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Day 13


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With a partial government shutdown stretching into its 13th day and the looming potential for a historic default on government debts just days away, Senate leaders talked on Sunday but did not settle an impasse over a stopgap measure to reopen the government. The stalemate began Oct. 1 over House Republican demands to gut the Affordable Care Act. When that didn't work, the House shifted course last week and tried to use the shutdown as an excuse to cut Social Security. (The Associated Press reported on Sunday that next year's cost-of-living adjustment, even with no change in the law, will probably be only 1.5 percent, one of the lowest ever. It's not certain because the workers who crunch the inflation numbers have been furloughed.) The budget negotiations on Sunday reportedly focused on how long the government should be funded. The Senate also took steps to reconsider a vote on Saturday when Republicans, voting in lockstep, blocked consideration of a resolution to let the government continue to pay its bills. Sen. Bernie Sanders worried that a default would spike interest rates on home mortgages, car loans, student loans and credit cards, but he said on Saturday that he believes Wall Street and big-money interests would not let "the crazies" force the country into a default that could send the economy into a tailspin.

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