As the sun started its descent behind the U.S. Capitol building on Monday, it seemed virtually certain to rise on a partially shuttered federal government. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Health care delivery is expected to change, with more care provided by nurse practitioners and fewer people having a doctor for life. Images.com/Corbis hide caption

toggle caption Images.com/Corbis

With President Jimmy Carter watching, Benjamin Civiletti is sworn in by Chief Justice Warren Burger as U.S. attorney general on Aug. 16, 1979. The following year, Civiletti issued a legal opinion saying that federal work cannot go on until Congress agrees to pay for it. AP hide caption

toggle caption AP
From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Scott Horsley on the history of shutdowns
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/227292952/227699522" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

In friendlier times, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, left, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry participate in a 2011 panel discussion in Washington, D.C. At the time, O'Malley was chairman of the Democratic Governors Association; Perry was chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Now they're in a spat over Perry's efforts to lure Maryland businesses to Texas. Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

toggle caption Alex Brandon/AP
Is The Fed Chair Succession Too Politicized?
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/226902347/226902352" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis speaks at a fundraiser on July 25 in Washington, D.C. Nick Wass/AP hide caption

toggle caption Nick Wass/AP

Susan Mull is a substitute teacher in Lancaster County, Pa. She's lived with HIV for 21 years, the past 13 without health insurance. She says an expansion of Medicaid in Pennsylvania would be "life-changing." Jeff Brady/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jeff Brady/NPR
A Medicaid Expansion In Pennsylvania May Take Time
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/226155355/226375792" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is becoming the face of a possible government shutdown over Obamacare, and that has many fellow Republicans bashing him for what they see as an ill-conceived gambit. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

toggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Lois Lerner, the head of the IRS division that handles applications for tax-exempt status, listens to opening statements during a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee before refusing to testify on May 22. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images