Leaders Suggest Government Shutdown Could Last - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Leaders Suggest Government Shutdown Could Last

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Neither side is willing to accept blame for the partial government shutdown that went into effect today. House Republican leader Eric Cantor says it's the fault of stubborn Democratic senators who refuse to consider the House's proposals for delaying the new health care law. But President Obama says Republicans are putting the economic recovery at risk as part of an "ideological crusade" against the health care overhaul.

Speaking in the Rose Garden, the president said Republicans should not be able to hold the entire economy "hostage." He urged them to reopen the government quickly and allow furloughed federal employees to go back to work. 
 
The government shut down because Congress did not pass a funding bill ahead of Monday's midnight deadline for the end of the 2013 fiscal year.

Earlier, in a letter emailed to federal employees, Obama said the shutdown was "completely preventable." And he called on the House of Representatives to pass a law reopening the government and giving workers back pay. 
 
The president also lamented that government employees have become "punching bags" in Washington's partisan fiscal fights. About 800,000 federal workers are being forced off the job because Congress did not pass a bill to keep the government funded ahead of Monday's midnight deadline for the end of the 2013 fiscal year. 
 
Meanwhile, a Senate vote this morning has left Democrats and Republicans no closer to resolving the deadlock that has brought a partial shutdown of the federal government.
 
The Senate today rejected the House's call to form a negotiating committee to resolve the deadlock.
 
Republicans who control the House are still insisting on changes to President Barack Obama's health care law as a condition for providing funding to keep the government operating. Senate Democrats and the White House are rejecting that idea. The White House says it's open to making changes in the health care law, but not while federal spending is being held hostage.
 
Moments after today's Senate vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put the blame on House Republicans. He said, "The government is closed because of the irrationality of what's going on on the other side of the Capitol."
 
But Republicans say the shutdown is caused by the refusal of the White House to negotiate on the health care law. (AP)

U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) issued this statement after Congress failed to avoid a government shutdown: 
 
"It is extremely unfortunate that Congress was unable to make the tough decisions necessary to avert a government shutdown. This sort of governing by crisis is irresponsible, and Washington cannot continue down this reckless path.
 
"The only reason we are in this situation is due to Washington's inability to produce a long-term budget and pass all appropriations bills, which is why I introduced ‘No Budget, No Pay.' No question, failed leadership and a crippling inability to come to an agreement are shared failures by both parties," said Senator Dean Heller.

Governor Brian Sandoval this morning issued the following statement regarding the federal government shutdown:

"While the full impact of a federal government shutdown is not entirely known, the State of Nevada is well positioned to handle a short-term shutdown. With current available resources, Nevadans who receive SNAP benefits, unemployment benefits, or Medicaid should not see a disruption in services. Public safety will also not be affected.

"My Administration has been working with state agencies gathering information on potential impacts, and will continue to do so as more information becomes available.  It is my hope that Congress can find a way forward to fund the federal government.  However, if that does not occur the State of Nevada is prepared."

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