BRADENTON – While 800,000 federal workers face the prospect of life without their next paycheck, Congress moved no further toward funding the federal government for spending they've already approved. House leaders continued their refusal to allow a vote to approve funding that did not dismantle health care reforms, even though it has been clear for some time that enough votes exist to pass such a bill and end the crisis.
The Republican-led House tried to pass piecemeal legislation in two separate votes to approve funding for the District of Columbia, the VA and National Parks. The votes required a a 2/3 majority, and did not get the requisite Democratic support. President Obama had vowed to veto any such measures.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called it "just another wacky idea by tea party Republicans." Reid said that he is willing to work with Republicans on budget matters, but not with the government closed and not if they continue to insist that health care reforms are undone in order to accomplish it.
The last government shutdown occured 18 years ago. It lasted 21 days, but also occured amid strong economic growth. If Congress comes to a short-term resolution, it would still face another crisis when it votes whether to raise the debt ceiling before October 17, when the government is set to run out of money to pay creditors unless it increases how much it can borrow.