The U.S. government sped toward a partial shutdown at midnight, as lawmakers lobbed dead-end proposals across the Capitol and President Barack Obama made last-minute phone calls to the top four congressional leaders.
The House voted 228-201 to pass its third version of a short-term extension of government funding in the past 10 days. Each attempt linked averting a shutdown to major changes to the 2010 Affordable Care Act, and each drew veto threats from Obama.
“You don’t get to extract a ransom for doing your job, for doing what you’re supposed to be doing anyway or just because there’s a law there you don’t like,” Obama said at the White House today. “Time’s running out.”
The partisan confrontation showed few signs of ending as the Senate was set to reject the latest House plan within an hour of the vote, a Democratic aide said on condition of anonymity. Barring a last-minute compromise or concession, the U.S. appears headed for its first shutdown in 17 years.
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