The nation entered day three of a government shutdown Thursday after a meeting with top congressional leaders at the White House failed to make any progress Wednesday night. Instead lawmakers are playing the blame game.
"The president reiterated one more time tonight that he will not negotiate. All we're asking for here is a discussion and fairness to the American people under Obamacare," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.
But President Barack Obama viewed the matter differently.
"The only thing that's stopping it is that John Boehner right now has not been willing to say no to a faction of the Republican Party that is willing to burn the house down because of an obsession over my healthcare initiative," the president charged.
Not surprisingly, the media appears to be siding with the president.
According to a recent Media Research Center poll, the nation's big three news networks blamed the Republican Party for shutdown 21 times, both parties four times, and Democrats not at all.
But Republicans insist they're the only ones trying to end the shutdown. The House passed measures that would fund national parks, National Institutes of Health and the National Guard.
The White House and Senate Democrats say it's all or nothing.
Meanwhile, nearly 800,000 federal workers across the country are furloughed. Among them are some national intelligence analysts. According to National Intelligence Director James Clapper, that's putting the country at risk.
"This seriously damages our ability to protect the safety and security of this nation and its citizens," Clapper said.
But a report by the Weekly Standard points out there are 2.1 million federal employees in the United States. That means more than 60 percent are deemed essential and still working, including 86 percent of Homeland Security personnel.
"For most people that are not in direct proximity with the federal government and aren't planning to interact with a federal facility, that shutdown -- it's mostly business as usual. Two-thirds of the fed workforce, more than two-thirds, is still at business as usual, classified as essential services," Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment, explained.
Meanwhile, the fight over government funding is about to get bigger as the deadline to raise the nation's debt limit approaches.
Republicans are seeking to craft a "grand bargain" that would include spending cuts and a restructured tax code. But Democrats are saying no new negotiations until the shutdown ends.