Congress inches towards a budget deal to avoid shutdown

April 1, 2011 8:04:18 PM PDT
In Washington, another budget deadline is approaching, but this time Congress appears closer to an agreement. Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress are trying to avoid a government shutdown. However, that's not the message from the tea party.

The money runs out April 8, but there is a fair amount of optimism for a budget deal and a lot of confusion over what would happen if the government does shuts down.

Touting the positive employment figures on Friday President Barack Obama issued a warning: a shutdown would jeopardize the recovery.

"It would be the height of irresponsibility to halt our economic momentum because of the same old Washington politics," said Obama.

Congressional negotiators are inching closer to a budget deal.

"Our goal is to negotiate this and get it as finished as soon as possible," said Rep. John Boehner, R-Speaker of the House.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters negotiations aren't going as fast as he would like, but behind closed doors the two sides seem to have settled on $33 billion in cuts. Where exactly the cuts will come from is still be debated.

At a demonstration in Washington D.C. Thursday, tea party supporters demanded $100 billion in cuts or else.

If the government does shut down, the Office of the Department of Defense has said military personnel will serve without pay until such time as Congress makes funds available. That information came from a draft plan reported by

The office of Management and Budget has instructed agencies to keep their shutdown plans under wraps. However, we know from the last time the government shut down in 1995, national parks were closed and that means Alcatraz would likely be on the hit list, but a spokeswoman for the ferry service that carries a million and a half passengers to the island, told ABC7 even the worst case scenario isn't that bad.

"The government will shut down for maybe a few days, it'll come back to business, everything will be fine. We're really not concerned about it at all," said Tegan Firth from Alcatraz Cruises.

If there is no agreement by next Friday and the government does run out of money, the vast majority of federal employees will stay on the job, such as the postal service, social security checks will continue to go out, three-quarters of federal employees will remain on the job without furlough days.

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