TODAY   |  September 20, 2013

Congress in stalemate as shutdown looms

With only 10 days remaining to pass and sign a bill into law to keep the federal government from shutting down, Congress is in a stalemate, as Republican lawmakers propose a bill that would defund the President’s health care law. NBC’s Peter Alexander reports.

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>>> now to washington and here we go again. another government shut down show down is brewing on capitol hill . peter alexander is on duty at the white house this morning. peter, good morning to you.

>> hey, savannah. president obama travels to kansas city this morning to highlight improvements in the economy but back here in washington there's another political war. this time largely within the republican party over funding the government and without an agreement by the end of this month, it is you who could feel the pain.

>> reporter: stop me if you've heard this one before. if washington can't come to an agreement in just ten days it will run out of money. the government will shut down. house republican solution, a bill that funds the government through mid december but stops paying for the president's healthcare law.

>> the law is a train wreck and it's going to raise cost. it's destroying american jobs and it must go.

>> reporter: but it won't go far. the republican bill is guaranteed to fail in the democratic controlled senate. some republican senators even dismissed the plan. one calling it the dumbest idea i've ever heard because even if it passed, president obama would never sign it into law. once again a stalemate.

>> the problem is right now, this town, washington is locked up.

>> reporter: so what would a shut down mean to you, members of the military and most government workers would get ious, not pay checks. tourists and national monuments locked out and passport and visa applications stalled and no student loans. members of congress still get paid and more now they're still bickering.

>> while the president is happy to negotiate with vladimir putin he won't engage with the congress on a plan.

>> the white house 's response?

>> a little bit of putin envy on behalf of the speaker. but maybe he can explain that.

>> here's the thing, avoiding a shut down is supposed to be the easy part. the last shut down was 20 years ago. the bigger challenge vazing the borrowing limit, they call it the debt ceiling. that's next up and there the possible consequence is default, again, threatening the nation's economy.

>> peter alexander at the white house this morning. thank you so much.