Latest house GOP vote falls flat, fails to restart parts of gov' - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Latest house GOP vote falls flat, fails to restart parts of gov't

The last time the federal government shut down was in 1995. The last time the federal government shut down was in 1995.

(RNN) – In the latest effort to restore parts of the stalled federal government, House Republicans failed on Tuesday night to push through measures to reopen the government of Washington, DC, national parks and funded veteran programs.

The measures failed to garner the two-thirds vote required to push the motions already dismissed by Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid earlier Tuesday as Republicans "trying to cherry-pick a few parts of the government to keep open."

The White House also said that it would veto any measures. Various House leadership aides told CNN that the same three measures would be brought back to the House floor on Wednesday in a way that passing it would only require a simple majority vote.

Democrats said earlier on Tuesday that they won't support a Republican-led effort to pass legislation that would reopen parts of the government.

Republicans have called the position hypocritical since both the House and Senate passed a bill allowing the military to be paid during the shutdown, a bill the president ultimately signed.

In a statement obtained by Time and CNN, White House Spokeswoman Amy Brundage called them "piecemeal efforts" that are "not serious."

Meanwhile, Wall Street remains unphased by the shutdown, which started at midnight Tuesday when Congress failed to pass a budget for the next fiscal year. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all rose Tuesday, a sign that investors believe the shutdown won't be long-term.

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama said the government shutdown is not halting the Affordable Care Act to allow uninsured Americans get coverage.

The president also urged Congress to find a compromise because the shutdown is hurting the U.S. economy.

"I'm not going to allow anybody to drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud just to fight a settled election or extract ideological demands," he said. "They shut down the government over an ideological crusade."

Obama also warned the Republicans to raise the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling, saying that failure to do so would lead to "an economic shutdown."

Congress resumed business Tuesday while federal workers across the country - from park rangers to FAA safety inspectors - faced being out of work with no return in sight.

The Senate rejected the House spending bill for the fourth time. In this proposal, however, the House wanted to seek a compromise by calling for a conference committee, but Senate Democrats turned it down because they believe House Republicans want to force concessions on the Affordable Care Act.

The House and Senate's failure to reach a deal on a spending bill before they adjourned Monday caused a federal government shutdown for the first time in 17 years. Without a funding bill in place, Obama ordered the shutdown of the federal government just ahead of the midnight deadline.

On Tuesday morning, the Senate voted to reject the latest effort to negotiate the shutdown. The vote was 54-46.

"No matter how many times they try to extort the American people and the democrats in Senate, we're not going to relitigate the healthcare issue. We're not going to do that. If they have problems with that bill, we will be happy to sit down and talk with them but we're not going to do it with a gun to the heads of the American people," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said.

A shutdown meant all federal government services deemed nonessential were suspended. All federally funded museums, such as the Smithsonian, will close, as well as the nation's 401 national parks. Campers have 48 hours to leave sites like Yellowstone National Park, and government-run national monuments like the Statue of Liberty won't be open to visitors. NASA will also shut down, except for mission control, which is overseeing operations with the International Space Station.

One-third of federal workers will be furloughed. Others will stay on the job, such as air-traffic controllers and border patrol agents. However, their checks will be delayed until the government reopens. They will be operating under government IOU's - meaning they will get the back pay in their checks once the government passes a spending bill.

Furloughed employees were expected to report to work for about four hours Thursday but will be limited to performing tasks related to the shutdown.

"Agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations," the Office of Management and Budget said in a note it sent to federal employees.

One point both houses could agree on: paying the military. A bill approving funding for military pay during the shutdown was passed unanimously by the House and Senate and was signed by the president.

"Those of you in uniform will remain on your normal duty status," Obama said. "Congress has passed, and I am signing into law, legislation to make sure you get your paychecks on time. And we'll continue working to address any impact this shutdown has on you and your families."

Just after the midnight deadline passed, the president released a video addressed to troops and Department of Defense employees, saying "If you're serving in harm's way, we're going to make sure you have what you need to succeed in your missions."

"You and your families deserve better than the dysfunction we're seeing in Congress.  Your talents and dedication help keep our military the best in the world.  That's why I'll keep working to get Congress to reopen our government and get you back to work as soon as possible."

Others could expect to see the effects immediately. In flood-ravaged Colorado, emergency funds to help rebuild homes and businesses could be held up, according to the Associated Press.

The AP also reported bout 3,000 workers nearly 3,000 FAA safety inspectors were furloughed. So are most of the National Transportation Safety Board's employees, including investigators who respond to air crashes, train collisions and pipeline explosions.

In a letter to federal employees, President Obama thanked the workers, saying that their work "is vitally important to our national security and to American families' economic security."

He went on to say that he was committed to doing "everything in my power to get the House of Representatives and our Government to reopen as quickly as possible."

Before leaving Capitol Hill Tuesday morning, Speaker of the House John Boehner addressed the House's continued attack on the Affordable Care Act via the budget: "The house has voted to keep the government open, but we also want basic fairness for all Americans under Obamacare."

Services considered essential that would not be affected include mail delivery and the issuing of Social Security checks. Medicare coverage and other entitlements won't be impacted.

The House and Senate volleyed bills back and forth throughout the night Monday, neither side able to come to an agreement to keep the federal government funded, with the Affordable Care Act as a sticking point.

House Republicans, led by those affiliated with the tea party, added amendments that either stripped funding or delayed funding for one year to their stopgap bill. The Senate, controlled by Democrats, voted each bill down, and sent a Senate version back to the House without the amendments.

Boehner blamed the president for the lack of a deal Monday night.

"I talked to the president earlier tonight. 'I'm not going to negotiate. I'm not going to negotiate. I'm not going to do this,'" he said. "Well, I would say to the president, this is not about me. And it's not about Republicans here in Congress. It's about fairness for the American people."

Though the government technically shut down at midnight, Congress could have continued to debate all night, potentially reaching a solution by morning before the impact is felt.

Speaking from the White House Monday afternoon, Obama called a potential shutdown the "height of irresponsibility."

"It would throw a wrench into the gears of our economy at a time when those gears have gained some traction," he said.

Regardless of a shutdown, parts of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, will go into effect on schedule Tuesday. State and federally run exchanges were set to open up Tuesday, and the shutdown will not affect that.

Why a shutdown?

One of Congress' main responsibilities is to pass a budget to fund the federal government before the fiscal year begins each year on Oct. 1. If no agreement is reached by Sept. 30, Congress must either pass a short-term funding solution while they continue to debate a long-term agreement, or parts of the government must shut down due to lack of funding. 

The last short-term agreement, passed in March, ended Monday.

Passing a budget has been a difficult task in an increasingly partisan Washington in recent years. The last full budget was passed was in 2009. The government has been funded by short-term stop gap solutions since.

This time, both sides have been marred in a fight over Obamacare. The Republican budget calls for a one-year delay in implementing Obamacare, something the Democratic-controlled Senate won't pass.

A poll released by Gallup on Monday shows that 47 percent of Americans believe a shutdown is a tactic by both political parties to gain political advantage. Only 37 percent believe the battle is an important debate over principles.

The last - and longest - government shutdown came in December 1995, lasting three weeks into the new year.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.


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