TODAY   |  October 06, 2013

Finger-pointing, frustration in wake of shutdown

As the government shutdown continues, public frustration is mounting and the political fallout is settling in, even as a rare show of bipartisanship was on display Saturday with the House unanimously approving retroactive pay for furloughed workers. NBC’s Kristen Welker reports.

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>>> down in washington, that government shutdown has now dragged into its sixth day, and congress and president obama seem no closer to a solution. kristen welker has the latest. good morning.

>> reporter: lester, good morning to you. there were a few bright spots this weekend. defense secretary chuck hagel said he'll be calling back to work more than 300,000 civilian defense employees furloughed, start back up again tomorrow. the house unanimously approved a bill to restore back pay to all furloughed workers. but the government shutdown continues. painful for americans and politically paralys for lawmakers. with the government shutdown set to enter its second week, there is no end in sight to the finger-pointing.

>> speaker boehner has made a decision that he's going to hold out to see if he can get additional concessions from us.

>> if the president has an ax to grind with the opposing party, why he would want to put the american people in the middle of that and force the pain on them.

>> reporter: now, the dysfunction is taking a political toll. a recent poll shows 44% of americans blame the republicans, and 35% blame the president and democrats.

>> parks, our reserve members.

>> reporter: and there are cracks in the gop strategy with the tea party faction insisting any bill delay the president's health care law .

>> the democrats want government by crisis. they want shutdowns. this is harry reid 's shutdown, because he thinks it benefits democrats politically.

>> reporter: but a growing number of republican moderates are calling for their party to open up the government with no strings attached, arguing the health care law is a nonstarter with democrats.

>> there are a lot of things we want to do in government. but there is one thing you must do and that is fund the government.

>> reporter: on saturday, the first member of the tea party defected, representative dennis ross , telling bloomberg news, we need to move on. political analysts warn the effect on republicans could last well beyond this impasse.

>> i think it's something that can hurt them in primaries, can make it tougher for them to have a singular message against democrats come fall 2014 . of.

>> reporter: but there are also perils for president obama , who insists he won't negotiate right now.

>> i think even some democrats think the line he won't negotiate is one he won't stay with much longer.

>> reporter: according to recent polls, president obama has seen some of his lowest approval ratings in two years. it's possible we won't see any progress until the next big fiscal deadline. that is october 17th when the nation reaches its debt limit and runs out of money to pay its bills. lester.

>> all right, kristen, thank you.