TODAY   |  September 30, 2013

Can a deal be made to avoid government shutdown?

Congress has until midnight Monday to avoid a government shutdown that aides on both sides say is likely to happen. Republicans are refusing to fund the government unless the healthcare law is delayed for a year and Democrats believe it should be funded without any conditions. NBC’s Peter Alexander reports.

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>> that is our top story and it's hours away now. peter alexander has the latest on what's unfolding. peter, good morning to you.

>> matt, good morning to you. it looks to be almost certain that the government will shut down beginning at midnight tonight. democratic and republican aids are predicting that much. the senate won't even begin considering the house bill until late this afternoon in what is as much a partisan crisis as a fiscal crisis the country is barrelling toward it's first shutdown in 17 years.

>> it's decision day. congress has until midnight tonight to avoid a government shutdown but no one is getting their hopes up. house republicans are refusing to fund the government unless the president's healthcare law is delayed one year.

>> the american people deserve to have time to see what this will do before it's implemented.

>> and the house plan is a nonstarter for senate democrats or the president who huddled with advisors insisting republicans agree to fund the government without conditions.

>> don't shut down the government and fail to pay the government's bill with the debt ceiling.

>> reporter: the democratic controlled senate didn't even meet sunday. the halls silent. instead, they'll wait until this afternoon to reject the house plan. just hours before the government shuts it's doors. house republicans are furious.

>> they have refused to even consider the compromise that we have offered.

>> reporter: among the republican's demands, a one year delay for the president's healthcare law, the repeal of a tax on medical devices , and guaranteed pay for u.s. troops even if there is a shut down. texas senator ted cruz is defending the republican strategy.

>> the american people overwhelmingly reject obamacare. they understand it's not working. the only people that aren't listening to the argument are the career politicians in washington.

>> republican lawmakers are considering one last ditch option that they may throw on to the table late this afternoon. matt and savannah, this is a bill that would fund the government but also force members of congress, their staff and the white house staff to buy their medical insurance through the new healthcare laws, exchanges, the healthcare exchanges without subsidies from the government to help reduce the cost.

>>> peter alexander in washington. thank