Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 9:29 pm
There's a showdown underway in Congress.
The Republican-controlled House has voted to keep the government running only if the Affordable Care Act is defunded, and the Democratic-controlled Senate isn't likely to go along with that plan. If the two sides can't resolve their differences by Oct. 1, the U.S. government will shut down.
We asked you what you wanted to know about the potential government shutdown, and journalists from NPR's Washington Desk tracked down the answers:
Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:17 pm
Update at noon ET. It's Over:
Saying that "it's fitting that this debate concludes with a prayer" because he believes Americans are pleading with Congress to defund President Obama's health care law, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas just wrapped up his marathon protest on the Senate floor.
Cruz began speaking just after 2:40 p.m. ET Tuesday and abided by Senate rules when he finished at noon today.
"The pleas from the American people," he said of what he sees as the public's opposition to Obamacare, "are deafening."
While conceding that nations will disagree about when and how to step in as "tyrants ... commit wanton murder," President Obama told the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that "we must get better" at preventing atrocities.
The president again laid out his case for strong international action to hold Syrian President Bashar Assad accountable for his regime's alleged use of chemical weapons. Then Obama told world leaders that:
A brief and abstract chronicle of some of Tuesday's more interesting political stories, the kinds of stories that might get people who like politics talking around a water cooler, if people still did that sort of thing.
All right. Let's talk more about that debate in Congress, which must pass a bill by Sept. 30 to keep the government running or see a partial shutdown. Republicans in the House passed a bill to fund the government but defund Obamacare; and now that bill is in the Senate, where Richard Durbin of Illinois is the Senate majority whip, the No. 2 Democrat in charge of counting votes. Senator, welcome back to the program.
Just a week before the federal government could shut down if no agreement is reached to fund it past the end of September, it's anyone's guess whether Democrats and Republicans will avoid plunging over this particular cliff.
More certain, however, is that if a shutdown happens over Obamacare and Republicans wind up taking the heat, many GOP fingers of blame will point squarely at Sen. Ted Cruz.
The Texas Republican will likely become the face of the 2013 shutdown, just as Newt Gingrich became the poster boy of two government shutdowns of the mid-1990s.
And President Obama is also paying close attention to what's unfolding on Capitol Hill this week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to move forward yesterday on a bill to keep the government running past October 1st.
(SOUNDBITE OF SENATE SESSION)
SEN. HARRY REID: I ask unanimous consent the Senate proceed to Executive Session to consider nominee number...
In seven days, the federal government runs out of money.
While the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a resolution Friday that keeps the government funded through Dec. 15, the measure also defunded President Obama's signature health care law — which means it has virtually no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate.
If a budget resolution doesn't hit President Obama's desk before Oct. 1, that's a big problem: The government will be forced to close its doors.