Nightly News   |  September 20, 2013

Threat of government shutdown looms as budget fight continues

House Republicans voted to stop funding President Obama’s health care law, but Sen. John McCain said the senate “will not repeal or defund Obamacare.” NBC’s Chuck Todd reports.

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>>> now to the topic of politics. the wheels were set in motion today in a meaningful way toward a possible government shutdown in ten days' time. the republicans in the house passed a bill to keep the government going while killing obamacare. the problem is that will never make it through the senate like the 41 other times the house republicans have voted to kill obamacare. so here wit we ego again. both parties get to put on a lesson on your government at work. chuck todd is at the white house for us. good evening.

>> good evening, brian. it's an annual ritual in washington. the threat of the government shutdown . republicans in congress, the democratic white house again for the third year in a row showing a game of legislative chicken. the president himself ramped things up when he accused house republicans of holding the entire country hostage. it's back.

>> objection. motion to re consider is laid on the table.

>> reporter: another fight over the budget. the house republican solution? a bill to keep the government open through mid december but stop funding for the president's signature health care law . something that was celebrated after the vote.

>> our message is simple. the american people don't want the government shut down. they don't want obamacare. [ cheers ]

>> reporter: it's a bill that has zero chance of oh becoming law.

>> in the united states senate we will notpeal or oh defund obamacare. we will not. to think we can is not rational.

>> reporter: bowing to tea party pressures house leaders agreed to use the threat to derail health care reform .

>> the next ten days are important for our country. that is doing everything we can to stop, delay and defund obamacare.

>> reporter: the white house promised a veto. touring a ford factory in missouri today a fiery president obama almost seemed to relish the chance to slam house republicans.

>> they are not focused on you. they are focused on politics. they are focused on trying. they are not focused on you.

>> reporter: if there is no vote by october 1 roughly half the government workforce one furloweded. members of the military would be issued i.o.u.s. national parks and monuments would close to tourists. passport and visa applications would stall and so would student loans. many programs continue. social security checks and medicare payments. federal prisons stay open. tax collection won't stop and neither will mail delivery. members of congress? believe it or not by law even during a shutdown they would still get paid. brian, here's the sad irony. for every day the government is shut down it will actually cost taxpayers $100 million a day. will it cost taxpayers more money if the government shuts down for even one day.

>> chuck todd covering the theater in washington on a friday night. chuck, thanks.