U.S. government comes to a standstill


By Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane, Washington Post

The U.S. government began to shut down for the first time in 17 years early Tuesday, after a Congress bitterly divided over President Obama’s signature health-care initiative failed to reach agreement to fund federal agencies.

Hours before a midnight deadline, the Republican House passed its third proposal in two weeks to fund the government for a matter of weeks. Like the previous plans, the new one sought to undermine the Affordable Care Act, this time by delaying enforcement of the “individual mandate,” a cornerstone of the law that requires all Americans to obtain health insurance.

The new measure also sought to strip lawmakers and their aides of long-standing government health benefits.

The Democratic-led Senate quickly rejected that plan on a party-line vote. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., urged House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to abandon the assault on the health-care law and pass a simple bill to keep the government open. Otherwise, Reid warned, “the responsibility for this Republican government shutdown will rest squarely on his shoulders.”

Boehner refused to yield. He called instead for a special committee to meet in the coming days to resolve differences between the two parties, leaving in limbo the fate of millions of federal workers and the services they provide.

Shortly before midnight, the White House budget office issued a memo instructing agencies to “execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations.”

The impasse means 800,000 federal workers will be furloughed Tuesday. National parks, monuments and museums, as well as most federal offices, will close.

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Comments (27)
  1. cosa pescado says - Posted: September 30, 2013

    I read that a lot of them are drinking.
    Good for them. Its Monday. Go get wasted.
    We the people will deal with the hangovers.

  2. tahoeadvocate says - Posted: September 30, 2013

    Obamacare was passed by a demoractic majority House and Senate with no republican support. This is not how such an important law should be enacted.

    The members and employees of the Congress and Executive Branch are exempt from Obamacare. This is not how such an important law should be enacted.

    The Republican House has forced the Democratic Senate and Executive Branch to hurt many Federal Employees rather than delay the implementation of Obamacare. This is also not how such an important law should be handled, on both sides.

    What’s happened to the Constitution’s intent for all elected representatives to work with other representatives to arrive at laws which are popular, fair and apply to all citizens?

  3. Rick says - Posted: September 30, 2013

    tahoeadvocate, your facts are so far off from reality. Corporations that provide health care do not require their employees to buy insurance from exchanges so why should congress. The Affordable health care act prohibits health plans to reject somebody who has pre-existing condition, does not allow companies to deny folks, etc.

    It was passed into law, found constitutional and has survived the republicans trying to kill it 42 or so times. Obama won relection, dems gained seats in the senate and had one million more votes in the house, but do to Gerrymandering the Repub maintained a majority.

    So of course the dems and Obama are not going to negotiate and the Repub will be blamed and loose big-time in 2016 and likely in 2014. The Repub are scared to death once it becomes law, people find out who have either been denied or could not afford health care, will find going to the dr to get preventive care (and not the emergency room) is a god-send.


  4. tahoeadvocate says - Posted: September 30, 2013

    Rick, some of your statement is true but a counter is that if your employer provides healthcare, they do not deny coverage for pre existing conditions.

    My position is that I believe our representatives should be subject to the laws they enact.

    Obamacare was found constitutional, but only because it is a tax. It was never presented as a tax but as a way to provide healthcare to those who don’t have it.

    Most of the people who didn’t have healthcare weren’t or aren’t going to buy it anyway. They are using the emergency rooms of hospitals to treat colds and the flu. This is sad and a way needed to be found to provide day to day care at lower costs to all of us. The other fear is that companies will drop theirsupported coverage and for employees.

    The sad part of this is that one major political party forced this through without any input from the other. Independent of which party, this is not he intent of the Constitution. It used to be that there was a “Loyal Opposition”. Today that concept is gone.

  5. hikerchick says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    Tea Baggers are delusional. The GOP is rapidly making itself irrelevant. These actions harm hard working Americans; they damage America’s international image and make us the laughing stock of the international political community. This is not what our fragile economic recovery needs.

  6. Biggerpicture says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    The GOP members of the US House of Representatives are unpatriotic traitors and should be held for high treason!

  7. BijouBil says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    It’s not really all the GOP reps in the house, it’s the 35 or so bat guano crazy teabaggers that hate anything Pres. Obama does led by the likes of attention whore Ted Cruz and the certifiable Michele Bachmann among other loons that are egged on by hate radio and fox news teababblers. This lunatic fringe group of anti-American idealogues has taken over the GOP and does not deserve the respect as the “loyal opposition”.
    Meanwhile, they succeeded in their idiotic goal to “shut ‘er down!” but the ACA is open for business this morning as we speak. Good job of governing losers.

