With the debt ceiling fast approaching there were signs of serious efforts by the White House and both parties to avert the government’s first default on the national debt.  President Barack Obama met with members of both the House and Senate to begin the process of reaching an agreement on raising the debt ceiling and reopening the federal government. 

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The House Republicans were calling for a short-term debt ceiling plan that would last until Nov. 22.  The Senate Republicans were working on a plan that would reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling until Jan. 31.  The sticking point continues to be how long the debt ceiling is raised and how to get the federal government reopened.  The shutdown is now in its 13th day. 

The effects of the shutdown are being felt in various areas of agriculture.  Price reporting for beef and pork are not being made public.  The major October crop report is on hold until the shutdown is over.  The public’s attitude is one of total disgust.  Congress’ approval rating is at an all-time low of 5%.  According to various Republican members, the plummeting standing of congressional Republicans in public opinion polls has helped spur a move toward ending the standoff.  Recent polls show the public blaming Republicans by a 22-point margin - 53 to 31%.