Government shuts down as Congress fails to compromise

Lissandra Villa

Members of Congress failed to come up with a compromise on Monday night, the eve of a government shutdown. This is the first time this has taken place in 17 years.

The Senate and House of Representatives volleyed proposals back and forth in search of a compromise that would keep the government up and running. This followed Republican attempts to delay or kill the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature legislation, by tying it to their passing of a federal budget compromise.

“One faction of one party, in one house of Congress, in one branch of government doesn’t get to shut down the entire government just to refight the results of an election,” Obama said on Monday before Congress missed the midnight deadline.

The latest of these proposals was by the House, which would have further married the Obamacare and other government funding, according to the Associated Press. It was voted down by the Senate, leaving approximately two hours for the House to figure out another way to respond.

“The American people don’t want a shutdown, and neither do I,” said House Speaker John Boehner on the floor Monday evening. “I didn’t come here to shut down the government.”

The Associated Press reported 800,000 federal employees would be furloughed as a result of a government shutdown, in addition to other consequences both immediate and longer term. 

Obama signed a Pay Our Military Act to ensure that troops would be paid when the shutdown occurred on Tuesday at midnight.

“This is a very serious time in the history of the country,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, according to the Washington Post. “It’s hard to comprehend, but many people will be affected tomorrow.”

The last time the government shutdown was in 1995.