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In a memo to all federal agencies President Obama’s budget director Sylvia Matthews Burwell said the federal government would shutdown on October 1st without action by Congress. The memo noted their was still time for a deal but when the federal government shuts down only a limited number of programs continue as required by law.

Appropriations provided under the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (P.L. 113-6) expire at 11:59 pm on Monday, September 30. The Administration does not want a lapse in appropriations to occur. There is enough time for Congress to prevent a lapse in appropriations, and the Administration is willing to work with Congress to enact a short-term continuing resolution to fund critical Government operations and allow Congress the time to complete the full year 2014 appropriations. However, prudent management requires that agencies be prepared for the possibility of a lapse. To that end, this guidance reminds agencies of their responsibilities to plan for agency operations under such a contingency.
This gives Congress and the White House less than 2 weeks to work out a deal to prevent a shutdown. The Republicans, however, have said repealing Obamacare must be part of any deal, something President Obama is likely to object to.

Leadership sources tell me the House will soon vote on a continuing resolution that simultaneously funds the federal government and defunds Obamacare. Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are expected to announce the decision at Wednesday’s Republican conference meeting.

This means the conservatives who have been urging Boehner to back a defunding effort as part of the CR have won a victory, at least in terms of getting the leadership to go along with their strategy. But getting such a CR through the Democratic Senate and signed into law will be very difficult — and many House insiders predict a “Plan B” will emerge in the coming days.

If Obamacare is a dealbreaker for both sides it seems that on October 1st the lights are going to start going off. How long a shutdown will last is an open question that will primarily revolve around who the American people blame for it.

Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.