WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 (Xinhua)-- The wrangle between the Republican-led House of Representatives and the Democratic- controlled Senate over a bill to fund the U.S. federal government failed to produce a deal before midnight Monday, when the country' s 2013 fiscal year expired, thrusting the American government into the first partial shutdown in 17 years.
In days leading up to the deadline, the House GOP leaders have attempted to defund or derail the implementation of Obamacare in the funding bill for the federal government, but the Senate has rejected all the changes in the House versions of the bill, insisting on a "clean" resolution.
The House passed a stopgap spending bill, which was championed by the conservatives, to fund the government through Dec. 15 at current funding levels while prohibiting funding to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly called Obamacare.
In his weekly address, U.S. President Barack Obama urged the Republican opponents to stop political brinkmanship on the government funding and debt limit issues, to avert self-inflicted wound to the economy.
With a possible government shutdown looming, U.S. Senate voted 54-44 to pass a stopgap spending bill to fund the federal government's operations from Oct. 1 to Nov. 15 to avert a shutdown. The bill cut a controversial provision that would defund President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.
On the same day, Obama again urged the House GOP lawmakers to quickly approve the spending bill passed by Senate to avert a government shutdown and raise the nation's debt ceiling to avoid a debt default crisis.
The House voted in the early hours of Sunday to pass a short- term government funding bill proposed by Republican leaders to fund the federal government's operations through Dec. 15 and delay the implementation of Obamacare for one year.
The bill passed by the lower chamber of Congress also contained a repeal of the medical device tax in the ACA to fund Obamacare and a measure ensuring service providers to get paid in the event of a government shutdown.
The U.S. Senate rejected a measure approved earlier by the House, which would tie funding for government agencies to a one- year delay of Obama's landmark healthcare law. It stripped the language of delaying the Obamacare from the House bill and eliminated the provision repealing a tax on medical devices that is intended to help finance the healthcare law.
Later in an unscheduled statement, Obama said at the White House that a government shutdown would have "very real economic" impact on the Americans. He expressed hopes that the Congress would do the right thing and avert a shutdown as time was running out.
The House approved a stopgap funding bill late Monday night that delays the key part of Obamacare, pushing the government closer to a shutdown. The proposal would keep the government operating through mid-December and delay the individual mandate of the healthcare law.
U.S. Senate then quickly rejected the House bill in a simple majority vote and again sent back to the House a "clean" funding bill, as the federal government teetered toward a shutdown.
With less than two hours to go before the Monday midnight deadline, the Congress remained in a budget stalemate, with lawmakers of the both parties squabbling over whom to blame. The Senate Democrats even refused the House GOP request to name negotiators to a bipartisan conference to resolve differences.
With little hope that a deal will come in time to stave off a shutdown, Obama signed a bill that would protect military pay in a government shutdown. The bill was approved earlier by both chambers.
As a shutdown became imminent, the White House Office of Management and Budget ordered the federal agencies to begin their plans for a government shutdown just minutes before midnight Monday, due to lack of an agreed bipartisan funding bill.