Shutdown looms for US government as Republicans seek to derail Obama's healthcare bill by stripping funding
If Congress cannot agree on a spending bill by Tuesday the government will run out of money for non-essential services
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Monday 30 September 2013
The US moved a step closer to a government shutdown last night, as the Republican-held House of Representatives passed a measure to defund Obamacare, which Democrats in the Senate swiftly vowed to reject.
In a late-night session, House Republicans pushed through an amended version of the spending bill by 231 votes to 192, which stripped funding from President Obama’s Affordable Care Act for the coming year. Yet Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid insisted he and his colleagues would vote down the bill when it arrives in their chamber tomorrow afternoon.
If Congress cannot agree on a spending bill before the new fiscal year begins on Tuesday, the US government will run out of money to fund its non-essential services, leading to its first shutdown since 1996. Accusing Republicans of “futile political games”, Mr Reid said the Senate would “reject any Republican attempt to force changes to the Affordable Care Act through a mandatory government-funding bill... The American people will not be extorted by tea party anarchists.”
Before the House vote on Saturday, the White House warned that President Obama would veto any measure that disrupts his signature policy achievement, which is intended to provide health coverage to millions of uninsured Americans. The White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters, “Any member of the Republican Party who votes for this bill is voting for a shutdown.”
Should the federal government shut down on Tuesday, around 800,000 of its 2.1 million employees would be forced to stop working, though essential services such as air traffic control would be maintained. Furloughed workers would have no guarantee of back-pay should the shutdown be resolved later.
Even if a shutdown is averted, Washington faces a further battle over the raising of the debt ceiling: unless Congress approves an increase in its borrowing limit, the US Treasury will be unable to meet its debt obligations from 17 October.
- 2 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 3 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
- 4 Ryan Gosling posts tribute to 'Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal' creator Ryan McHenry
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Garland shooting: Isis claims attack on Prophet Mohamed cartoon contest in Texas as its first action on US soil
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian combined with near-naked ensemble
General Election 2015: Photographic history of Bullingdon Club tracked down - including new picture of David Cameron in his finery
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...
£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...
£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...