WASHINGTON - One conservative House Republican is predicting that the partial shutdown of the government that began today will drag on, if President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats don't negotiate over delaying a key part of the new health care law.
Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee tells Fox News that "people are going to realize they can live with a lot less government."
But a top Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, tells CNN he hopes the standoff can be resolved by the end of the day.
President Barack Obama is planning a lunch-hour speech in the Rose Garden today, after meeting with citizens signing up for his health-care program.
His communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, tells MSNBC that the White House is open to changes in the health care law in future negotiations, but not as part of passing a budget bill. She says those ideas won't be considered "when there is a gun pointed to your head."
Federal workers considered nonessential have about four hours to get their offices in order today, and then they'll have to go home.