Federal government shuts down for first time in 17 years

Story by Alex Zank, Freelancer

WASHINGTON — As a result of a partisan divide between the House of Representatives and Senate over what should be done with the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, the U.S. government shut down at midnight Tuesday with the failure to pass a continuing resolution.

The CR, meant to fund the government for the next few months, that was passed by the Republican controlled House called for the delay of certain provisions of Obamacare for a year — namely the individual mandate — as well as eliminating the medical device tax.

Both President Barack Obama and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), majority leader of the Democratic controlled Senate, previously said that Obamacare was not negotiable in the CR. An earlier version of the resolution passed by the House called for defunding the act entirely.

Obamacare has been the center of political debate since its passage in 2010. The House has voted to repeal or defund the law over 40 times. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law last year.

Zank is currently interning at The National Law Journal in Washington D.C.