US shutdown: Live coverage of the countdown to the deadline - Live coverage - The Independent

US shutdown: Live coverage of the countdown to the deadline

  • Welcome to The Independent’s live blog of the countdown to the US shutdown. Staggering as it may seem to the rest of the world, Washington will have to pull the plug on non-essential services as of midnight unless a stopgap budget for the financial year ahead is agreed.

    The President needs this budget to be approved by the House of Representatives, which is in the control of the Republicans. They say they will only agree the budget if the costs of Obamacare (or the Affordable Care Act) are reduced. So if midnight arrives in Washington and no deal has been done, widespread consequences hit the land of the free, and its public workers.

    Workers in non-essential jobs are forced to take unpaid leave. So at Nasa, those supporting the International Space Station are expected to keep working, but not so everyone in support roles at the space agency. Mail would still be delivered, but national park rangers would be on a day off.

    As the debate and the politicking goes on, we’ll be keeping you up to date here.
    9/30/2013 2:27:47 PM
  • It now looks as if the government will in fact shutdown.
    10/1/2013 2:33:31 AM
  • The Washington Post is reporting that House Republicans will not try and pass another bill to send up to the Senate.
    10/1/2013 2:35:08 AM
  • If true, that will set the stage for a partial shutdown of the US government once the current funding law expires at midnight tonight.
    10/1/2013 2:35:56 AM
  • CNN, however, still thinks there will be a House vote before midnight.
    10/1/2013 2:36:51 AM
  • Senate majority leader Harry Reid has confirmed that his chamber will not enter into negotiations with the House over the budget owing to the Republicans' failure to pass a clean spending bill.
    10/1/2013 3:01:23 AM
  • Watching from Australia...we have never had anything like this.....was in USA 2 months ago...hope it turns out for all of you.
    10/1/2013 3:01:59 AM
  • Watching in amazement from here in Australia. It's hard to understand how it got to this point from an Aussie's perspective. Sad thing is that this situation will probably repeat itself in two weeks time for the debt limit negotiations.
    10/1/2013 3:21:46 AM
  • Just under 40 minutes to go -- and a shutdown looks almost certain now.
    10/1/2013 3:23:26 AM
  • With just over 10 minutes to go until the midnight deadline, its worth running through what now lies in store for the US government.
    10/1/2013 3:49:10 AM
  • With no budget, government agencies will have no choice but to begin putting hundreds of thousands of federal workers on unpaid leave.
    10/1/2013 3:50:05 AM
  • More than 800,000 government workers around the US could be told to go home when they show up for work on Tuesday morning.
    10/1/2013 3:50:54 AM
  • National parks will close, and most of NASA will shutdown.
    10/1/2013 3:51:06 AM
  • Many of those who do continue to work might face delays in receiving their pay.
    10/1/2013 3:51:31 AM
  • The impact will depend on the length of the shutdown. According to the White House, a one-week long shutdown could cost the US economy around $10bn.
    10/1/2013 3:52:52 AM
  • It is now midnight: the US government has officially shutdown.
    10/1/2013 4:00:23 AM
  • Or, to be more precise, it has begun shutting down. Directives will now go out to government departments telling them to begin suspending services and putting workers on leave from Tuesday morning.
    10/1/2013 4:03:22 AM
  • Meanwhile, the health insurance marketplaces established under Obamacare have just opened for business, at
    10/1/2013 4:16:02 AM
  • The Office of Management and Budget's deputy director told reporters before the shutdown that his agency had been planning for the eventuality for as long as two years - ever since the 2011 battle over the debt ceiling. Here's the memorandum from the OMB, offically shutting down the Government's non-essentials:

    "This memorandum follows the September 17, 2013, Memorandum M-13-22, and provides an update on the potential lapse of appropriations.

    Appropriations provided under the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (P.L. 113-6) expire at 11:59 pm tonight. Unfortunately, we do not have a clear indication that Congress will act in time for the President to sign a Continuing Resolution before the end of the day tomorrow, October 1, 2013. Therefore, agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations. We urge Congress to act quickly to pass a Continuing Resolution to provide a short-term bridge that ensures sufficient time to pass a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, and to restore the operation of critical public services and programs that will be impacted by a lapse in appropriations.

    Agencies should continue to closely monitor developments, and OMB will provide further guidance as appropriate. We greatly appreciate your cooperation and the work you and your agencies do on behalf of the American people."
    10/1/2013 4:25:44 AM
  • There will be no more funding votes in the House tonight. And the Senate is due to reconvene at 9.30 tomorrow morning. Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid offered this assessment on the floor of the chamber shortly after the shutdown at midnight: “It is embarrassing these people who are elected to represent the people are representing the tea party... This is an unnecessary blow to America, to the economy, the middle class, everyone.”
    10/1/2013 4:30:56 AM
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