Obama, Congress Not Flinching over Coming Shutdown

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The Senate has cleared a bill to keep the government funded through mid-December, stripping the earlier House version of the bill that denied funding for Obamacare.

The vote, along party lines, further highlights that Congress has only days now before a potential government shutdown with no compromise in site.

The sticking point: funding Obamacare. Neither side appears to budge.

The Democrat-controlled Senate amended the bill the House passed last week and put funding for Obamacare back in.

"Defund this bill that isn't working, that's hurting the American people, that's killing jobs, that's forcing people into part-time work," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said earlier this week during a marathon 21-hour speech.

"You can huff, you can puff for 21 hours, but you cannot blow the Affordable Care Act away," Sen. Barbara Milkulski, D-Md., said.

The bill now goes back to the House, setting up a budget battle with House Republicans. GOP leaders say they're not going to accept what the Senate sends back.

"The American people don't want the president's health care bill, and they don't want the government to shut down," Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, said. "Now, the president says, I'm not going to negotiate. Well, I'm sorry, but it just doesn't work that way."

Yet President Obama said the health care law is here to stay.

"Some have threatened a government shutdown if they can't shut down this law. That's not going to happen as long as I'm president," Obama said.

If Congress does not approve a temporary spending bill to keep the government running, as many as 800,000 of the nation's 2.1 million federal workers would be told to stay home.

Meanwhile, an even bigger fiscal storm is just around the corner. The government's credit card, the debt limit, will max out Oct. 17 unless Congress votes to raise the debt ceiling.

House Republicans want the president to agree to massive spending cuts. The president said he will not negotiate.

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Mark Martin

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Mark Martin is a reporter and anchor at CBN News, covering various issues from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East and traveled to Bahrain to cover stories on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkMartinCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/MarkMartinCBN.