The partial U.S. government shutdown is no longer just a measurement of days gone by, but a nervous check on how close it pushes the world's largest economy toward what could be its first-ever debt default. What you need to know as the shutdown begins Day 8:
Some GOP lawmakers not worried about debt limit breach
Some Republicans are skeptical about warnings that failing to raise the debt ceiling by Oct. 17 would result in a financial catastrophe. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and other GOP lawmakers contend the United States could prioritize its debt payments and not default. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, wants to couple a bill to end the government shutdown with one to increase the nation's borrowing authority, plus other concessions. President Obama is refusing to negotiate until the government reopens and the debt limit is increased to remove the possibility of default.
How furloughed workers are filling their days
Thousands of civilian employees were back on the job at the Pentagon on Monday, but about 500,000 federal workers are still idle in the government shutdown. Many of these idled workers are keeping themselves busy with home projects, looking for part-time work or just enjoying their free time until official Washington returns them to their jobs. A bill to ensure furloughed government workers receive back pay, passed by the House this weekend, has not yet been scheduled for a Senate vote.
Wall Street feeling anxious as stocks fall
Stocks fell Monday amid hardening political stances. The Dow Jones industrial average, Standard & Poor's 500 index and the Nasdaq composite index all dropped as the government shutdown began its second week. Markets in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Europe also saw losses. "Expect more market volatility and downside pressure if a deal is not reached this week," said Joseph Quinlan, an investment strategist at U.S. Trust.
Polls: GOP takes more blame for shutdown impasse
Seven in 10 adults disapprove of the way Republicans are handling the wrangling over funding the government, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll. That's a 7-point jump since last week. More than half say they don't approve of the way President Obama is handling the budget standoff, and 61% say the same about congressional Democrats. The blame is more closely divided in a Pew Research Center poll. Nearly 4 in 10 Americans point fingers at the GOP, compared with 30% who blame Obama and 19% who say both the White House and Republicans share responsibility.
Skateboarders flip for shutdown's silver lining
There is an upside to the nearly empty plazas in front of the District of Columbia's partially shuttered government buildings. Skateboarders have taken to gliding on some of the marbled plazas and steps on federal property that aren't being policed amid the government shutdown, reports The Wall Street Journal. One favorite spot: Freedom Plaza on 13th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, not far from the White House.