With President Jimmy Carter watching, Benjamin Civiletti is sworn in by Chief Justice Warren Burger as U.S. attorney general on Aug. 16, 1979. The following year, Civiletti issued a legal opinion saying that federal work cannot go on until Congress agrees to pay for it.
Drawn-out fights over spending bills are nothing new for Congress. But that's where the fights used to stay: in Congress. The rest of the country didn't have to pay much attention to countdown clocks and all this drama.
"In the '60s and '70s down until 1980, it was not taken that seriously at all," says Charles Tiefer, a former legal adviser to the House of Representatives, who now teaches at the University of Baltimore Law School. In the old days, he says, when lawmakers reached a budget stalemate, the federal workforce just went about its business.
The federal government remains on track to miss a midnight Monday deadline to fund its operations. Chambers of Congress sharply disagree over a temporary funding bill. Here, the Capitol is seen Saturday.
Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 11:10 am
The federal government has moved closer to the brink of a shutdown, as the House of Representatives approved a temporary funding bill Saturday night that the Senate and White House say has no chance of becoming law.
The House bill would avert the budget deadline at midnight Monday by funding the U.S. government into December. But it also includes a one-year delay of Obamacare — a provision that Democrats and some Republicans say has no place in a stopgap funding bill.