Why Are These Guys Smiling?

The Senate is scheduled to convene Monday afternoon, just hours before the deadline.

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Updated: Fri., Sept. 27, 4:45 p.m. EDT: President Obama slammed House Republicans on Friday while urging Congress not to let the government shut down.

"So far the Republicans in the House of Representatives have refused to move forward, and here's the thing: Unlike the last time they threatened this course of action, this debate isn't really about deficits," Obama said. "Instead the House Republicans are so concerned with appeasing the Tea Party that they threaten government shutdown or, worse, unless I gut or repeal the Affordable Care Act. I said this yesterday, let me repeat it: That's not going to happen.

"My message to Congress is this: Do not shut down the government. Do not shut down the economy. Pass a budget on time. Pay our bills on time. Refocus on the everyday concerns of the American people," the president added in his televised statement. "There will be differences between Democrats and Republicans. We can have all kinds of conversations on how to resolve those differences ... but do not threaten to burn the house down simply because you haven't gotten 100 percent of your way. That's not how a democracy is supposed to work."

Obama commended the Senate on passing its continuing resolution earlier that day, saying that the upper chamber "acted responsibly" and that it was now up to the House to finish the job. "I realize that a lot of what is taking place right now is political grandstanding, but this grandstanding has real effects on real people," Obama said. 

Earlier:

(The Root) -- Once again Congress has backed itself into a corner, unable to come to an agreement on a spending bill for the upcoming fiscal year. In other words, a government shutdown is approaching, starting Oct. 1, barring any last-minute action from lawmakers.

Of course, the government would not entirely stop working, with essential services related to public safety, Social Security and Medicare, as well as national security, left untouched. However, the effects would nevertheless be massive, with more than 800,000 federal workers -- those deemed "nonessential" -- being furloughed. These include employees in the Internal Revenue Service and National Park Service and civilian employees at the Pentagon.

However, with the deadline just around the corner, Congress is still deadlocked, with no compromise in sight between House Republicans and the Democrat-led Senate.

Earlier Friday the Senate passed its continuing resolution to keep the government up and running but removed the language that defunded Obamacare a mere week after the House passed it. The tit-for-tat amendments are expected to continue, with the House expected to put the bill up for a vote over the weekend (and likely to reinstate the language to defund Obamacare) before sending it back to the Senate, which by then will be pressed for time.

Because this battle is mostly centered on a last-ditch attempt to repeal Obamacare -- the health insurance exchanges will be opened the same day the government is due to shut down -- the impact on the black community could be serious, depending on who comes out on the winning side of this clash.

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