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US Senate Votes Against Republican Request for Talks to End Government Shutdown

October 1, 2013



Senate votes to kill Republican request for talks to end shutdown

Tuesday, October 1, 2013, 10:56am EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -

The Democratic-led Senate on Tuesday voted to kill Republicans' latest attempts to modify an emergency government funding bill, just hours after federal agencies and national parks began shutting down.

The Senate voted on 54-46 along strict party lines to strip the proposed amendments from the spending bill, sending a "clean" measure back to the House of Representatives that would extend funding for government agencies until November 15.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed the request to appoint negotiators as a last-ditch effort to avoid a shutdown that began as a midnight deadline expired.

The amendments pushed by House Speaker John Boehner also had maintained previous attempts by Republicans to modify President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law. These included a one-year delay of a mandate for individuals to acquire coverage and a requirement that members of Congress, their staffs, and executive branch appointees acquire healthcare coverage through new insurance exchanges that started operating on Tuesday, but without any government subsidies.

Obama and his fellow Democrats have rejected any Republican efforts to use the funding impasse as leverage to change the law known as Obamacare.

After the Senate vote, there was no sign of any moves from either party toward compromise, and lawmakers simply blamed each other for the shutdown.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the shutdown made Tuesday "a good day for anarchists" in the House of Representatives.

"Speaker Boehner and his band of Tea Party radicals, they have done the unthinkable. They have shut down the federal government," Reid said on the Senate floor. "For us, that's hard to comprehend as being good. For them, they like it."

Senator Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, said Democrats caused the shutdown.

"They've now said they won't even agree to sit down and work out our differences. They won't even talk about it. They literally just voted against working out a compromise," McConnell said on the Senate floor.

(Reporting By David Lawder; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Mohammad Zargham)


US Government Shutdown Slows Flow of Data to a Trickle

By Jason Lange

Tuesday, October 1, 2013, 12:28pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -

A partial shutdown of the U.S. government began to delay the release of data on the world's largest economy on Tuesday, leaving policymakers and investors in a fog.

From crop yields to unemployment figures, many of the nation's most closely watched data will not be published during the shutdown that began at midnight (0400 GMT).

The Bureau of Economic Analysis, which publishes data on economic growth, shut down its website overnight and failed to issue a report on construction spending that was supposed to be released at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which was scheduled to publish the nation's monthly employment report for September on Friday, said it would not issue anything until government operations resumed.

"During the shutdown period BLS will not collect data, issue reports, or respond to public inquiries," the agency said. "Updates to the site will start again when the federal government resumes operations. Revised schedules will be issued as they become available."

Congress failed to reach a deal overnight to fund whole swaths of government, and federal offices began shutting down early on Tuesday. The dearth of data will make it harder for policymakers and investors to gauge the health of the U.S. economy and the supply of commodities into global markets.

The monthly jobs report, which provides the nation's unemployment rate and a gauge of hiring by employers, regularly sets the tone for financial markets worldwide.

Without it, investors will rely more on a employment report produced by payrolls processor ADP, which is due on Wednesday. The ADP report has a spotty record in predicting job growth compared to the government's more comprehensive tally.

"This is going to push the ADP report more into the spotlight," said Mike Cullinane, head of Treasuries trading at D.A. Davidson in St. Petersburg, Florida. "It might to be the only employment report we are going to get this month."

The Department of Agriculture also closed its main websites and stopped issuing data for dozens of reports that allow investors and businesses to track crops and livestock.

Early in the morning, the department released a report on daily grain exports that will likely be its last until the government reopens. The United States is the world's largest exporter of agricultural goods.

Some government data, however, will continue to flow, including a weekly report on claims for jobless aid and, at least for the next week or so, data on energy output and prices. The Department of Energy's statistical agency said it will not immediately run out of funds for its operations.

Like ADP, other privately produced economic figures will continue to be published, such as the data issued on Tuesday by the Institute for Supply Management that showed factory activity picking up in September.

It is not clear how quickly the government could gear up to produce any of the report that are being delayed, and whether a swift end to the shutdown might still allow the monthly employment report to come out on Friday as scheduled.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Additional reporting by Richard Leong in New York; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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