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Federal Government Shutdown Looms

President Barack Obama and congressional leaders have until midnight Friday to reach a budget agreement before the federal government shuts down, but it’s unclear which side will be blamed if it does.House Republicans have submitted a plan that would cut trillions of dollars from the budget over the next decade.The White House and congressional Democrats have rejected the plan, saying it burdens poorer Americans.University of Louisville political science Professor Dewey Clayton says it looks like an agreement may not happen, which could backfire on either President Barack Obama or Speaker John Boehner.“It seems increasingly that the Republican leadership in particular is fearful of a shutdown because they think that ultimately they may pay politically because of this. And so I would not be surprised in the eleventh hour if Boehner breaks away from the tea partiers and comes up with some sort of compromise,” he says.The latest polling indicates that there is enough blame to go around.According to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey, 37 percent of respondents would blame congressional Republicans if there was a shutdown. Another 20 percent say they would blame Mr. Obama.Clayton says if a shutdown occurs, people will begin to see federal services they take for granted affected at the local level.“There are a lot of local federal offices here, and if these people shut down or even go on a sort of limited basis as such that’s going to tie things up," he says. "When people call looking for services that’s going to be a huge inconvenience to a lot of people and people are not going to be happy about that."The last government shut down was from late 1995 to early 1996.