America 'On Precipice' Of Government Shutdown
The US government is almost guaranteed to shut down on Monday night after House Republicans voted in favour of a temporary spending bill that includes a one-year delay for Obamacare.
The Republican-led House of Representatives passed the proposal by 231 votes to 192 in one of two amendments attached to a Senate spending bill passed on Friday night.
"I don't think we're near the precipice of a shutdown," said House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer. "We are on the precipice."
The White House and the leader of the Democrat-controlled Senate said they would not accept the plan.
"To be absolutely clear, the Senate will reject both the one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the repeal of the medical device tax," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
"After weeks of futile political games from Republicans, we are still at square one."
President Barack Obama also said he would veto the plan, resulting in the federal government technically running out of money on Monday night and forcing the first partial government shutdown in almost 20 years.
Nearly a million government employees will be forced off work without pay, and museums and national parks will close.
The row between the Democrats and Republicans over government funding has been rumbling on since 2010.
Since then there have been negotiations between the parties that have led to short-term stop-gap funding bills rather than longer term budgets.
The last time the federal government shut down was under the Clinton administration in 1995, when services ground to a halt for 28 days. It nearly happened again in April 2011.
If the shutdown does go ahead then a third of the government's 2.1 million employees will be kept off work - possibly without back pay.
National parks and the capital's Smithsonian museums will be closed, pension and benefits cheques will be stopped and passport applications will not be processed.
While 1.4 million troops would stay at work, they would not get paid.
The Pentagon's top financial officer Robert Hale has said that high-priority missions such as Afghanistan would not be affected.
However, he said that roughly half the Defense Department's civilian work force would be place on unpaid leave.
Training and a range of maintenance work would be cancelled.
Government agencies have compiled a list of essential workers, and critical services such as air traffic control would continue.
The Affordable Healthcare Act was passed into law in 2010 and has since been upheld by the Supreme Court.
It is a measure that has caused particular ire among Republicans and they have continually attempted to reverse it.
Mr Obama said Republicans should not threaten to "burn the house down because you haven't gotten 100% of your way".
He said: "No one gets to hurt our economy ... just because there are a couple of laws [they] don't like."