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US Shutdown: No end in sight to the crisis

Washington, PTI | Updated : 05 October 2013, 10:03 AM

Amid continued political impasse leading to a government shutdown, the US appeared to be no closer to resolving the crisis, the first in 17 years, with time fast running out for raising the debt limit.

Some eight lakh federal employees have been furloughed as a result of the shutdown -- which was in its fourth day on Friday.

The Congress needs to increase the federal debt ceiling by October 17 to avoid having the US default on its obligations.

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, following the meeting with his party colleagues, offered no clue as to how he intends to resolve the problem.

"We are locked in an epic battle," Boehner told his Congressional colleague urging them to hang tough.

"This isn't some damn game," Boehner told reporters.

"The American people don't want their government shut down, and neither do I. All we're asking for is to sit down and have a discussion and to bring fairness to the American people under Obamacare. It's as simple as that. But, it all has to begin with a simple discussion," he said.

The White House said it would not negotiate till the Republicans took steps to end the government shut down.

This among other things is affecting its capabilities to monitor Iran sanctions.

"It illustrates the consequences that the Republican shutdown continues to have on the government's missions and workers across the country. It is time for the Speaker of the House to bring up the Senate-passed funding bill and just vote," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

On Friday, 27 House Armed Services Committee Democrats urged Boehner to bring a clean continuing resolution to the House floor.

In a letter to the Speaker, the Democrats explained how the shutdown is endangering the national security and must end.

The House should have an opportunity to vote to end the terrible impacts of the current shutdown and to reinsure the national security, they wrote.

On Friday, for the first time since 1996 and only the second time in modern memory, the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not issue its monthly jobs report, as a result of the shutdown of nonessential government services.

First Published: Saturday, October 05, 2013 10:02 AM
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