Congress last night forced a shutdown of the federal government, with House Republicans refusing to pass a spending measure that failed to at least slow the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Democratic leaders spurned a last-hour offer from Republicans to meet in conference committee and negotiate a way out of the budget impasse. They said they were willing to negotiate a budget deal, but Republicans would have to pass a "clean" resolution first to keep the government operating.
Without a new spending resolution, the government's authority to spend money expired at midnight. Republicans in the House of Representatives were determined to use that deadline as leverage to force concessions on the Affordable Care Act, which they have voted dozens of times to repeal. Clients were to begin enrolling for coverage under the act today, through state health exchanges like Minnesota's MNsure.
The prospect of a partial government shutdown sent financial markets into a slide Monday.