Only three days left for Congress to approve budget before government shutdown
POSTED: Friday, September 27, 2013 - 7:00am
UPDATED: Friday, September 27, 2013 - 7:02am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Three days and counting to a government shutdown if Congress doesn't approve a budget, and that's not looking likely in Washington.
Today the Senate is voting on a budget that the house is sure to reject, and the clock is ticking.
Democrats and Republicans tried to early-up today's budget vote - to leave more time to negotiate, but two lawmakers objected: Ted Cruz - now famous for the 21-hour speech - and his colleague Mike Lee.
"The American people are watching this. A lot of them have expected this might occur Friday or Saturday," said Senator Mike Lee, Utah.
"This an an effort to stall, and I don't know why," said Senate Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid.
"My two colleagues who I respect have sent out e-mails around the world and turned this into a show," said Senator Bob Corker, Tennessee.
Across town, President Obama urged Congress to avoid a shutdown.
"Scientists, janitors, people who process new veterans' and survivors' benefit claims, they'd all have to stay home and not get paid," said the President.
What's likely to come out of the Senate today would keep the government running till mid-November and not touch health care.
House Republicans say they won't accept that, but disagree on whether doors will actually close next week.
"We are very confident we are not going to shut down the government," said Rep. Pete Sessions, Texas.
"We did discuss contingency plans in case of shutdown," said Rep. John Fleming, Louisiana.
The House is planning to work through the weekend to avoid that.
But the number two Democrat in the Senate - Illinois' Dick Durbin says even if they come up with something over the weekend, it may be too late.