U.S. President Obama will speak on the prospect of a government shutdown at 4:45 p.m., hours after saying he is “not at all resigned” to the possibility that lawmakers will fail to meet a midnight deadline.
According to CBS less than 10 hours before a midnight deadline, the Senate voted 54-46 to reject a proposal by House Republicans work a delay of health care plan into a temporary funding bill. It is now up to the House of Representatives to accept a bill that doesn’t delay the health initiative — which it has refused to do — or find an alternative acceptable to the Senate.
According to BBC News More than 700,000 federal government workers could be sent home on unpaid leave, with no guarantee of back pay once the deadlock is over.
One of the key points of contention in the political stalemate has been President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, popularly known as Obamacare.
Republicans in the House of Representatives – and their allies in the Senate – have demanded the law be repealed or stripped of funding as a condition for continuing to fund the government.
Major portions of the law, which passed in 2010 and has been validated by the US Supreme Court, are due to take effect on Tuesday.
After the Senate vote on Monday afternoon, the chamber’s Democratic majority leader blamed Republicans for the imminent halt to all non-essential government operations.
“It will be a Republican government shutdown, pure and simple,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, referring to the Republicans as “bullies”.
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