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(NECN/NBC News: Tracie Potts) - Nearly half those furloughed without pay are headed back to work Monday morning even though the government shutdown is still on.
There's no negotiating here and the concern is not just hundreds of thousands of people off work, but the nation's credit card is also about to be cancelled.
The Pentagon has ordered more than 300,000 employees back to work Monday.
Naval Shipyard Employee Jamie Hiranaka said, "It's a huge relief for all the government workers."
But more than 400,000 remain at home because Congress can't agree on a budget, what Congress calls a "CR."
House Speaker John Boehner said, "There are not the votes in the House to pass a clean CR."
NBC News’ count shows the House could pass a clean budget without cutting or delaying the health law.
With President Obama refusing to negotiate on that, it's gridlock.
Boehner said, "His refusal to negotiate is putting the government at risk."
Conservatives against the health law say they're not backing down.
Senator Rand Paul said, "We do control a third of the government. People did elect us to fight."
Next week the U.S. runs out of credit to pay its bills.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said, "If we cross the line, we're going to a place that we've never gone. It's very dangerous."
Senator Ted Cruz said, "The president's demand, jack up the nation's credit card with no limits, no constraints, it's not a reasonable demand."
Stuck in the middle are people like two-year-old Abby MacCurtain. Because government clinical trials are shut down, she can't get the potentially life-saving drug she needs.
Greg Maccurtain, her father, said, "We were angry, angry for my daughter. How can they not get along to make this work?"