In the likely event that Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on a spending bill to keep the government running by midnight, all non essential government services will stop tomorrow. The Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill this morning passed by House Republicans that would continue to fund the government, but delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said any bill that defunds Obamacare would stand no chance of passing through the Senate. Both sides insist they don’t want a shutdown, but seem no closer to a compromise that would avert the first one since 1995.
A shutdown would keep police services, border patrol, air traffic control and other services deemed "essential" running, but national parks, federally run museums and regulatory agencies would close and an estimated 800,000 federal workers would be furloughed until an agreement is reached.
The two shutdowns 17 years ago lasted for six and 21 days and were the longest ever. How long might this potential shutdown last and what effect would it have on the economy? How would a shutdown and the fight over Obamacare impact later discussions over raising the debt ceiling?
Jonathan Wilcox, Republican Strategist; former speech writer for Governor Pete Wilson
Darry Sragow, Attorney and long-time Democractic strategist