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Debt Ceiling Deadline Looms Amid Shutdown

WASHINGTON (CBS) -- We are now one week into a government shutdown.  While hundreds of thousands of federal employees remain out of work, Congress is shifting its attention to a more pressing deadline, the day the government says it will run out of money to pay its bills.

Susan McGinnis is on Capitol Hill with the story.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is ordering about 300-thousand Department of Defense employees back to work today even though the government is still shutdown. Republicans and Democrats are not negotiating. Says Speaker of the House John Boehner, "there may be a back room somewhere, but there's nobody in it."
 
Rep. Boehner says Republicans will only approve bills to reopen the government and raise the country's debt limit if Democrats agree to changes in the Affordable Care Act. "We are not going to pass a clean debt limit increase, I told the president, there's no way we're going to pass one.  The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit."
 
Democrats argue the 218 votes needed to pass the bill in the House are there, but Speaker Boehner won't bring it up for a vote says Senator Chuck Schumer "let me issue him a friendly challenge.  Put it on the floor Monday or Tuesday.  I would bet there are the votes to pass it."
 
If Congress can't reach a deal next week, then the nation could default on its debt for the first time in American history, "if lawmakers don't get it together by October 17th it's going to be a collision, an economic collision that's going to wreck our economy so this is a problem."
 
Wall Street is anxiously watching the feud. Economist Mark Zandi says "it's a game of chicken and with each passing day this is going to get more anxious for stock investors."
 
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says defaulting on the debt could plunge the nation back into a recession worse than 2008.
 
Some good news for furloughed workers.  This weekend the House unanimously passed a bill that will pay federal employees for the time they will miss during the shutdown.  The White House has signaled its approval of the bill and it could come up for a vote in the Senate soon.

 

 

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