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Timeline: Congress’ path to federal shutdown

October 7, 2013

A timeline of Congress’ battle over the partial government shutdown:

Sept. 20: With a potential government shutdown 11 days off, the Republican-run House ignores a White House veto threat and approves legislation denying money for much of President Barack Obama’s health care law while keeping the government open through Dec. 15.

Sept. 24-25: Tea party Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and other conservatives speak on the Senate floor for more than 21 consecutive hours against the health care law. They do not delay or prevent votes, but they help intensify conservative fervor for using the shutdown bill to try forcing Democrats to limit or block the health care law.

Sept. 27: The Democratic-led Senate votes to end conservative efforts to derail the bill preventing a shutdown, with even most Republicans opposing the conservatives. The Senate sends a bill keeping agencies open through Nov. 15 back to the House, after removing House-approved provision defunding the health care law.

Sept. 29: The House shifts its demands for restricting the health care law. It votes to delay implementation of the health care overhaul by a year and to repeal a tax on many medical devices that helps pay for the law.

Sept. 30:

—2:20 p.m. EDT: The Senate removes House provisions postponing the health care law and erasing the medical device tax.

—8:41 p.m.: The House approves a new shutdown bill with different demands. It delays for a year the health care law’s requirement that individuals buy health insurance, and requires members of Congress and their staff to pay the full expense of health insurance, without the government paying part of the costs.

—9:37 p.m.: The Senate strips the House provisions on individual health insurance and federal health coverage subsidies for Congress.

Oct. 1:

—12:01 a.m. EDT: Government’s new fiscal year begins, partial federal shutdown starts.

—1:11 a.m.: The House stands by its language delaying required individual health coverage and blocking federal health insurance subsidies for Congress, and requests formal negotiations with the Senate.

—8 a.m.: Federal health care exchanges open.

—10 a.m.: The Senate rejects House effort for formal bargaining.

Oct. 2: Embarking on a strategy of voting to restart popular programs, Republicans push bills through the House reopening national parks and the National Institutes of Health and letting the District of Columbia municipal government spend money. Democrats mostly vote “no,” saying the entire government must reopen. Obama discusses the impasse with congressional leaders at the White House but participants report no progress.

Oct. 3: The House votes to pay members of the National Guard and Reserves and finance veterans’ programs.

Oct. 4: The House votes 247-164 to finance federal disaster aid programs, and 244-164 to finance feeding programs for infants and pregnant women. The shutdown fight is increasingly tied to the need for Congress to renew federal borrowing authority by Oct. 17 or risk an economy-rattling government default. GOP leaders increasingly shift their conditions for passage of the shutdown and debt limit bills to deficit reduction.

Oct. 5: The House votes 407-0 to pay furloughed federal workers when the shutdown ends. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says he is bringing most of his department’s 350,000 furloughed workers back to work immediately.

Oct. 6: House Speaker John Boehner says House won’t pass bills ending shutdown or raising debt limit without negotiations on GOP demands.

Oct. 7: House votes 235-162 to fund Food and Drug Administration programs.

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