While U.S. military personnel are getting paid during the shutdown, thousands of civilian Defense employees are being furloughed.
Even fall football is in jeopardy. The Defense Department said it wasn't clear that service academies would be able to participate in sports, putting Saturday's Army vs. Boston College and Air Force vs. Navy football games on hold, with a decision to be made Thursday.
The White House said Obama would have to truncate a long-planned trip to Asia, calling off the final two stops in Malaysia and the Philippines.
Even as many government agencies closed their doors, the health insurance exchanges that are at the core of Obama's health care law were up and running, taking applications for coverage that would start Jan. 1.
"Shutting down our government doesn't accomplish their stated goal," Obama said of his Republican opponents at a Rose Garden event Tuesday hailing implementation of the law. He said the Affordable Care Act "is settled, and it is here to stay."
GOP leaders faulted the Senate for killing a House request to open official negotiations on the temporary spending bill. Senate Democrats led by Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada insist that Republicans give in and pass their simple, straightforward temporary funding bill, known as a continuing resolution, with no strings attached.
Republicans insisted that Democrats must agree to negotiate over the health care law as part of the funding deadlock.
House Speaker John Boehner said his party was working to "deal honestly with the problems we face."
"We hope that Senate Democrats — and President Obama — change course and start working with us on behalf of the American people," Boehner wrote in an op-ed in Wednesday's USA Today.
Late Tuesday, House Republicans sought passage of legislation aimed at reopening small slices of the government. The bills covered the national parks, the Veterans Affairs Department and city services in Washington, D.C., such as garbage collection funded with local tax revenues.
The move presented Democrats with politically challenging votes but they rejected the idea, saying it was unfair to pick winners and losers as federal employees worked without a guarantee of getting paid and the effects of the partial shutdown rippled through the country and the economy.
Since the measures were brought before the House under expedited procedures requiring a two-thirds vote to pass, House Democrats scuttled them, despite an impassioned plea by Democratic D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who recalled that in the last shutdown 17 years ago she prevailed on House Speaker Newt Gingrich to win an exemption to keep the D.C. government running.
"This piecemeal approach will only prolong a shutdown," Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., said.
Meanwhile, the District of Columbia was pursuing its own solution. The D.C. Council authorized using contingency funds to keep the city's employees working, so that trash pickup, libraries and more could go on during the federal shutdown.
Congressional Republicans said there could be more votes Wednesday, perhaps to allow the National Institutes of Health to continue pediatric cancer research. The NIH's famed hospital of last resort wasn't admitting new patients to research trials because of the shutdown. Dr. Francis Collins, agency director, estimated that each week the shutdown lasts would force the facility to turn away about 200 patients, 30 of them children, who want to enroll in studies of experimental treatments. Patients already at the hospital are permitted to stay.
Republicans also said the House may vote anew on the three measures that failed Tuesday, this time under normal rules requiring a simple majority to pass.
Republicans hoped such votes would create pressure on Democrats to drop their insistence that they won't negotiate over the spending bill or the upcoming debt limit.
There were suggestions from leaders in both parties that the shutdown could last for weeks and grow to encompass the measure to increase the debt limit. "This is now all together," Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said.
"It's untenable not to negotiate," House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said. "I've always believed it was the debt limit that would be the forcing action."
Associated Press writers Connie Cass, Lauran Neergaard and Merrill Hartson contributed to this report.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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