Apr 8 - A government shutdown looms in the United States as lawmakers have yet to reach an agreement on the budget. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
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A government shutdown looms in the United States, as lawmakers are working to break a deadlock that could idle hundreds of thousands of workers.
With a Friday Midnight deadline approaching, Congressional leaders have yet to agree on their .... disagreements.
Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner.
SOUNDBITE: Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, saying (English):
"There's only one reason that we do not have an agreement as yet, and that issue is spending. We're close to a resolution on the policy issues, but I think the American people deserve to know when will the White House and when will Senate Democrats get serious about cutting spending."
Democrats say a deal is being held up over a Republican push to include birth control restrictions in the deal.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
SOUNDBITE: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, saying (English):
"We've always recognized that we've had to make cuts. That's why we agreed in the White House last night to make significant cuts - hard, but important. But now, the Tea Party among others, but they're the biggest push, is trying to move its extreme social agenda - issues that have nothing to do with funding the government."
Without an agreement government offices, parks and even tourist sites would begin a partial shutdown. Only workers deemed "vital," like military personnel and police officers would remain on the job.
Government workers in Washington are frustrated.
SOUNDBITE: Gail Carter who is an analyst for the Department of Homeland Security, saying (English):
"You know, it's their job to pass a budget. So, you kind of would hope they would compromise more and do what needs to be done before a shutdown. And everybody knows about the economy being - trying to rebuild, and I don't think this is helpful,"
SOUNDBITE: Robert Autry, accountant for a Federal Agency, saying (English):
"As taxpayers, if I'm responsible for coming to do my job, and you're going to hold me accountable, so we should have accountability at that level too. And there should be no excuse,"
The White House says a shutdown would idle 800,000 federal government workers and could have implications for the economic recovery.
Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.
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