The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

October 1, 2013

Government shutdown begins over health care feud

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress plunged the nation into a partial government shutdown Tuesday as a long-running dispute over President Barack Obama's health care law forced about 800,000 federal workers off the job, suspending all but essential services.

The National Zoo's popular online "panda cam" went dark around 8 a.m. The White House grounds cut back to a skeletal staff. The U.S. Capitol canceled tours not personally led by Congress members.

With the Republican-controlled House and Democratic-controlled Senate at a stalemate, it was unclear how long a temporary bill needed to finance government activities would be stalled. The No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin of Illinois, called the failure to pass a budget "conduct unbefitting a responsible Congress" and said he hoped it could be resolved by the end of the day Tuesday.

"Most people in the body politic are taking a look at this and saying, 'A pox on both of your houses. It should never have reached this point,'" Durbin said Tuesday morning on CNN.

But in the House, conservative Rep. Marsha Blackburn predicted the standoff would drag on if Obama and Senate Democrats refused to negotiate over delaying a key part of the health care law.

"You may see a partial shutdown for several days," Blackburn, R-Tenn., told Fox News. "People are going to realize they can live with a lot less government."

The health care law itself was unaffected as enrollment opened Tuesday for millions of people shopping for medical insurance.

The shutdown, the first since the winter of 1995-96, closed national parks across the nation. In Washington, the Smithsonian museums website displayed a red banner noting that "all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are closed." Traffic was lighter and subways less crowded Tuesday morning.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee