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October 1, 2013

With Congress deadlocked, government begins shutting down

(Continued)

Some critical services would remain, but others would not.

Mail delivery would continue but loan programs to small businesses, farmers and homeowners would cease. Inspectors still would regulate food and drugs but research programs would be halted. Taxes would be collected but judges would have to go home when the courts run out of funds. Prisoners still would be held in federal custody but money for recovery efforts following Superstorm Sandy would be reduced.

The health care law that is the focus of the dispute between Republicans and Democrats would continue to be implemented, because much of its funding comes from other sources, including new taxes and fees and cuts to other programs.

“Let me be clear about this. … The Affordable Care Act is moving forward,” Obama said. “That funding is already in place. You can’t shut it down.”

Earlier Monday, Obama placed separate calls to Boehner; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.; and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. He told them anew that he would not negotiate on health care as part of the budget bill.

Boehner told the president in a 10-minute call that the health care law is “costing jobs and that American families are being denied basic fairness when big businesses are getting exemptions that they are not,” said Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck.

But Reid criticized House members for their fixation on the health care law.

“Albert Einstein defined insanity as, ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,’ ” Reid said on the Senate floor. “Tonight, we have more proof that House Republicans have lost their minds. Instead of allowing all 435 members of the House of Representatives to vote on the Senate’s bill to keep the government open for business, Speaker Boehner is once again pushing a government shutdown.”

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