February 21st, 2011
02:13 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Congress may be taking advantage of a week long vacation outside the beltway, but back in Washington there is vigorous debate over the prospect of a federal government shutdown.
Amid plenty of finger pointing among lawmakers, the White House is working hard to stave off what the president himself said would be ‘destabilizing’ to U.S economic recovery.
In a news conference last week, President Obama urged caution against ‘being too loose’ with talk about a government shutdown. “This is not an abstraction,” he said. “People don’t get their social security checks. They don’t get their veterans payment.”
On Monday, a senior administration official said the White House is committed to working “with both sides of the aisle in Congress and both the House and Senate to make sure that the government has what it needs to keep operation.”
The administration official added, that just as the president said, “we don’t want a government shutdown.”
The last government shutdown happened in 1995 after a seismic shift in power ushered in a new Republican Congress led by Newt Gingrich.
Everything from national parks to passport agencies were shuttered.
With the Continuing Resolution that currently funds the federal government set to expire on March 4th, the White House is focused on preventing a disruption of “the services the American people expect and need,” the official said.