Government shutdown looming as midnight deadline nears

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September 30, 2013, 5:36 am
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(NBC News: Tracie Potts) - Today is the day: either Congress comes up with a budget, or government offices close their doors at midnight.

There was a lot of back and forth over the weekend, resulting in nothing.

"Where's the Senate - they're not here?" said Rep. Sean Duffy, (R) Wisconsin.

They're back this afternoon likely to reject the offer on the table.

Republicans say they'll fund the government and prevent a shutdown only if the health law is delayed one year.

"There's a time and place to debate Obamacare but not at a time when millions of innocent people are being held hostage," said Senator Chuck Schumer, (D) New York.

"Simply delaying it for American families on the same terms as is being done for big corporations, that's a compromise," said Senator Ted Cruz, (R) Texas.

Some Democrats say they'll consider the other string attached - getting rid of a tax on medical devices.

"But not with a gun to my head, not with a prospect of shutting down the government," said Senator Dick Durbin, (D) Illinois.

So who's to blame if there's a shutdown tonight?

"The President is the one saying I will shut down government if you don't give me everything I want on Obamacare," said Senator Rand Paul, (R) Kentucky.

"He wants it, because he wants the checkbook. He wants control," said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, (R) Tennessee.

"This was a calculated strategy to drive the country to the cliff and then say, give us what we want," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, (D) Maryland.

There's a chance Republicans could come back with one final offer today, with or without strings attached.

"We have about 186 employees who would be furloughed," said Philadelphia Parks Spokeswoman Jane Cowley.

It would be a last-ditch effort to keep 800,000 federal employees at work.

Tags: Obamacare, government shutdown, Tracie Potts, NBC News, Senator Rand Paul, senator ted cruz, senator dick durbin, senator sean duffy, rep. marsha blackburn, rep. chris van hollen, jane cowley
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