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Government Shuts Down; Congress Fails to Pass Spending Bill

12:23 AM, Oct 1, 2013   |    comments
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Susan Davis, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON -The federal government shut down for the first time in nearly two decades following more than a week of legislative jockeying by House Republicans to extract concessions from President Obama and Senate Democrats on the Affordable Care Act.

Shortly before midnight, Obama notified government agencies to prepare to cease operations Tuesday, even as House Republicans worked on a fourth and final attempt to again advance a plan to delay the individual mandate to buy health insurance exchanges that open for enrollment Tuesday.

The House Republicans' moves came as a series of polls released Monday showed that they were bearing the bulk of the blame for the shutdown. One of their Senate colleagues, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the party's 2008 presidential nominee, called their position doomed to eventual failure.

Republicans were also seeking a motion to start formal negotiations, called a conference committee, with the Senate on the stopgap spending measure - an unusual request for a six-week spending bill that funds the government at current levels, but it provides Republicans a vehicle to keep the debate going. It was quickly rejected by Senate Democrats.

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