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D.C. Update: Partial shutdown reaches Day 14

October 14, 2013

U.S. CapitolToday marks Day 14 of the partial shutdown of the federal government.

Congress and the Obama administration remain at an impasse over how to handle funding the government and raising the debt ceiling. These two issues now are intertwined, and any potential resolution will likely involve both issues.

Two major factors are expected to move Congress and the president beyond their entrenched positions toward resolution. The financial markets have been showing signs of concern, with the major markets trending down as the deadline of Thursday, Oct. 17, approaches.

Entities such as Goldman Sachs have warned Congress that not raising the debt limit could result in a “rapid downturn in economic activity if not reversed quickly.” The vast majority of economists are using words like “recession” and “catastrophe” to explain the impact of breaching the debt ceiling.

In addition, a series of public opinion polls have very clearly indicated the public’s displeasure with Washington.

The House Republicans are taking the biggest hit, with 7 in 10 Americans now disapproving of the way Congressional Republicans are handling the budget battle, up from 63 percent just last week.

Democrats are not immune, with 61 percent of the public disapproving of the Democrats’ approach, and the president’s rating was 51 percent disapproval, but his approval rating ticking up four points to 45 percent. In fact, the Republican numbers are the lowest number for either party since Gallup began asking the question in 1992.

President Obama is now holding ongoing meetings and discussions with the leadership of the four Congressional caucuses. There is still no agreement on a path forward, but everyone seems to be more willing to reach a compromise.