Thursday, April 17, 2014

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Federal Employees Rally In Lower Manhattan As Gov't Shutdown Continues

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Hundreds of federal employees in the city rallied in Lower Manhattan Wednesday as the partial federal government shutdown continued.

The employees called on Congress to pass a clean funding bill so they can get back to work.

The rally came as there were new developments on Capitol Hill.

The House unanimously passed legislation to restore death benefits to the families of fallen soldiers.

The Obama administration also cut a deal with a charity to cover any gap in payments and then later be reimbursed by the Defense Department.

However, there's increasing concern over the Department's ability to continue making benefit payments to all veterans.

Meanwhile, the GOP is sending about two dozen members of Congress to meet with Obama on Thursday.

The White House invited the entire caucus, but Speaker John Boehner said the meeting is only worthwhile if it stays focused on a solution.

Republicans want changes to the president's health care law in exchange for reopening the government.

They also want spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit.

The deadline for that is October 17.

The president and leading Democrats said that they're willing to negotiate, but not until Congress approves funding for the full government.

"Basically, what we've been saying is, the speaker and my Republican friends should take yes for an answer," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "We're ready to go to conference. We have simple, simple requests. Open the government. Let us pay our bills." ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP