Friday, October 11, 2013

Day 11 of the government shutdown: What's going on?

With each passing day of the partial shutdown of the United States government, it appears that Congress and the White House are reaching some kind of agreement for a resolution.

Staff-level negotiations continued through Thursday night and today, here's what is going on with the shutdown with the help of a report by USA Today.

1. Top level talks continue

House Republican leaders went to the White House on Thursday with a proposal for a short-term extension of the debt ceiling for the country to pay its creditors. President Barack Obama expressed interest but wants a deal to resolve the shutdown. Both sides agreed to talk further, which is a big step from the big stare down between Obama and House Speaker John Boehner. Republican senators are visiting the White House today to discuss their options and ideas.

2. Dow soars from signs of progress

With word on the government's progress, the Dow jumped 323 points in the stock market's best day of the year. Of course, if talks falter the Dow could go down again. You know how this works.

3. States move to reopen national parks

States, losing millions of tourism dollars, have been asking the Interior Department to allow them to open the parks with state money. The department agreed but with these conditions: the states would have to bring back all federal employees and open the parks entirely, not partially. Some states worry about the federal government reimbursing them once the shutdown ends.

4. Parole hearings on hold

The shutdown has delayed parole hearings across the country, including one for Augustin Alvarez, who shot and killed Ariel Rios, an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives more than 30 years ago.

5. Would you like cream and politics with your coffee?

The coffee superchain Starbucks has invited customers to register their rage over the shutdown by a petition drive and newspaper ads. The petitions demand leaders reopen the government, avoid a default and agree to a long-term budget deal by the end of the year.

To learn more, check out this USA Today video.

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