Nightly News   |  September 29, 2013

Unlikely government will avoid shutdown

There are high stakes, but low expectations in Washington. The House has voted, but the Senate won’t take up the issue until Monday. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> good. we're now a little under 30 hours away from a partial shutdown of the federal government . the point at which washington will be unable to pay many of its bills. the mechanics of avoiding a monday night strutdown are pretty straightforward. a simple vote by congress to keep the money flowing would do it. but of course, as usual, it's the politics, not the mechanics, that are proving to be the obstacle. and the bart san bickering that we've come to know as business as usual , it was on rare display saturday night. not a good sign. we've got full coverage starting on capitol hill . good evening. where do we stand?

>> reporter: what makes this different than other showdown crisis in recent years, leaders on either side are not sugar coating it. and none of that frantic back scene negotiation going on. and it seems more and more unlikely that they can avoid this mess.

>> the rules are suspended the bill is passed. and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.

>> reporter: high steaks -- high stake ises but low expectations for capitol hill . notably not how speaker john boehner came together to --

>> and we want to work and negotiate and get the job done.

>> tea party conservatives held to their demand refusing to fund the government unless the health care law is delayed one year. but senate democrats will wait until tomorrow to reject the house plan.

>> this is the old football straenl. when you get to where you want to be in a football game , you run out the clock .

>> democratic leaders say the tea party delay is going nowhere .

>> there's a time and place to debate obamacare. but not at a time when millions of innocent people are held hostage if we don't fund the government.

>> reporter: the house had worked until the wee hours this morning. democrats, fumed.

>> what on earth are we doing here?

>> reporter: republicans did pass the plan to keep the government open, but with conditions. a one year delay of the president's health care law and repeal of the tax on medical devices . and if there is a shutdown, the military would still get paid on time. tea party force texas senator ted cruz defended the strategy on melt meet the press.

>> the only people who aren't listening to this argument is the career politicians in washington.

>> reporter: but tonight all is quiet. one day left before the government's lights go out. nbc news. the capitol.