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Washington Beat: House Agrees To Retroactive Pay For Furloughed Federal Workers

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TWC News: Washington Beat: House Agrees To Retroactive Pay For Furloughed Federal Workers
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There was a small moment of compromise Saturday amid the federal government shutdown.

As many as 800,000 federal employees are going without paychecks until congress is able to pass a budget, but on Saturday, the House unanimously passed a bill that would retroactively pay furloughed federal workers once the shutdown ends.

Despite this, the two parties seem no closer to ending the shutdown.

Congressional Democrats say they won't negotiate on any bill that ties the Affordable Care Act to the budget debate.

That continues to draw the ire from the GOP.

"This shutdown has been brought about by the president's unwillingness to sit down and talk with members of Congress on the hill," said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. "And I think if you were to ask on both sides of the aisle, this administration has been almost absent when it comes to discussions in working out our differences."

"This crisis could be over in hours if the Speaker and the Republicans would just take yes for an answer instead of continuing to be the party of 'no,'" said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The Senate is expected to OK the retroactive pay bill as well, and it has the support of the White House.

President Barack Obama, meanwhile, says that the GOP's obsession with his health care law is out of step with the rest of the country.

In an interview with the Associated Press, the president said that the amount of interest in the newly opened health care exchanges is evidence that many Americans will eventually benefit from health care reform.

He continued to blame House Speaker John Boehner for not allowing Congress to vote on a clean bill to fund the government.

"Essentially, what's happened here is, Democrats are saying they are prepared to pass a Republican budget for two months while negotiations continue," Obama said. "We just can't have a whole bunch of other extraneous stuff in it, and the obsession with the Affordable Care Act, with 'Obamacare,' has to stop."

When asked about some of the more outspoken Republicans in Congress, the president said that their behavior may be good for headlines but not for the country.

"I recognize that in today's media age, being controversial, taking controversial positions, rallying the most extreme parts of your base, whether it's left or right, is a lot of times the fastest way to get attention or raise money, but it's not good for government," he said.

The interview also touched on U.S. policies in Iran and Afghanistan.

In addition, with the NFL season now underway, the president said he would support a name change for the Washington Redskins.

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