Government Shutdown Takes Effect After Stalemate on Capitol Hill

About 800,000 workers are being told to stay home as government buildings and national parks are closed.
3:55 | 10/01/13

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Transcript for Government Shutdown Takes Effect After Stalemate on Capitol Hill
It was a dramatic night in washington. Last-minute moves by congress and the white house. By it has all added up to nothing. No deal. No relief. More stalemate. The government has shut down for the first time in more than 17 years. Just under 2 million workers affected right now. Consequences for american families growing every day. We've already seen immediate impacts. These are live pictures of the statue of liberty, closed right now. The national zoo, with a closed sign. No one showing up at the e.P.A. Just one of the places where no one is going to work. All kinds of government activities suspended. No flu monitoring. No irs audits, either. But social security and unemployment checks will go out for now. We have team coverage right now from the white house to capitol hill. Let's start with abc's jon karl. Reporter: George, the shutdown is here. This morning, some 800,000 federal workers are being told to stay home, as government buildings and national parks across the country are closing down. Overnight, there was no stopping the shutdown or the finger-pointing. Senate democrats have offered nothing. Yesterday, mr. Speaker, they didn't even show up for work. What a shameful day this is in the history of the house of representatives. Reporter: All of the fighting is over a bill that would fund the government for a matter of just six weeks. Republicans tried yet again to pass a bill that would tie funding to delaying the key provision of the health care law. The president making any concession when threatened with a government shutdown is a nonstarter. You don't get to extract a ransom for doing your job. For doing what you're supposed to be doing anyway. Or just because there's a law there that you don't like. Reporter: There's no negotiating going on. The president had a ten-minute phone conversation with speaker of the house john boehner monday night. Their first conversation over a week. It didn't accomplish much. I talked to the president earlier tonight. I'm not going to negotiate. I'm not going to do that. I would say to the president, this is not about me. And it's not about republicans here in congress. It's about fairness for the american people. Reporter: There is one thing they agreed on, the troops will be paid. Congress has passed and I'm signing into law, legislation to make sure you get your paychecks on time. Reporter: So, how long will it last? Most people, would assume if there's a shutdown it would be for a day or two. I've talked to people on both sides, senior people, right in the middle of this, who say they have no idea how long this shutdown will go on. Let's get the view from capitol hill right now. Jeff zeleny is there. We're hearing the speaker and the president saying they're not going to negotiate. Who is going to blink? Reporter: That's a great question. I wish I had good news for you. But I don't. House republicans are digging in their heels. Democrats think they are right, too. In the middle of this all, I'm seeing some cracks among the republican armor. I TALKED TO SENATOR john McCain last night, george. He says, we can't win this fight. Republicans need to move forward. We're going to lose this fight, george. So, if anyone's going to blink first, most people think it will be republicans. The question, of course, is when. Reporter: That is the question. And you know, we just heard jon karl say, no idea from his reporting. Any better sense from the hill? Reporter: We've often thought this would be a number of hours. And most senior republican lawmakers I talked to, one veteran last night, who was here 17 years ago during that shutdown. And he told me the only thing that can move this is public opinion. Once the phone calls start coming into lawmakers' offices, that will move this. I think it's a number of days. Jeff, thank you very much. I was there 17 years ago, as well. And the public opinion did come in fast and furious, once the shutdowns began. We'll see if that happens again this time around.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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