Government

Federal employees in Washington state and across the US who have been furloughed since Oct. 1 would return to work soon if Congress signs off on a budget deal. The Washington Post reports that employees should return to work the day after the partial government shutdown ends.

How are Canadians viewing the political battle that's led to the partial shutdown of the US government? "A little like the WWF," said Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer.

He talks with Ross Reynolds about how the shutdown is going over with our biggest trading partner, plus writer Alice Munro's Nobel Prize win and a border issue between American and Canadian flying squirrels.

Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Today, with mere hours left before the US' borrowing authority expires, the Senate released a plan that will fund the government through Jan. 15 and lift the debt limit through Feb. 7. House Speaker John Boehner has said the House will not block the Senate's deal.

It is expected to pass in both chambers, with the House voting second.. A few hours after the Senate formally introduced their plan, Ross Reynolds talked with Washington Senator Patty Murray.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The partial government shutdown is now in its 16th day, but it appears to coming to an end. Senate leaders have reached a bipartisan agreement to re-open the government and temporarily raise the debt ceiling.

The deal calls for the government to be funded through January 15, and to raise the debt ceiling until February 7. Jennifer Steinhauer is a reporter for The New York Times. She speaks with Ross Reynolds about the new developments.

In the course of any given month, the government collects billions of dollars in taxes, spends billions more, and borrows money to cover the difference between what it collects and what it spends.

If Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling soon, the government won't be able to borrow money to cover the difference anymore and won't be able to pay all of its bills.

Update at 10:18 p.m.: House Approves Bill:

The crisis is over. With about two hours before the country reached the debt ceiling, the House has approved the bill and it is now it's way to the White House. We've posted separately on that development and we are putting this live blog to bed.

Our Original Post Continues:

Flickr Photo/Tom Collines

For federal employees, Tuesday is payday. But because of the partial government shutdown thousands of federal employees are getting a reduced paycheck.

Flickr Photo/SEIU Health Care 775NW

There are more than whispers of a deal to end the shutdown today. Both the Senate and the House are working on proposals. Whether or not they will pass, however, is another question. Marcie Sillman talks with Representative Jim McDermott, D-Wash., about the politics inside Congress.

For Tom Jenkins, a senior at the University of Washington and a veteran of the Air Force, the partial government shutdown has caused double stress: He has been furloughed from his part-time job as a reservist, and he may not receive veteran’s benefits.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil, Lynne Robinson's Facebook page.

During the fight over light rail, Bellevue was described as having a conservative majority on the city council. Those members challenged Sound Transit’s light rail route and Bellevue’s share of the cost.

But then long-time incumbent Don Davidson lost in the August primary, leaving two more liberal candidates in the runoff for his seat: Lynne Robinson and Vandana Slatter.

Although city council races are nonpartisan, both candidates sought the endorsement of the King County Democrats.

Just a few blocks away from Washington’s Capitol campus in Olympia you can find a street culture where young adults and teenagers live by their own rules – sometimes with tragic consequences.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

A new poll is out in the Seattle mayor’s race, and it doesn’t bode well for the incumbent.

The SurveyUSA poll, commissioned by Seattle TV station King 5, was conducted just after the first televised debate between Mayor Mike McGinn and state Senator Ed Murray last week.

Of the 557 likely voters reached by phone, 52 percent said they would vote for Murray if the election were held today, 32 percent said they would vote for McGinn.

Flickr Photo/Marina Noordegraaf

The partial government shutdown is now 14 days old  as the deadline for the federal government to raise its debt limit looms this Thursday. But in recent days, momentum seems to be building towards a short term solution. Why now?

Slate writer Will Saletan says it has a lot to do with record-low polling numbers for the GOP, and shaky financial markets. He talks with Steve Scher.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Light rail has been a contentious issue for the Bellevue City Council in recent years, with members divided on the project. Now the Eastside’s light rail line is in final design and no longer in doubt. But those light rail disputes are still campaign fodder for incumbent Kevin Wallace and his challenger Steve Kasner, one of three races for the council that will be taking place in November.

  Loggers are packing up and leaving timber sales uncut across the Northwest. It's another effect of the partial government shutdown. Timber companies say even if a deal is reached soon at the nation's capitol, the effects from the logging hiatus could be felt all the way into next spring.

Timber companies received letters from the Forest Service telling them to cease operations. That's because the employees who oversee and inspect timber sales were furloughed.

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