The good news about the partial federal government showdown is most of the Pentagon's 350,000 civilian employees will be back on the job as Day 7 begins. The bad news is political positions seem to be hardening. What you need to know for Monday, Oct. 7:
Treasury chief warns Congress is "playing with fire"
With each passing day, the federal government is veering closer to potential defaulton the nation's $16.7 trillion debt. "On the 17th, we run out of our ability to borrow, and Congress is playing with fire," Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union. Speaker John Boehner said the GOP-led House won't pass bills to reopen the government or increase its borrowing authority without the White House giving something in return. "I don't want the United States to default on its debt," Boehner said on ABC's This Week. "But I'm not going to raise the debt limit without a serious conversation about dealing with problems that are driving the debt up."
Military contractor cancels shutdown-related furloughs
Sikorsky Aircraft, which makes helicopters and aircraft for all U.S. military branches,canceled temporary layoffs for 2,000 workers that were scheduled to start Monday because of the government shutdown. The United Technologies unit reversed course because of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's decision this weekend to recall most of its civilian workers. Lockheed Martin, the world's largest defense contractor, had said it would furlough 3,000 of its employees starting Monday but a spokesman told Bloomberg News that it's too early to tell if those plans will change.
Bloomberg: New Yorkers hurt by Sandy could "feel pain"
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg used his weekly radio address Sunday to warn that a prolonged federal shutdown could cause "a meaningful delay" in getting federal aid to those affected by Superstorm Sandy nearly a year ago. He said federal officials have advised him that delays are "inevitable" in processing applications for community development block grants as well as progress on dunes replacement and other infrastructure projects.
Wedding bells ring for couples caught in closures
Some of the 24 weddings postponed this month at the Jefferson Memorial or other National Mall locales because of the shutdown have a new venue. The nuptials will now be held free of charge at the bishop's garden at the National Cathedral. Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, extended the offer to those people whose permits for weddings on federal property were put on hold. So far, 12 to 15 people have contacted the diocese and six weddings are scheduled over the next two weekends, according to the Associated Press and WTOP radio.
Name change for 49ers player shut down in shutdown
San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner announced earlier this week he was going to drop the first letter of his last name and change it to "Hitner." The idea was to tie in to the launch of "#LegalHitner" T-shirts protesting the on-field fines and penalties he's incurred this season. The paperwork was filed by the player's attorney. Alas, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN, the federal shutdown means the legal documents forWhitner's name change aren't being processed.