  8. Dogula says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    Interesting everybody is accusing the GOP on this. I thought it was the Senate who took Sunday and much of Monday off, and refused to even negotiate on the Congressional Bill. Seems to me it’s Harry Reid and Obama who hold responsibility for all this.
    Obama is willing to negotiate with Iran but he refuses to talk to his own Congressmen. . . none of you find that odd? He wouldn’t talk to them when he was putting together that abomination that is obamacare, either. He wants to be dictator, with no compromise. Thank goodness there are people who are willing to stand up to the tyrant.
    So the government is shut down. Has the world stopped turning? Are you suddenly homeless or unable to buy groceries? No? Golly. It’s a miracle.

  9. Dogula says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    “I read that a lot of them are drinking.”

    Kind of like how Harry Reid “heard” that Mit Romney hadn’t paid taxes in years.
    Repeat the lie, and the low info folks will likely believe it. Very honest tactics you folks use.

  10. tahoe Pizza Eater says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    I’m gonna have a drink, then go back to sleep.

  11. worldcycle says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    This is a “democratic” government? By the People, for the People? Looks like they all should go back to Preschool and retake Sandbox 101.

  12. Dogula says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    Well, good morning and welcome to federal government SHUTDOWN. Oh!… you didn’t notice? The media has made it out to be the worst thing since Y2K!

    What it really is, is a distraction. It’s *NOT* about government funding…. it’s about ☭bamacare. It’s the insistence by 0bama and Reid to *FORCE* ☭bamacare on the American people.

    The House has passed multiple bills that would fully fund government but would defund or delay ☭bamacare. Never mind THE FACT that Congress and the Administration have already delayed major provisions of ☭bamacare and given special considerations to labor unions and Congress.

    0bama and Reid continue to go against the will of The People to protect an unworkable law that has raised individuals health care premiums, cut workers hours, made it more difficult to find a job, and has forced many Americans off their existing health coverage.

    So while the idiots debate on Capitol Hill, essential government services will continue. Airports are still functioning, our parents and grandparents still get their Social Security checks, and the military is still protecting us.

    This debate isn’t over, nor should it be until the American people are protected from having their health care in the hands of government.

  13. Teatotal says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    Dogula-Thanks for the input but I already heard from Palin, Blackburn and Bachman last week about their nonsense plan to overturn Obamacare-We had an election in ’12 and the voters rejected your ideas, the ACA is the law of the land so let’s move forward and tweak it where need be and make it work just as we did with Soc. Sec. and Medicare. in the 30s and 60s- thanks again for the rant but like I said we’ve heard from all the delusional sociopathic shrews we need to.

  14. worldcycle says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    I WANT OBAMA CARE!! I am one of the Majority We the People who voted in a candidate who is willing to stand up For the People. The Will of the People is for healthcare reform. Until a change is made, nothing is going to change. For good or bad. Once change happens, it will be easier to change it again once the first step has been made.

    I am tired of an obstructionist government which has reduced our system to a my way or the highway mentality. I cannot have MINE so no one can get theirs!!! (Stamp feet uncontrollably) Back to the Sandbox. You can scream and cry all you want. You can threaten to hold your breath if you don’t get your way. Now there has been months to sort out the inevitable. One side did not get everything they wanted and now they are holding their breath. Like a spoiled child, they will have to take a deep gasping breath once their face turns blue. And being the spoiled child that it is, is not going to learn to play with others. It will do something equally as stupid, childish and embarrassing for all. Good parents who are concerned about the future of their child should not cave in.

    And oh Dogula….. who pays for your health insurance? Somehow me thinks that in a past life perhaps you were also known as “Dogwoman”

  15. Dogula says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    I pay for my medical insurance. Out of my own pocket. Always have. And in the past 5 years, while my insurance company has been working toward ‘compliance’ with obamacare, my premiums have gone from less than $10K a year to over $15K a year. That’s 1/3 of what I make. Gross. Before I pay taxes. And that’s for a 70/30 plan with a $5K deductible.
    Your claim that we who do not want obamacare have a ‘my way or the highway’ mentality are liars. We just don’t think we should have to pay for those who are unwilling to contribute themselves. You can do any doggoned thing you want, but forcing ME to cover YOU is bull. YOU are the ones demanding that WE cave to your desires. WE just want to be left alone. YOU are the irresponsible children who demand that the rest of us care for YOU. What did you do that entitles YOU to MY earnings?

  16. worldcycle says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    Foot stomping in progress. Soon the breath holding. Don’t worry don’t call 911, they always come up for air with the face turns blue. We need a Sandbox 101 right here in town.

  17. tahoe Pizza Eater says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    Dogula makes a good argument showing us why health insurance has become a bad deal. The simple rules of economics apply to health insurance too. When the cost outweighs the benefit, the product is no longer a good deal. Due to the risks involved in being without health insurance, many people overlook the economics of the situation. A person can get pancreatic cancer, and all the health insurance in the world cannot save them. A car accident may kill a person before medical assistance arrives at the scene. These are the risks all of us face. When health insurance costs rose to unreasonable levels, it became more reasonable to set money aside into health care accounts. That’s been proposed and rejected. Congress should not have rejected that option. I blame every congress person for not giving this option serious consideration. Now it looks like we’re stuck with another bad deal.

