October 2013 Current Events: U.S. News
Here are the key events in United States news for the month of October 2013.
Standoff over Obamacare Results in Government Shutdown (Oct. 1): Congress fails to agree on a budget and pass a spending bill, causing the government to shut down. The failure to pass a bill is largely due to a standoff over the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Republicans show no signs of backing down, passing a new bill of their own in the House. Their bill will fund the government but delay the Affordable Care Act and eliminate a tax on medical devices that would cover some costs of the new health care program. Some Americans feel the impact of the shutdown more than others. The partial shutdown means that unemployment, social security and Medicare benefits will not be interrupted. The mail service will continue. Federal air traffic controllers and airport security screeners will still report to work. However, all national parks and Smithsonian museums close. People seeking government backed mortgages and loans might see delays. Active military personnel, about 1.4 million people, will stay on duty, but their paychecks will be delayed. Health and safety inspectors will stop workplace inspections except in emergency situations. Overall, the government shutdown forces about 800,000 federal workers off the job. (Oct. 10): In an effort to end the shutdown they began, Republicans in the House offer President Obama a plan to increase the debt limit through Nov. 22 if he promises to negotiate with them on a tax overhaul and long-term deficit reduction deal. If Obama agrees, the debt ceiling increase proposal may come to a vote in the House within twenty-four hours. Currently, the government is scheduled to hit its debt ceiling on October 17. (Oct. 16): The night before the debt ceiling deadline, both the House and Senate approve a bill to fund the government until January 15, 2014, and raise the debt limit through February 7, 2014. The bill ends the 16-day government shutdown. It also ends the Republican standoff with President Obama over the Affordable Care Act. With a new federal budget needed by early 2014, the stage is set for another Congressional standoff in just a few weeks. Hoping to avoid that, Obama speaks shortly after the Senate passed the latest bill. He urges Congress to move ahead to the next budget negotiation, "We've got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis. We could get all these things done even this year, if everybody comes together in a spirit of, how are we going to move this country forward and put the last three weeks behind us?"
New Jersey Becomes 14th State to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage (Oct. 21): In an unanimous vote, the New Jersey Supreme Court rejects Gov. Chris Christie's request to delay the implementation date of same-sex weddings. Immediately same-sex couples begin to marry. Just hours later, Christie drops his appeal to legalize same-sex marriages. Therefore, New Jersey becomes the 14th state to recognize same-sex marriages.
Two Dead, Two Injured in Nevada School Shooting (Oct. 21): At Sparks Middle School in Nevada, a middle-school student shoots and kills Michael Landsberry, a math teacher. The student then shoots himself in front of other students.