TODAY   |  September 26, 2013

Republicans remain divided as shutdown looms

Lawmakers barely have 100 hours to figure out how to keep the government funded before its scheduled shutdown date of Oct. 1, but many lawmakers are still divided on how best to keep the government operating. NBC’s Peter Alexander reports.

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>> we want to begin with today's top story. that is this looming shutdown, peter alexander is in washington. peter, good morning to you.

>> reporter: matt, good morning to you. simply put, everyone is looming in on next thursday. if congress doesn't reach a bug dell by then, federal agencies close. it is also the first day when uninsured americans can sign up for the president's health care law . with the clock ticking, here is where things stand. it's getting down to the wire. lawmakers have barely 100 hours to agree how to keep the government funded or shut it down tuesday. republicans remain deeply divided. senator cruz's 100 hour talk-a-thon, quickly dismissed by john mccain , which insisted it is not worth shutting the government down over opposition to obamacare.

>> but we not as hard as we could in a fair honest manner and we lost.

>> reporter: in northern virginia , people are being more contemplative about it. people will say they will think before they boy a volvo.

>> reporter: a shutdown could mean furloughs, tense of thousands of workers have to settle for ious instead of paychecks. the national museums and even the national zoo all closed. bad news for tourist, also for hotel, restaurants and travel companies that serve them. if you are headed overseas, you better already have your passport. those applications will stall. as for the president's health care law the white house has plenty of explaining to do. three out of four americans told nbc news they don't understand the law. beginning tuesday, october 1st , anyone who doesn't have insurance can sign up on an online marketplace called an exchange.

>> people will shop an compare and make the decision that's best for them and their family.

>> reporter: they offer four levels of coverage, from bronze to platinum. a fam ply in texas it would pay $28 after a tax credit . the president will head to maryland to push the uninsured to sign up.

>> that first day is october 1st . it's really a stalemate. eighth mess. it would likely by shifting the fight. another looming battle next month over the nation's br rowing limit.

>> peter alexander , thanks, so much.