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GRIDLOCKED: Non-essential services in U.S. Government shut down for good - for now

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 2nd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Republicans and Democrats in Congress continue to blame it each other. Partisan bickering in the United States' legislature has put everything on the back burner - from trade negotiations to medical research. The standoff that has shut down non-essential U.S. government operations shows no signs of abating, and the public's view of its lawmakers is hitting a new low.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Obamacare," President Obama's health care law, ostensibly to provide health insurance to the millions of uninsured is at the heart of the issue. Republicans in Congress want it repealed, or at least delayed before they will agree to pass a new budget.
 
Obama says that he will not give in to what he called ransom demands by the Republicans. He said the law was passed in Congress and is unrelated to the budget issue.
 
"I'm not going to allow anybody to drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud just to re-fight a settled election or extract ideological demands," he declared.
 
Saying his party has offered compromise, Republican House Speaker John Boehner blamed the Democratic-led Senate for the shutdown. "Last night they not only rejected that, but they also rejected our call to sit down and resolve our differences under the Constitution, which makes it clear that if the two Houses disagree, we should sit down and discuss and try to resolve those matters."
 
Republicans may lose some support if the shutdown continues, analysts warn. The editor for Politico, Rachel van Dongen says that a small faction of the House Republicans is driving the shutdown.
 
"The leadership in the Republican Party, [Speaker of the House] John Boehner and his lieutenants, were always concerned about potentially losing the House majority in 2014 because of a shutdown, but they were really egged on to do this -- sparked into having a shutdown -- by the house conservative minority here. Thirty-to-40 members of the so-called Tea Party movement are really the impetus behind the shutdown," van Dongen claims.
 
The American public in the meantime have grown increasingly annoyed with partisan battles in Congress.
 
"I'm going to start digging into my savings as the pay-checks stop coming," Paul Sacker, an engineer at the Environmental Protection Agency says. Sacker just one of the many public sector employees taking a hit from the shutdown. "I'm going to have to dig into my savings to pay my mortgage, pay my bills. My daughter is in college, we have expenses to cover for her."
 
David Poppert, who works for the Department of Labor in Wisconsin says the shutdown has far-reaching economic effects.
 
"Part of it is I'm not going to be going to McDonald's and spending a dollar. I'm not going to be going to Home Depot and spending money on home renovation projects. So for every dollar I don't spend at a business, that business is not making money to pay its employees," Poppert says.
 
Because of the shutdown, about 800,000 U.S. federal employees have been placed on unpaid leave for an indefinite period of time.

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