Ticking Away To Government Shutdown

House and Senate remain gridlocked on budget battle on Capitol Hill.
9:30 | 09/30/13

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Transcript for Ticking Away To Government Shutdown
This is a special room. I'm -- cuts -- New York with a CBC news digital special report a government -- almost a certainty at this point. Nearly 800000. Government workers could be called tomorrow that they are nonessential. And be furloughed indefinitely both sides still refusing to budge less than twelve hours away. And ABC's Devin Dwyer went on the latest from Washington and joins us now -- the stakes could not be higher at this point we know the house is standing by. -- and vote on some measures is there any chance then and this shut down can be -- -- Again got good morning and there is it seems like the conventional wisdom in Washington right now is that we are headed for shutdown. At least for a few hours or days as you mentioned the House of Representatives is back in session their colleagues in the senate however -- still on the weekend. All of this demonstrating very little urgency for that shut down which is now just a few hours away. Members of congress are back to work today just hours before the federal government will run out of cash. Capitol Hill is gridlocked over obamacare and there are no signs of compromise it's time for the senate to listen to the American people just like the house's wasn't. To the American people and -- -- a one year delay of obamacare. If you're serious about working together to solve problems why don't you work together. To solve problems barring a last minute break through parts of the government will shut down at midnight. That would keep 800000 nonessential federal workers home without pay. He could delay first time home mortgages slow airport security lines. And limit food safety inspections active duty troops will remain on the job but could see delays in pay and benefits. Meanwhile America's national parks and monuments would close Democrats say the only way out is a bill to fund the government with no strings attached. That's a tough sell for house speaker John Boehner with many republicans' insistence that Obama -- be delayed. If he -- to bring something to the floor extend funding for the government to get Democrats to support him yet Republicans -- As unlikely as it seems -- one top Republican says there's still a chance to find common ground. We will not shut the government down -- we have to negotiate -- -- we will continue negotiate. Now there are no formal negotiations under way at this hour many get Democrats simply aren't eager to come to the bargaining table. Polls show most Americans are more Americans rather would blame Republicans. That anybody else if the government shuts down -- OK so Dennis Moore in the house -- the senate will be convening this afternoon what is on the scheduled for the possibility. That's right when the senate comes back at 2 o'clock this afternoon -- They're expected to reject the bill that this that -- house pass over the weekend the one that would continue funding the government but also putting some new limitations on obamacare so that's a dead on arrival measure in the senate. That means the ball is back in the house house's court they're expected to maybe try some other type of compromise kick it back to the senate some sort of ping pong. Is going to take place we expect up until that eleventh hour. But there's really no -- no sign any compromises in the works here that there's any way out Republicans insistent that changes have been made to obamacare. Democrats adamant equally. That nothing should be done -- so as -- house and the senate is going back and forth the Republicans and Democrats are going back and forth what does the White House saying in all of us. -- President Obama as one analyst on the -- earlier today. Is pretty much sitting with -- speed up having a bag of popcorn. He he feels that he holds all the cards here that the American people are on his side according that -- I just referenced. Many Americans would many more Americans rather would blame Republicans than anyone else. If the government shuts down he's content to just to stay out of this of course the president will not like to see the government shut down. But there's a feeling among Democrats and at the White House that the time has come for them to put their foot down on something like the president's signature health care law. They'd rather see the government shut down at least temporarily. -- do anything to change that -- And what has been engaged in about all this -- we've been rattling off this figure -- 800000 people considered nonessential government workers. And it is certainly some that a lot that are asking what exactly is that a non essential role in Washington DC or elsewhere in the government. That's right well the federal government puts out guidelines from the Office of Personnel Management which -- certain workers essential other workers. Non essential basically what that means. Is anything that's necessary to uphold the security of the United States to keep. Certain it's very essential functions running those are essential workers. Nonessential folks administrators. People working at say the Smithsonian's or other museums. Low level staffers at the Pentagon bowl level White House staffers. Press office people at the White House for example all deemed nonessential. So those folks are going to be told. -- not to come in -- starting tomorrow if the government has shut down so it's not exactly a complete government shut down. It's more money more accurately or perhaps a partial government shutdown but a lot of people be affected here -- -- -- to see the impact starting tomorrow morning if they can't reach a deal. And I have to tell you about this -- general you've probably seen -- -- Twitter has been a loaded with this the entire day the national zoo if in fact there is a government shut down the nationals -- have to shut down all of the animal -- Which that. Point seems to be getting a lot of traction on social media for whatever reason. 800000 people being furloughed indefinitely. It's history taking a back -- at social media right now. Yet and that that that's right I don't quite understand how it takes nonessential workers if you will to keep web sites up and running like that but. For whatever the case may be a lot of government agencies and not just zoo. Take for example NASA and there are various. You know Mars rover cameras those are all gonna be turned off. If the government that shuts down at least for a few hours or days and so this this is one way that will all sort of feel the impact of this is is some of these popular things will be. Taken from us but again the bigger impact here is on the 800000. People who who really rely on their paychecks every day. To do their work and they're not going to be getting that at least temporarily -- -- Impose some -- hardship which. Which are exactly the point which is why -- -- is watching that countdown clock as it's ticking down from elect Devin Dwyer Washington DC Devin thank you for that. Of course an interesting fact about this -- that it will actually cost taxpayers more money if the government is not running. In fact about two billion dollars ABC's -- Gonzales has more on this in usual aspect of the budget battle now -- -- -- it is viewing -- we're just saying in one form or another government shut down what impact everyone and the costs are already counting up. Still hours away from a possible government shut down there is already a price tag. The White House estimating that a shutdown will cost taxpayers two billion dollars. It's a common misconception that shutting down the government is completely -- their administrative costs there are loose ends to tie up. And then the cost of putting things back in order once government does start operating again. Even before that midnight deadline consequences are being felt. The Dow opening down 150 points this morning. US futures and foreign markets taking hits and retirement investments threatened. The last time there was a government shut down seventeen years ago typical 401 -- lost more than 7000. Dollars within just a few weeks I hope -- over government gridlock is now also putting a hold on some hiring. It's having a marginal impact on GDP already because you have business leaders are saying. You know look these politicians in Washington once again are sort of holding the economy hostage to their political demands. And so I'm just not gonna hire until I see how this all shakes out. If the government shuts down at midnight further effects will be felt immediately. National parks and zoos will close. 800000. Government employees considered nonessential will be furloughed. Meaning they won't get paid but the people on Capitol Hill making this decision will. If they were to lose their paychecks like everybody else could lose their paychecks that might motivate them to properly solve some problems that the face right now. And on top of this the US is set to hit the debt ceiling on October 17 experts say that will be an even bigger. And more and powerful problems. -- well Marcy. -- -- based on that that -- based on any kind of movement that might happen in the house or the senate today. How could today's activities and play out in that next fight on the seventeenth. Well if they're still bumping heads on this issue that -- could show they're gonna have that much more difficulty reaching an agreement on the debt ceiling. There are others who -- a bit more. Optimistic about the long term on this though saying that we're still dealing with both of these problems the debt ceiling is still looming. It would have such a big impact on the market said it could motivate a both sides to reach a compromise. -- which is something obviously everyone would like to see happen some kind of breaking the gridlock from DC ABC's marks against us Marcy thank you for that. Of course have a complete recap on abcnews.com. As that countdown does continue at midnight deadline. And on Dan Butler New York this ABC news digital special report.

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

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