Government shutdown

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POSTED: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 6:39am

UPDATED: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 6:39am

As of midnight, Tuesday, the government is shut down.

It's official. As of this morning, the federal government has shut down for the first time in 17 years.

Lawmakers in Washington worked late into the night with no resolution on a budget to keep the government running.

So, starting this morning, national parks are closed. Clinical trials - on hold, Social Security payments possibly delayed. Food inspections will be scaled back, and many head start preschools are shut down.

Lawmakers left Capitol Hill this morning thoroughly frustrated. "This is ridiculous," said Senator Patrick Leahy, (D) Vermont.

"I think it's a disgrace," said Rep. Eliot Engel, (D) New York.

"This is nuts," said Rep. Sam Farr, (D) California.

"This is a very sad day for our country," said Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid, (D-NV).

"We are back to square one," said Rep. G.K. Butterfield, (D) North Carolina.

Speaker John Boehner named eight people to negotiate a plan to re-open the government.

"I would hope that the Senate would accept our offer, to go to conference and discuss this so we can resolve for American people," said House Speaker John Boehner, (R) Ohio.

"We'll come back and try again," said Senator Claire McCaskill, (D) Missouri.

"I hope to open it tomorrow. That's my hope," said Rep. Mark Takano, (D) California.

"I would prefer to be at work, I would prefer to be contributing to my household," said one worker.

President Obama had a midnight message for U.S. troops. They'll get paid, but civilians face furloughs. "You and your families deserve better than the dysfunction we're seeing in Congress," said President Barack Obama.
Democrats and Republicans are at odds over whether to put the brakes on the Affordable Care Act.

Signups for insurance through health exchanges start today, as 800,000 federal workers show up to close their offices.

The last shutdown - in the mid-90s - lasted three weeks. That would put us right in the middle of the next big debate here, over raising the debt ceiling.

Tracie Potts, NBC News.

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