Congress misses deadline to avert shutdown



Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), flanked by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Eric Cantor (R-VA) speaks at a press conference after a Republican Conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol Sept. 30, 2013, in Washington, DC. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Congress has missed the deadline for averting the first partial government shutdown in 17 years.

As the clock struck midnight Monday, House Republicans were insisting that the Senate negotiate their demand for a one-year delay in making millions of people buy health insurance under President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law. Minutes before midnight, the White House ordered a shutdown.

The Democratic Senate on Monday twice rejected GOP demands to delay key portions of the Affordable Care Act as a condition for keeping the government open.

An estimated 800,000 federal workers faced furloughs, though many were told to work a half-day Tuesday. Critical functions such as air traffic control and military operations will continue. Social Security benefits will be paid. National parks and most federal offices will close.

Eric Mansfield, Kent State’s executive director of University Media Relations, said classes and university services will continue as scheduled because the shutdown affects federal programs and the university is run at the state level. However, he said all the effects are not yet clear.

“All of higher education right now is trying to determine how this will impact us … We don’t get to know what impact this might have on research scholars or other grants to support certain programs,” Mansfield said.

However, Mansfield said day-to-day functions should be unaffected.

“We’re not concerned to the point where we have to change what we’re doing, so we really don’t want the students or staff to have any concerns either,” he said.

Additional reporting by Carrie Blazina, nation and world editor for the Daily Kent Stater.