WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan of Janesville now says the ending of the federal government shutdown will hinge on a settlement over the national debt limit.
Congress must either raise the debt ceiling or slash appropriations by mid-October in order to avoid an unprecedented default of the U.S. government.
The shutdown began last Tuesday, as the Republican-controlled House insisted that key parts of the Obama health law be delayed -- something the Democratic Senate and White House refused to do.
Now, Obamacare appears to be fading from the spotlight as the deadline on the debt ceiling gets closer.
Ryan says the timing of the events, plus the lack of a continuing spending resolution, has created even more pressure to strike an agreement. He says the shutdown could drag on for a couple more weeks, as long as Democrats don't bring negotiators to the table.