LIVE UPDATES: Government Shutdown Standoff

PHOTO: A furloughed federal employee holds a sign on the steps to the U.S. Capitol after the U.S. Government shut down last night, on Capitol Hill in Washington on October 1, 2013.Larry Downing/Reuters
A furloughed federal employee holds a sign on the steps to the U.S. Capitol after the U.S. Government shut down last night, on Capitol Hill in Washington on October 1, 2013. The U.S. government began a partial shutdown for the first time in 17 years, potentially putting up to 1 million workers on unpaid leave, closing national parks and stalling medical research projects.

With Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill at odds over the federal budget, the country has been forced its first federal government shutdown in nearly two decades. Members of Congress blew a midnight deadline to avert the shutdown that is affecting every federal department and agency -- from the Department of Education to the United States Postal Service to the Environmental Protection Agency. ABC News will be tracking all of the political maneuvering in Washington throughout the first full day of the shutdown on our Shutdown Countdown live blog.