knew it. There’s no surprise,” Sen Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said of the Senate’s move. “You cannot negotiate when they take hostages and when they extort, period.”
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Should the sun rise on a partially shut down U.S. government, it could take daily developments in domestic and world markets for a solution to dawn on congressional leaders in stalemate.
As the stock market opened in New York this morning, the S&P index fell 13.5 points to 1,678, about 0.8 percent, in the first half hour. At day’s end, it closed down 0.8 percent.
— Mike Dorning (@MikeDorning) September 30, 2013
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Obama was taking his case to the public.
The president sat for an interview with National Public Radio, airing that discussion on “All Things Considered” this evening and “Morning Edition” tomorrow.
The president, playing host to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel today, said he remains eager to work out budget differences with Congress (on all but Obama-care): ”I am not only open to but eager to have negotiations around a long-term budget,” he told reporters as the two posed for photos today.
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So was Speaker Boehner.
“ As I travel around my district and around the country, the American people are worried about their job, they’re worried about their incomes rising, because they’re all under pressure,” the speaker said on the House floor today. “The economy’s not growing. Why isn’t it growing?”
“One of the issues that’s standing in the way is Obama-care. The fact that nobody knows what the rules are, employers scared to death to hire new employees, cutting the hours of many of their current employees, and for what reason?
“This law is not ready for prime time. The House has done its work. We passed a bill on Saturday night – sent it to the United States Senate – that would delay Obama-care for one year.”
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David Axelrod, one of the advisers responsible for bringing Obama to Washington, returned to town on the eve of a likely government shutdown.
Axelrod, a contributor to MSMNBC’s “Morning Joe,” explained this morning:
He likes to be “where the inaction is.”
— msnbc (@msnbc) September 30, 2013
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Everyone in Washington is calling on the public to hold the other guys accountable.
— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) September 30, 2013
Instead of playing politics, we need to move the country forward. Tell Congress to do their job and pass a budget: http://t.co/pyLmgyJRai
— OFA (@OFA) September 29, 2013
— John Boehner (@johnboehner) September 29, 2013.
Senate will reject any attempt to force changes to the health care law through a government funding bill or the debt ceiling. #GOPshutdown
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) September 28, 2013
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One thing is certain: The new fiscal year may dawn without a budget, but “Obama-care” will be open for business: Enrolling people in the new health-care exchanges for those lacking insurance.
“The federal government will probably shut down tonight. And, at about the same moment, Obamacare will go live…” http://t.co/nD0oZCoiEx
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) September 30, 2013
— Cecilia Muñoz (@Cecilia44) September 30, 2013
That isn’t stopping the drumbeat of opposition to it.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) September 30, 2013
Yet. as Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who challenged Obama for the presidency in 2008, has put it more recently: The 2012 election contest settled the question of Obama-care. Obama’s rival, Republican Mitt Romney, campaigned with the promise of repealing the law. Obama won re-election.
Truth: Only way Rs will defund/abolish Obamacare is to win POTUS, Senate, House simultaneously.
— Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato) September 30, 2013
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From the start of this standoff, two things were clear:
The president was not going to relent from protecting his signature health-care law, whose insurance exchanges are set to open for public enrollment tomorrow, and a cadre of Republicans was not going to relent from its bid to block the Affordable Care ACT.
In the showdown, each blames the other side for any shutdown.
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) September 29, 2013
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 29, 2013
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The government stood poised for its first partial shutdown in 17 years at midnight tonight, after a weekend with no signs of negotiations or compromise from either the House or Senate to avert it, as Bloomberg’s Roxana Tiron, Heidi Przybyla and Michael C. Bender report.
“Republicans and Democrats in Congress say they don’t want a shutdown, though neither side is budging from their positions to avoid one. House Republicans want to delay Obama’s Affordable Care Act for a year and make other changes to the health law. The Democrats vow not to let that happen.”
Hanging in the balance are 800,000 federal workers who would be sent home tomorrow if Congress fails to pass a stopgap spending bill before funding expires tonight. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures slid and Asian stocks retreated on concern of a shutdown, while Treasuries advanced.
Asked yesterday if he thought the government would shut down, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, said, “I’m afraid I do.”
“We know what is going to happen,” Durbin said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program. “We are going to face the prospect of the government shutting down.”
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Whatever happened today — even if a week’s delay were approved, and a deal reached by week’s end — this standoff is hardly the end of Washington’s problems.
The Republican war with Obama over funding the government and the new health-care law will play out in the coming days and months, Bloomberg’s Heidi Przybyla and Julie Hirschfeld Davis report. The conflict now exposed within the party may shape its future for years.
“An intraparty tug-of-war, largely confined to campaign primaries during the past three years, is exposed on the national stage as Republicans challenge each other on tactics as a government shutdown looms, coming as early as tomorrow,” they write.
“The circus created the past few days isn’t reflective of mainstream Republicans — it projects an image of not being reasonable. The vast majority of Republicans are pretty level-headed and are here to govern,” said Rep. Michael Grimm, a New York Republican. “This is a moment in history for our party to, once and for all, put everything on the table. But at some point we’re going to come together and unify,” Grimm said, adding that the “far-right faction” of the party “represents 15 percent of the country, but they’re trying to control the entire debate.”
It’s a civil war that has beset the party before, as base activists grow impatient with established leaders they claim have grown complacent in the anti-government fight. The results can be unpredictable, perhaps more so this time given that it’s taking place 13 months before the next election.
The rise of Barry Goldwater in 1964 as the Republican presidential nominee ended in the landslide election of Democratic President Lyndon Johnson. The revolt led by Newt Gingrich, then a Georgia congressman, culminated in the 1994 Republican House takeover after 40 years in the minority.
Gingrich, who became the House speaker, and his majority prompted the 1995-96 partial government shutdowns, which dimmed the party’s approval ratings and fueled the re-election of President Bill Clinton.
“This is a battle that has been under way slowly since 2010 and is now coming to a head,” said David Redlawsk, a political science professor at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. “This is part of a bigger question about what that party is going to be. That may have major repercussions in another year.”