As the president tries to convince the public that Republicans bear the blame for budgetary gridlock, he faces an entirely different political and media landscape than in the last government shutdown nearly 18 years ago.
Disruptions in government services will slow growth, at least in the short term. But economists say they can't refine their predictions because they have no idea how long the shutdown might last or how many federal workers may be furloughed.
A default on federal obligations could have global effects. Federal borrowing authority expires in the middle of this month. House Republicans have said they will not extend the debt ceiling unless President Obama accepts a long list of their agenda items. Steve Inskeep talks to the president about the deadline to raise the debt ceiling.
It may be fast food, but it's taking longer than ever in the drive-through lane. A study conducted by an industry trade magazine finds the major chains are offering more complicated menu items that take longer to assemble and are tougher to get right.
The partisan battle over the health care overhaul stretches back nearly five years. The Affordable Care Act has survived more than 50 votes in Congress and a Supreme Court challenge. But now that the exchanges are open for business, the debate is moving from plans and policy to actual results.
Seven years ago, Massachusetts launched its own experiment with health insurance exchanges. Those involved in that experiment say it's gone smoothly, and as a result, 97 percent of the state's residents now have health coverage. Some called the program Romneycare; some still do.
Only hours before a partial shutdown of the federal government would take effect, House Republicans still hadn't arrived at a temporary spending bill that Senate Democrats were willing to approve to keep government workers on the job.
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