TODAY   |  October 07, 2013

Clock ticking towards next deadline in shutdown

More than 300,000 civilian defense department employees are back on the job after being recalled, but the president is urging Republicans to pass a budget extension without any amendments to avoid the government reaching the debt ceiling deadline Oct. 17. NBC’s Peter Alexander reports.

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>>> in washington , the united states sedging closer to the first ever default on the government's debt. speaker john boehner ruled out a house vote on a bill to boost the borrowing authority unless there are concessions from president obama . peter alexander has the latest. good morning to you.

>> good morning to you. we are now in week two of this government shutdown and there's no indication that it will be resolved before the next significant deadline over the borrowing limit that's just ten days away. there's no meetings scheduled between the two sides meaning americans maybe forced to swallow a double dose of washington dysfunction.

>> reporter: back on the job, more than 300,000 civilian defense department employees returned to work today recalled by chuck hagel including 3,000 in hawaii.

>> this is huge relief for the federal workers.

>> but families are still being hurt by the shutdown. their daughter, abby, suffering from a rare disorder can't participate in a new clinical trial at the national institutes of health .

>> we're angry. angry for my daughter. how can they not get along to make this work?

>> in washington , president obama is sticking to his guns demanding republicans end the shutdown bypassing a so-called clean c.r. a budget extension without any changes to the president's health care law . but house speaker john boehner insists that wouldn't pass.

>> there are not the votes in the house to pass a clean c.r.

>> reporter: the white house is challenging boehner to put that to a test and the pro obama group is accusing the gop of being irresponsible.

>> we're all losing out.

>> reporter: as many as 22 republicans would likely vote with democrats to reopen the government today, no strings attached. that's more than the 217 votes needed. and now the clock is ticking toward another potentially disasterous deadline, october 17th when the u.s. hits it's borrowing limit, the debt ceiling, when the country runs out of money to pay it's bills. on meet the press, jack lew offered this warning.

>> it's very dangerous.

>> he said congress is playing with fire . you know if congress does nothing we'll be headed to the first default in this country's history. both sides insist they don't want that to happen. both sides say they're looking for a way out but at this point it's entirely unclear what that is.

>> another tough week in washington , peter, thank you so much.