After a long day in both chambers of Congress, no agreement has been reached on a continuing resolution to fund the government past fiscal year 2013, which ended at 12:00 am today. The new fiscal year, which started at 12:01 am, begins with a government shutdown.
The shutdown seemed especially likely when the Senate passed the CR back to the House of Representatives in the afternoon. A new amendment emerged in the House which would have delayed the Obamacare individual mandate for a year, funded the government until December 15, 2013, and required government employees and members of Congress to enroll in Obamacare exchanges. Debate and procedural votes followed, with a final vote on the CR at 8:15. The vote went 228-201. A small coalition of Republicans, including Reps. Peter King and Michele Bachmann, voted against this iteration of the CR.
By 9:05, the latest CR was on the floor of the Senate, which voted 54-46 to send the bill back to the House once more. By 10:30 the House Rules Committee had convened to discuss sending the CR to a joint conference. The meeting ended at 11:09, and Democrats on the committee seemed resolved that a shutdown was inevitable.
The House took up the vote at 11:35 to confer with the Senate. Before the vote occurred, the OMB released a statement ordering federal agencies to being implementing their shutdown plans. At midnight the House was still in debate. Rep. Louise Slaughter made the declaration that the government was shut down.
As of 12:01 am, floor debate was still underway in the House, while Majority Leader Harry Reid was speaking on the Senate floor.