By John Whitesides and Andy Sullivan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government partially shut down for the first time in 17 years on Tuesday as a standoff between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans over healthcare reforms closed many government offices, museums and national parks and slowed everything from trade negotiations to medical research.
Federal agencies were directed to cut back services and up to 1 million workers were put on unpaid leave. The stalemate sparked new questions about the ability of a deeply divided Congress to perform its most basic functions.
Republicans in the House of Representatives had tried to tie renewal of government funding to measures undermining President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, while the Democratic-controlled Senate repeatedly rejected those efforts. Continue reading “U.S. government shuts down; Congress remains deadlocked”