Oct. 1 - Americans woke up to a partially shut down federal government Tuesday after lawmakers failed to come to an agreement on the budget. President Barack Obama says House Republicans are responsible.
The White House rejected a Republican plan to reopen portions of the U.S. government on Tuesday as the first shutdown in 17 years closed landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and threw hundreds of thousands of federal employees out of work. The quick dismissal offered no sign that President Barack Obama and Republicans can soon end a standoff over health care that has sidelined everything from trade negotiations to medical research and raised new concerns about Congress's ability to perform its most basic duties. An even bigger battle looms in coming weeks, when Congress must raise the debt limit or risk a U.S. default that could roil global markets. As Republicans in the House of Representatives huddled to consider their next move, Obama accused them of taking the government hostage in order to sabotage his signature health care law, the most ambitious U.S. social program in five decades. "They've shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans," Obama said in the White House Rose Garden. Republicans in the House of Representatives 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.