(USA TODAY) The partial government shutdown enters Day 10 frozen in the same place. All eyes will be on Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on the consequences if the debt ceiling is not raised by Oct. 17. What you need to know about the shutdown on Thursday, Oct. 10:
Obama convenes talks with Congress
President Obama is reaching out to lawmakers in a bid to move forward on ending the government shutdown. He'll sit down Thursday for separate talks with House Republicans and Senate Democrats, after meeting with House Democrats on Wednesday. Both chambers are in session Saturday, a sign that the deadlock is expected to continue. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has scheduled a key procedural vote Saturday on legislation to suspend the debt ceiling through 2014. But he'll need the votes of six Republicans to cross that hurdle, assuming all 52 Democrats and the two independents who caucus with them stick together.
Military death benefits restored after widespread outrage
The Pentagon reached an agreement with the non-profit Fisher House Foundation torestore $100,000 death benefits to military families that are stalled in the shutdown. The outcry was loud and fierce when news broke that payments to the families of fallen servicemembers were on hold. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel flew to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to meet with families as the remains of their loved ones, killed Sunday in a roadside blast in Afghanistan, returned to the United States. Hagel said the foundation will be reimbursed when the shutdown ends.
Number of furloughed workers shrinks as shutdown drags on
The government shutdown is shrinking, even if the political divide is growing. When the shutdown began Oct. 1, an estimated 800,000 federal workers were deemed "non-essential" and furloughed. The Pentagon earlier this week recalled almost all of its 350,000 civilian workers. Thousands of other workers in the Social Security Administration are also back at work, and other federal agencies have temporarily recalled employees. There is still no guarantee that federal workers will receive back pay because a bill to do that has so far only passed the House.
One man steps in to clean up at memorials
Chris Cox is a cut above the bickering in Washington. Fed up with the government shutdown, Cox took a lawnmower to the National Mall this week and began cutting grass in areas between the Lincoln and World War II memorials. The South Carolina native, who now lives in the Virginia suburbs of the nation's capital, calls his one-citizen effort the Memorial Militia. "These are our memorials. Do they think that we're just going to let them go to hell?" Cox said in an interview with WNEW, an all-news radio station.
Shutdown closes tap on new beers
The prolonged closure of federal offices has given some people a reason to cry in the beer. An obscure arm of the Treasury Department has stopped approving new brews. All beers that get bottled or canned that are sold across state lines must get approval by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, better known as the TTB. The agency signs off on the label, as well as the recipe if it uses non-traditional ingredients. Brewery taxes, however, are being collected during the shutdown.