WOODBURY - Lawmakers in Washington are still working to pass a budget that will get the government back up and running, but despite some steps forward, there's still no clear end to the shutdown in sight.
Another day of political wrangling on Capitol Hill failed to lead to a budget compromise. In his weekly address today, President Barack Obama called on House Republicans to pass a so-called "clean" budget, one that doesn't strip funding from the Affordable Care Act.
"The American people don't get to demand ransom in exchange for doing their job. Neither does Congress," the president said.
But for now, Congressional Republicans appear to be holding the line. The House did pass a smaller bill today that would provide retroactive pay for furloughed federal workers. The Senate hasn't yet voted on the measure, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has expressed offense with the bill's premise.
"It's really cruel to tell workers that they'll receive back pay once the government opens, and then refuse to open the government," Reid said.
Here on Long Island, many residents say they're sick of the stalemate. A rally was held today outside of Rep. Peter King's (R-Seaford) office in Massapequa Park, with protesters accusing the congressman of ignoring his constituents.
King says the majority of his constituents tell him they oppose the health care overhaul, but they don't favor a shutdown either. "I'm opposed to Obamacare, the people in my district are opposed to Obamacare, but no one is asking me to shut down the government because of it," he said.
Today, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was one of 195 House Democrats who signed a letter urging House Speaker John Boehner to bring a new budget to the floor.
Rep. King says he believes there are enough Republicans who would support the measure for it to pass, but Boehner has given no indication that he intends to put a new comprehensive spending bill up for a vote.