The director of Management and Budget, ordered executive agencies to shutdown.
"We urge Congress to act quickly to pass a Continuing Resolution to provide a short-term bridge that ensures sufficient time to pass a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, and to restore the operation of critical public services and programs that will be impacted by a lapse in appropriations," the memo said.
"This is a very sad day for our country," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on the Senate floor early Tuesday morning. Reid declared the Senate is in recess until 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
For the first time in nearly two decades, the federal government staggered has shutdown Monday at midnight after congressional Republicans stubbornly demanded changes in the nation's health care law as the price for essential federal funding and President Barack Obama and Democrats adamantly refused.
As Congress gridlocked, Obama said a "shutdown will have a very real economic impact on real people, right away," with hundreds of thousands of federal workers furloughed and veterans' centers, national parks, most of the space agency and other government operations shuttered.
He laid the blame at the feet of House Republicans, whom he accused of seeking to tie government funding to ideological demands, "all to save face after making some impossible promises to the extreme right wing of their party."
House Speaker John Boehner on the House floor. "The American people don't want a shutdown and neither do I," he said. Yet, he added, the new health care law "is having a devastating impact. ... Something has to be done."
Since 1976, the United States experienced 17 "shutdowns". The last temporary and partial suspension of government services took place from 14 to 19 November 1995 and from December 16 to January 6, 1996 (28 days total), under the presidency of Bill Clinton: 280,000 officials were unemployed and 475,000 have seen their pay suspended. The cost of this paralysis was estimated at $ 1.4 billion at the time (about 2 billion today)