Nightly News   |  October 14, 2013

Anger builds as shutdown drags on

Defaulting on the nation’s debt would be potentially devastating to the economy, but with only a few days to go, lawmakers still have not reached a deal to reopen the federal government and borrow more money. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports.

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>>> good evening. after weeks of paralysis, tonight there are signs that progress is being made toward a deal to get the government going again. still, that's been said before. the government remains shut down tonight. aside from all the talk, nothing has been done, and the big deadline is now just over two days away . that's when america loses its ability to pay all of its bills on time. that's the deadline the world is watching. even by washington standards, the anger and anxiousness are building tonight, as we begin here with nbc's kelly o'donnell on capitol hill . kelly, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian. late developments. sources are telling me this is the closest congress has been to resolving this issue. senate leaders have reached a framework of a deal that would put the government back in business through january 15th and let the federal government borrow money for another four months. but this is a senate deal so far. they'll sleep on it tonight. more finishing touches tomorrow. so it is not a done deal yet. on day 14, caution tape and barricades did not keep out frustrated visitors at the national monuments .

>> peanut butter sandwiches?

>> reporter: while the president used the backdrop of a local food pantry to deliver a dire warning about what could happen if congress fails to let the federal government reopen and borrow more money by the thursday deadline.

>> we stand a good chance of defaulting. and defaulting would have a potentially devastating effect on our economy.

>> reporter: an unexpected twist. today the white house called, but then abruptly postponed a meeting with congressional leaders, who had signaled they were getting close to a deal. but away from washington, on the columbus day federal holiday , anger has grown.

>> get back to work and make a decision and fix it.

>> it's a disgrace. i think they should dismiss all of the elected officials, start from scratch.

>> reporter: senators in both parties admit some damage to the economy is already done.

>> i will just tell you, i'm embarrassed.

>> reporter: you're embarrassed?

>> reporter: tennessee republican bob corker says the shutdown pain is partly because conservatives focused on the wrong issue -- stopping obama care, instead of reducing government spending.

>> we missed the opportunity, two months of time went by while the wrong subject was being focused on. and to me, yeah, that's an embarrassment.

>> reporter: minnesota democrat --

>> is it too late to stop some of these negative effects?

>> i think you have already seen some of the negative effects. but it's not too late. the world is watching us. you can see the international market is jittery. you can see problems coming up.

>> reporter: while in places like coral, west virginia , the consequences are here for furloughed worker kim thomas .

>> yeah, that will put us behind. it will put us very behind as far as trying to catch up with bills, you know, because -- once you start that cycle of being behind.

>> reporter: and so the breakthrough we're talking about is just a senate tentative agreement. we still have to hear from the house. so far sources close to speaker boehner say they will wait to see the senate actually vote before they take any next steps. brian?