By Ileana Diaz
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The House and Senate have been going back and forth all evening. One Democratic Senator says they are at the brink and with just one hour to go before the midnight deadline our government faces the first partial shutdown in nearly 17 years.
As Democrats and Republicans debate over the funding bill, one thing is certain, the nation’s budget hangs in the balance.
And President Obama made his position clear.
“It does not have to happen…entirely preventable if the House chooses to do what the Senate has already done.”
The House sent a third bill back to the Senate. It would have funded the government, but delayed requirements to buy health insurance for a year and eliminate the law’s exemption for congress.
“No more mandate for the next year that you can’t afford. No more mandate that members of Congress get some sort of exception. Those are the only two issues here,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
But some say there needs to be more compromise.
“Let’s get everyone the chance to will their way and end this ridiculous government shutdown,” said U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D., N.J.).
Ridiculous or not, time is ticking.
And in Philadelphia, federal employees are forced to act, locking up the gates of the Liberty Bell and without a sound resolution, no one knows how long this symbol of freedom will be shackled.
Everyone’s talking about it, they’re all weary, worried and what’s the outcome going to bear,” Marianne Squillachotti said.
Here in Pennsylvania, nearly 71,000 federal employees would be furloughed, national parks and museums will be forced to close.
And there’s more.
First time home buyers might have to wait on their mortgages, members of our armed services might also see paychecks delayed, and all over our area, some of the most vulnerable people might become even more vulnerable. WIC, the nutrition program for women, infant and children would be forced to close.
And with the uncertainty of a government shutdown, the stock market dropped today. Analysts say it won’t significantly hurt the national economy, unless a shutdown lasts more than a few days.