The last time the federal government shut down was in 1995.
Washington, D.C. -
Congress resumed business Tuesday while federal workers across the country - from park rangers to FAA safety inspectors - faced being out of work with no return in sight.
The House and Senate's failure to reach a deal on a spending bill before they adjourned Monday caused a federal government shutdown for the first time in 17 years. Without a funding bill in place, President Barack Obama ordered the shutdown of the federal government just ahead of the midnight deadline.
On Tuesday morning, the Senate voted to reject the latest effort to negotiate the shutdown. The vote was 54-46.
This marks the fourth time the Senate has rejected the efforts to undermine Obamacare.
"No matter how many times they try to extort the American people and the democrats in Senate, we're not going to relitigate the healthcare issue. We're not going to do that. If they have problems with that bill, we will be happy to sit down and talk with them but we're not going to do it with a gun to the heads of the American people," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said.
A shutdown meant all federal government services deemed nonessential were suspended. All federally funded museums, such as the Smithsonian, will close, as well as the nation's 401 national parks. Campers have 48 hours to leave sites like Yellowstone National Park, and government-run national monuments like the Statue of Liberty won't be open to visitors. NASA will also shut down, except for mission control, which is overseeing operations with the International Space Station.
One-third of federal workers will be furloughed. Others will stay on the job, such as air-traffic controllers and border patrol agents. However, their checks will be delayed until the government reopens. They will be operating under government IOU's - meaning they will get the back pay in their checks once the government passes a spending bill.
Furloughed employees were expected to report to work for about four hours Thursday but will be limited to performing tasks related to the shutdown.
"Agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations," the Office of Management and Budget said in a note it sent to federal employees.
One point both houses could agree on: paying the military. A bill approving funding for military pay during the shutdown was passed unanimously by the House and Senate and was signed by the president.
"Those of you in uniform will remain on your normal duty status," Obama said. "Congress has passed, and I am signing into law, legislation to make sure you get your paychecks on time. And we'll continue working to address any impact this shutdown has on you and your families."
Just after the midnight deadline passed, the president released a video addressed to troops and Department of Defense employees, saying "If you're serving in harm's way, we're going to make sure you have what you need to succeed in your missions."
"You and your families deserve better than the dysfunction we're seeing in Congress. Your talents and dedication help keep our military the best in the world. That's why I'll keep working to get Congress to reopen our government and get you back to work as soon as possible."
Others could expect to see the effects immediately. In flood-ravaged Colorado, emergency funds to help rebuild homes and businesses could be held up, according to the Associated Press.
The AP also reported bout 3,000 workers nearly 3,000 FAA safety inspectors were furloughed. So are most of the National Transportation Safety Board's employees, including investigators who respond to air crashes, train collisions and pipeline explosions.
Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
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