  18. dan Wilvers says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    ObamaCare reality just arrived, these are the hard facts for those of us that have been paying our insurance all along.

    Blue Shield letter states on January 1st 2014 rates will increase as follows:


    monthly hike of $242 in payment

    yet a decrease in benefits allowed. Isn’t that lovely?

    Deductible climbs from $3000 to $4500 per person
    office visits co-pays triple.

    I’m all for getting coverage for the uninsurable, but there is going to be a lot of noise coming from those of us who have been paying for our own insurance.

  19. worldcycle says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    I pay my own medical also out of pocket. I know very few individuals who get covered through work and even then most have to pay a percentage as well. I have an HSA, got into it years ago when they first came out. It was a great deal then, $5,000 deductible, no co-pay and insurance pays 100% once deductible met. Plus $6,500 a year in the bank tax free that you can roll over year to year if you do not use it all to pay the bills (deductible) My premium has gone from $300/month to $1,200 per month and the policy hasn’t changed.

    The real take home message here is that Healthcare reform is needed, badly. If your rates have gone up such as mine why not look for a new provider? For myself, it was discovered I have a genetic blood disorder (thanks Dad) and am now uninsurable. Leave my plan and have no plan. I now welcome the ACA with open arms. Time to go out and shop. I am sure I will find a better deal. I might take a decrease in coverage, but a savings in premiums is worth it. The difference in premiums will theoretically pay for any increased deductible of co-pay I may encounter.

    I for one am tired of seeing how the insurance companies control my health care for their profit. I work in the healthcare industry and I see people all the time get shortchanged for the care they should be getting in exchange for the care that the insurance companies are willing to pay for. I do not believe that there is anyone out there in the industry that will dispute that.

    For all who are complaining about how much their premiums have gone up, time to do the same. You might be the ones who will benefit the most from the ACA. I believe that the insurance companies are still going to raise the rates as much as they can to the private sector to keep their profit margins high. So to all those who believe in the free enterprise system and that the many should suffer to support the profits of a few, keep your current policies in force and pay the price. It is now your choice.

  20. BijouBil says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    Perhaps the people making the most noise should go to to see what insurance plans are available to them. That information would be the actual facts of the situation and most people will be pleasantly surprised. Or I guess you could continue to be ripped off by your present overpriced scam plan because of the white hot hate you feel over the fact that Pres. Obama was reelected by over 5,000,000 votes and will be in the White House until 2017, suit yourself.
    Until we finally come around to some sort of single payer system, the ACA is what we have to deal with. Face up to it.

  21. tahoeadvocate says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    “We have to pass the (health care) bill so you can find out what is in it.” —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a speech to the National Association of Counties shortly before the health care reform bill became law, March 9, 2010

  22. BijouBil says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    The ACA became law after more than 14 months of agonizing debate and compromise(I would call it capitulation) from the Dems in both houses of Congress that gave in to far too many demands from the right, including what would have been the smartest part of the legislation, the public option. Instead we had to settle for what was originally a type of GOP and Heritage Foundation endorsed plan they came up with in the 90s in opposition to HilaryCare’s single payer initiative. So the “passed in the middle of the night” and the “rammed down our throats” and “nobody knew what was in the bill” memes are really just so much more BS from the usual suspects, gleefully repeated ad nuaseam throughout teabag world.

  23. snoheather says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    “Repeat the lie, and the low info folks will likely believe it.” This should be Fox News’ and the Tea Party’s motto! They would never be that honest though.

  24. copper says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    So the Republican Party has surrendered to the Tea Party crazies, the American Taliban, and shut down Yosemite. John Muir and I are aghast.

    I wrote to my congressman last night – I requested a response but, not surprisingly for a guy whose name translates to “I Love God,” he’s beyond responding.

    This is not merely an economic crisis – it’s a crisis of faith in our system that, as a few have predicted, is surrendering to the craziest of our culture. I still recall the Weathermen who believed that anything that can be done to disrupt the “system” will eventually result in good. The Tea Party folks are the equivalent of the Weathermen, but with the support of the moneyed elite.

    Ayn Rand is no doubt celebrating in her grave, but it’s important to our culture and our American dreams that we keep her there where she belongs.

  25. Dan Stroehler says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    All members of both houses of Congress should not leave chambers until they are done. Bring in pizzas and take-out Chinese food, but they do not leave until they are finished.

  26. tahoe Pizza Eater says - Posted: October 1, 2013

    Ya Ya. But after two days, no more food. Let em starve.

  27. hmmm... says - Posted: October 2, 2013

    Dogula, I have come to the conclusion that you are insane. That or they took your heart and gave it to Ex-President Cheney.