Congress Fails to Agree & Forces Government Shutdown

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The government is currently closed for business for the first time in almost 20 years. (Shutterstock)

Today may be October 1st on the Gregorian calendar, but on the government’s fiscal calendar it’s New Year’s Day.

But instead of moving forward in time, the government is standing still. As of now, Congress has not agreed to put a spending bill in place, forcing the government to shutdown for the first time in almost 20 years.

After much debate, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives was unable to reach a compromise on a new spending bill last night. The House GOP continued to insist that a spending bill include a one year delay on the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, a repeal on a tax on medical devices, as well as a host of other issues, such as the construction of the XL Pipeline.

Meanwhile House Democrats together with Senate Democrats held their ground, fighting the potential amendments.

Thus, the government shutdown begins today. What exactly does this mean for basic government functions? What impact will this have on our slowly recovering economy?

Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich explains the details of the shutdown and what implications it will have.

While we wait for the government to start up, The Takeaway has developed a "Shutdown Playlist." Check out the songs to listen to that will help you pass the time, and leave your own suggestions in the comments.



Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer


T.J. Raphael

Comments [14]

Nan Cay Bloom from Prescott, AZ

My opinion is that the radical "tea party" faction of the Republican party are the reason we are shut down. The Republicans in leadership positions are frightened of this extreme faction. The WW11 memorial photo op was disgraceful. Children are suffering. Veterans are suffering. Pregnant women and new moms and their families are suffering. The American people are suffering! I live in a tea-party town and the misinformation I hear is unbelievable ie: "these people are getting backpay" "I am glad for less government" - mind you, this population is white and affluent. I am a public school-union member originally from Portland, Oregon who's mother had us marching with Ceasar Chaven when I was 4. Thank you for your work getting these views out into the airwaves.

Oct. 04 2013 09:46 AM
eugene-maybe from NYC

Whoever said that non-essential services is fine to be shutdown should:

1) NEVER visit any national monuments, parks (national and in your neighborhood really), museums, really, any cultural institutions and such, which BTW include the Statue of Liberty. All the items we take PRIDE in and make us say WE ARE PROUD TO BE AMERICAN.

2) share his/her income, food, living quarters with the employees who loss income from non-essential jobs - what do you suggest them to do to become essential? Maybe they should take your job instead and I am sure they would take it for 3/4 of what you are getting pay? Also what about the other people like small business owners who depend on the non-essential services employees to use their services? What do you suggest for them to make up the losses in their income?

3) if you job or your hometown or your neighborhood becomes non-essential - well none of us should care.

BTW employees for non-essential services, include scientists so if you just think it is for people with no skills and won't be able to take your job, you are very mistaken.

Oct. 02 2013 03:31 PM
Ev F

After 40-plus previous votes to repeal Obamacare that were rebuffed by the Senate and the President, the GOP House - unless they're all complete idiots - certainly anticipated this result. OTOH, good arguments can now be made that some of them are insane. Most commentators call them "commited" when, much more accurately, the should be described as "commitable".

Oct. 02 2013 02:32 PM
Matthew from Charlotte, NC

When we have a party unwilling to compromise in the best of circumstances, we are forced to fall back in dire circumstances. Supporting the shutdown is supporting democracy and is supporting the ideology of forcing departments & representatives to be proactive early. The GOP is only using this shutdown to force the Democrats to come to the table on an issue they have repeatedly requested debate in "better times".

Oct. 02 2013 02:24 PM
Stephanie Hintzen from Boston

Would it even matter if we cut the Congresses pay for failure to perform? Most of them are million/billionaires anyway, right?

Oct. 02 2013 11:22 AM
Michelle Barrineau from Pompano Beach, FL

The GOP has failed to get what they want through the normal systems of our Goverment. In an act of insanity, they reached out, grabbed the Economy by the neck and put a gun to it's head! And now they're complaining that the President won't negotiate with them. I dispair for the future of democracy in our country.

Oct. 02 2013 09:21 AM
Kate Lallement from Charleston, SC

We should implement a severe pay deduction for "non-performance" for everyday a resolution is not made. These government officials are not worried about their jobs or families. As I hear the speeches being made, I question the intelligence of many of these elected officials. Dr. Seus-speech-really? Other countries hear this...
They will continue to order their $30-$50 lunches, take their 5 week paid summer vacations, and their families will continue to have the best health care provided by us.

If this was any other job. They would be fired.

Oct. 02 2013 09:16 AM
Paul Taslimi from Medford

It is remarkable how we voted in a cabal of blackmailing extortionists that put Capone to shame. The GOP has managed to usurp legislative power to impose their ideological agenda over everyone in this country. We should be thankful that they don't start brandishing more mundane tools of gangsterism in the chamber. These charlatans will stop at nothing to ram their notion of existence down our collective throats. Political and religious fanatics all over the world are watching with rapt attention and taking extensive notes on how to manipulate their own versions of pseudo-democracies while keeping their public under the boot.
I can only hope that this blackmail does not escalate into a far more medieval approach to taking power. Mr. President do not give an inch.

Oct. 01 2013 09:00 PM
Eileen from New Jersey

The shutdown affects more than people realize. My daughter is a nurse practitioner at Children's Hospital Philadelphia following patients in a research study. However the study falls under the NIH and so she cannot enroll new patients and faces no pay next pay period.

Oct. 01 2013 03:03 PM
Steve C. from Edina, MN

To The Takeaway:

You do Republicans' bidding when you include any discussion of the merits of the ACA in conversation about today's government shutdown. The issue today isn't "should we keep/delete/delay ACA?" The issue is: Should Americans tolerate a political party that places a legislative condition on keeping government operations running. If Americans will tolerate this, then I would like to see Democrats condition the next Continuing Resolution on enactment of severely restrictive gun laws.

You think we have gridlock now?

Oct. 01 2013 03:00 PM

Please don't just focus on today's horserace reporting to get the story here. An important fact here is that over the last 6 months, the Senate could not get the GOP House to appoint conference members to hammer out a budget. Which means that they could have been working on this for six months. Six months people!

Oct. 01 2013 12:18 PM
Kay from Milton MA

What happened to the oath these guys all take when they get sworn in - to uphold and defend the laws of the land? Do they get to cross their fingers and say "only the ones I like"?

Oct. 01 2013 12:06 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Why is it that the only people who can afford a Government shutdown are the people who shut it down? Everybody else I know can't afford to take a day off.

Mental Health needs to become the number 1 priority in our country.
The Government shut down and The United States of America is a laughing stock to the rest of the world today.We need our collective head examined and all Psychiatrists, Psychologists, all mental health workers to go through The new DSM5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition)and figure out what ails us and our leaders so.

Oct. 01 2013 11:36 AM
unkerjay from Puget Sound, WA

Perhaps we should change the name of Congress to "Fight Club".

And remember, as the saying goes, in considering the near term prospects or likelihood of change:

"Ugly has limits, stupidity is to the bone."

(Maybe that should be their new motto. Certainly it appears to
be their mission.)

If this is how government SHOULD work, we need a new definition. If this
is how its SUPPOSED to work we need a new government. It may be an example, an interpretation of LESS government. It's NOT working. Unless
stagnation, inertia, obstinance, churlishness, pouting, whining, and holding your breath until you get your way is the new definition of working in which case, I think we can do MUCH better.

On a serious note, there'll be another census, more elections
between now and 2020 - the NEXT opportunity for wholesale

In the near term, there will be a mid term election. I suggest
democratic majorities all around. Republicans won't like it, so,
what else is not new?

Just saying...


Oct. 01 2013 11:13 AM

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