5 things to know about government shutdown Wednesday

(USA TODAY) As the partial federal government shutdown enters Day 9, the politicians are digging in and no progress has been made to end the standoff. What you need to know about the shutdown on Wednesday, Oct. 9:

Obama, Boehner dig in and reject compromise

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner held separate news conferences and made sharply worded statements about the budget impasse and the looming Oct. 17 deadline when the nation reaches its debt limit. Obama insisted that he's "not budging" on his insistence that congressional Republicans raise the borrowing authority and pass a bill to fund the government — both without any restrictions. Boehner rejected what he considers Obama's call for "unconditional surrender." A key vote will be on a bill by Senate Democrats to increase the debt ceiling through Dec. 31, 2014, with no strings attached.

If credit runs out, what bills would Treasury pay and when?

Obama has warned of economic disaster if Congress doesn't raise the nation's $16.7 trillion debt limit. The Treasury Department is expected to have $30 billion on hand if the debt ceiling isn't raised by Oct. 17. The next critical day would be Nov. 1, when the Treasury Department may not have the money to meet its commitments, according to reports by Goldman Sachs and the Bipartisan Policy Center. That's when $43 million of Social Security and Medicare payments become due, along with payments for people with disabilities, and payroll for federal workers. Then $30.9 billion in interest would be due Nov. 15.

Military, VA benefits held up in shutdown

The government shutdown is denying an array of financial benefits to families of troops killed in combat, training or by other causes in the military. The Department of Veterans' Affairs on Tuesday cut off public access to all 56 regional offices where veterans can walk in to file claims. It's unclear whether the VA will be sending out compensation checks on Nov. 1 to about 3.8 million veterans who rely on them, department spokeswoman Victoria Dillon says. The families of four soldiers and a Marine killed in Afghanistan since the shutdown began last week are not receiving a $100,000 death gratuity or any unpaid income due their loved ones, or being reimbursed for burial expenses, the Pentagon says.

Government shutdown puts squeeze on health, safety

Cutbacks and furloughs of federal workers are hampering investigations dealing with health and safety. The National Transportation Safety Board did not send anyone to investigate an Oct. 2 bus crash in Tennessee that killed eight people or to probe the death of a Metro subway worker killed a few days later in a tunnel explosion. A salmonella outbreak linked to chicken produced in California has sickened 278 people in at least 18 Western states. However, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn't have access to a national computer network that connects 87 public health labs and looks for trends in food-borne illness outbreaks.

Could the crabbers of 'Deadliest Catch' be sidelined?

Furloughed workers at the National Marine Fisheries Service means no permits are being granted to the skippers of boats that go fishing for Alaskan king crab, as featured in the reality TV show Deadliest Catch. Without the licenses, NBC News reports, dozens of fishing vessels will be docked indefinitely and their captains will be barred from dropping their traps when the lucrative king crab season begins Oct. 15. Mark Gleason, executive director of Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, a trade group that represents most of those crab fishermen, told the TV network that "tens of millions of dollars are potentially at risk."


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