(Photo: Michael Reynolds, EPA)
A deadly shooting near the U.S. Capitol on Thursday jolted lawmakers in Congress and temporarily diverted their attention away from the federal government shutdown. What you need to know as the shutdown enters Day 4 on Friday, Oct. 4.
Both sides grope for solutions to budget, debt ceiling
The fight between President Obama, Democrats and Republicans is now a two-pronged fiscal confrontation to avoid a potential default after Oct. 17 on the nation's $16.7 trillion debt. What began for congressional Republicans as an effort to gut the health care law is now bigger. House Republicans are pursuing a broader strategy that would go beyond reopening the government and putting 800,000 furloughed workers back on the job. They'd also like to remove the prospect of default and achieve even bigger changes to reduce the debt.
Battered Dow Jones average tumbles below 15,000
It's a sign that investors are getting increasingly worried about the budget impasse in Washington. Stocks tumbled Thursday sending the Dow Jones Industrial average back below 15,000. Wall Street fears that lawmakers are so far apart that they won't agree to raise the nation's borrowing limit later this month, which would raise the risk of the nation defaulting on its debts for the first time in history. Stocks have now fallen eight of the last 10 days, as investors anticipated a budget deal would not be reached by Oct. 1, the start of the new fiscal year.
Sex assault investigations halted on college campuses
The shutdown's impact has reached college campuses. Investigations of universities suspected of mishandling sexual violence cases are being put on hold by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, according to a Huffington Post report. These include ongoing cases at the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The office won't be conducting a follow-up visit at Yale, which agreed in 2012 to change the way it handles sexual misconduct cases.
Rebels refuse to heed federal shutdown call
The World War II veterans who are ignoring barricades around shuttered monuments aren't the only rebels in the government shutdown. District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray, with his City Council's blessing, declared each of the city's 32,000 employees essential so they could continue to pick up trash and perform other services. The nation's capital city is affected because Congress has the last word on how the District spends its money. In Wisconsin, where some state parks are partially funded by the National Park Service, the state's Department of Natural Resources rejected a federal demand that those parks be closed.
Shutdown provides a civics lesson for students
The government shutdown has become a teachable moment for youngsters, from moms who teach their kids that actions have consequences to civics classes that drive home a point about democracy at work. At Niles North High School in Skokie, Ill., some students there blamed Republicans who are allies of the Tea Party for the shutdown. Others placed blame on President Obama and both houses of Congress. Karen Carey in Lyndonville, Vt., wishes Congress understood the lesson that she's teaching her children. "I want them to understand that if you take the last juice box, and there is a kid behind you allergic to mile, there is a consequence to what you did," she said.
Bonus: President Obama canceled the rest of his Asia trip because of the shutdown, the White House announced late Thursday. He was scheduled to go to Indonesia for the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) and then to Brunei for the East Asia summit. Earlier in the week, Obama canceled visits to Malaysia and the Philippines that were to take place after the two meetings.