President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden order lunch at Taylor Gourmet sandwich shop near the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. The president and vice president stepped out of the White House on a surprise and rare off-campus stroll to grab lunch at a neighborhood eatery. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
WASHINGTON — A partial government shutdown enters its fifth day, with Congress convening for a session that promises no progress in breaking the impasse but will at least offer back pay to furloughed federal workers.
The GOP House is scheduled today to vote on legislation backed by the White House and congressional Democrats that would make sure the 800,000 sidelined government employees would get their pay when the shutdown ends. The Senate is expected to clear that bill later, even as early as today, for President Barack Obama’s signature.
In his weekend media address, Obama is urging House Republicans to give a Senate-passed bill reopening all of government a yes-or-no vote.
Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas counters that Senate Democrats are refusing to make any changes in the health care law.