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

itoggle caption Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Party On: Legislation passed last week allows the Federal Helium Reserve to continue selling the stockpiled gas. Above, Jonathan Trappe launches his 370-balloon craft from Caribou, Maine, in an attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 12. Alexandre Ayre/Barcroft Media/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Alexandre Ayre/Barcroft Media/Landov

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives Monday at the White House to meet with President Obama. The two are expected to discuss Iran's nuclear program, Syria's civil war, and peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Susan Walsh/AP

Inside the Capitol, lawmakers are battling over health care and the budget. Outside, many government services may come to a stop at midnight. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Win McNamee/Getty Images

The audience concentrates on a presentation by Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger's office about the federal health care overhaul at the University of Kansas satellite campus in Overland Park, Kan., earlier this month. John Hanna/AP hide caption

itoggle caption John Hanna/AP

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

itoggle caption AP