Congressional leaders and President Barack Obama talked to each other Wednesday evening — only to emerge evidently no closer to a deal to halt the government’s budget stalemate. The White House meeting, coming a day after the start of the federal government shutdown. But while the sides talked, there was no indication they agreed on anything or even shifted their views.
The US government has partially closed after Congress failed to agree a budget and will run out of cash on 17 October unless its debt ceiling is raised.
The US government closed non-essential operations on Tuesday after Congress failed to strike a deal on a new budget. Republicans and Democrats are blaming each other for the impasse.
The shutdown has left nearly 800,000 employees on unpaid leave and closed national parks, tourist sites, government websites, office buildings, and more. On 17 October, the US government will run out of cash to pay its bills unless the debt ceiling is raised.
Germany and Britain became the first countries to issue a “travel warning” for the United States as the government shutdown in America entered the second day on Wednesday with no sign of resolution.
In Washington DC and across the country, tourists both domestic and foreign faced frustrating “closed” signs at national monuments and parks. In an era when many government functions and operations have devolved on to the Internet, the shutdown also began to choke websites.
Nasa’s famed website, haunt of air and space buffs across the world, flashed a message that read: Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available. We sincerely regret this inconvenience. The White House website itself threw up this message on Wednesday morning: Due to Congress’s failure to pass legislation to fund the government, the information on this web site may not be up to date. Some submissions may not be processed, and we may not be able to respond to your inquiries.
Also on Wednesday, the White House announced Mr Obama would cut short a planned four-nation tour of Asia next week. He will attend regional summits in Indonesia and Brunei, but skip Malaysia and the Philippines due to the government shutdown.