Tue October 1, 2013
Washington (CNN) -- The game of chicken failed. Neither side blinked. Now millions will pay the price.
Americans watched a colossal failure by Congress overnight -- and the shut down of their government.
For weeks, the House and the Senate blamed and bickered, each claiming they're standing up for what the public wants.
In the end, it led to the one outcome nobody wanted -- one that will stop 800,000 Americans from getting paid and could cost the economy about $1 billion a week.
"Agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations," the Office of Management & Budget said in a note it sent to federal employees.
This is the first time the government has shut down in nearly 18 years. The last time it did, the stalemate lasted 21 days.
Now, the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate,will try to see if they can reconcile their two versions of the spending plan at the heart of the issue. So far, each has refused to budge.
House Republicans insist the spending plan for the new fiscal year include anti-Obamacare amendments. Senate Democrats are just as insistent that it doesn't.
Obamacare, as President Barack Obama's signature healthcare plan is known, isn't directly tied to funding the government. But it's so unpopular among a group of Republicans that they want it undercut, if not outright repealed.