The Pentagon used a legal loophole to bring back most of its 400,000 furloughed workers.
But the rest of the government work force will have to wait for congress to work out its differences.
With no sign of agreement, there's an even bigger deadline is looming.
House Speaker John Boehner says he doesn't have the simple majority to pass what democrats are demanding, a clean spending bill.
"There are not the votes in the house to pass a clean cr," Boehneir said on ABC's "This Week."
Democrats claim there is enough support and dare the speaker to hold a vote.
"There are 140, 150 - 160 republicans in the house conference - right now - who think what's being done is irrational," said democratic Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland.
Republicans hope the shutdown pressure will force democrats to roll back parts of Obamacare.
Meanwhile, crab fisherman in the Pacific Northwest can't get federal permits.
Campers in Kentucky are shut out of government parks and so are tourists hoping to see the USS Constitution in Boston.
But those are minor inconveniences compared to what happens if Uncle Sam maxes out his credit card on October 17th.
"And we're on the verge of going into a place we've never been, not having cash to pay our bill," said Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on NBC's "Meet The Press."
Even while fighting over the shutdown, Congress has ten days to raise the national debt ceiling or risk defaulting on more than 17 trillion dollars in debt.
Government workers are expecting back pay for their time off but government contractors are out of luck.
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