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Federal government shuts down
WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - After a flurry of activity and back and forth votes the House and Senate reached a stalemate and the clock struck midnight.
"I didn't come here to shut down the government. I came here to fight for a smaller, less costly and more accountable federal government," said Rep. John Boehner.
"I would say to my republican friends, this is your shutdown, you own this. Real constituents are going to be hurt by your inability to do your job," said Rep. Jim McGovern.
What felt inevitable all Monday is a reality Tuesday morning. This is the first federal government shutdown since 1995.
Congress is expected back at 9:30 Tuesday morning. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just announced that the Senate once again will reject a House republican attempt to tie the emergency government spending bill to making changes in the health care law.
"Mr. Speaker, it's now midnight, and the great government of the United States is now closed," said Rep. Louise Slaughter.
Congress bickered to the very end and missed a deadline to pass a new budget for the start of the fiscal year.
Lawmakers left the capitol for a few hours of sleep. They'll be back Tuesday morning .
The disagreement is over whether changes to the Affordable Care Act should be part of a bill to fund the government.
"The House has voted to keep the government open. But we also want basic fairness for all Americans under Obamacare," said Rep. John Boehner.
"It is embarrassing that these people who are elected to represent the country are representing the tea party," said Sen. Harry Reid.
The impasse means many federal employees will report to work Tuesday for about four hours to wrap things up and then they'll be sent home without pay.
"We'll have to look into using our savings account, whatever is there. We'll have to look about maybe putting off a mortgage payment," said Cindy Blythe, a U.S. Coast Guard civilian employee.
Cindy Blythe is among the estimated 800,000 Americans who will be furloughed while Congress debates.
"Everyone else is supposed to get along, why can't they?" asked Blythe.
Congress did agree on one thing. Late Monday night, the president signed a bill into law that will mean members of the military will be paid throughout the shutdown.
"Those of you in uniform will remain on your normal duty status. The threats to our national security have not changed, and we need you to be ready for any contingency," said President Obama. "If you're serving in harm's way, we're going to make sure you have what you need in your missions."
The shutdown means hundreds of thousands of government employees working around the world will see their paychecks delayed. Hundreds of thousands more will be indefinitely furloughed.
Recent polls show Americans disapprove of all players in Washington's latest budget standoff.
According to a CNN poll most people are putting the shutdown on the shoulders of republicans.
46 percent say they are responsible. 36 percent blame the president, while 13 percent said the fault lies with both. And, while 57% of voters said they don't support the health care overhaul, 60 percent said it was more important to avoid this shutdown