Democrats, Republicans in showdown over shutdown
WASHINGTON (AP) - As the US government teeters on the brink of a partial shutdown, congressional Republicans and Democrats traded blame for the failure to reach agreement on a temporary funding bill to keep federal agencies open.
Congress was closed for the day on Sunday after a post-midnight vote in the Republican-run House of Representatives to delay by a year key parts of President Barack Obama's health care law and repeal a tax on medical devices, in exchange for avoiding a shutdown.
The Senate is slated to convene on Monday afternoon just hours before the shutdown deadline at midnight, and Majority Leader Harry Reid has already promised that Democrats will kill the House's latest proposal.
In the event lawmakers blow the Monday deadline, about 800,000 federal workers would be forced off the job without pay. Some critical services such as patrolling the borders, inspecting meat and controlling air traffic would continue. Social Security benefits would be sent and the Medicare and Medicaid health care programs for the elderly and poor would continue to pay doctors and hospitals.