As hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal workers across the country sit idly by waiting to go back to work, the budget stalemate on Capitol Hill will enter its third day Thursday, with little hope of compromise any time soon.
No one wants to see this shutdown continue, but House and Senate lawmakers are still stuck in gridlock as workers stay home.
On a normal day, Carter Kimsey would be on the job, researching at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, but these aren't normal days. Kimsey is one of more than a 150,000 Virginians on furlough this week, as the federal government shutdown stretches forward.
Virginia Senator Mark Warner (D) says the National Science Foundation has "1,700 federal workers, less than 30 working there now."
Kimsey stated, "Thirty people cannot do the work of the National Science Foundation. That means that work is not getting done. That's going to hurt you, and that's going to hurt your children," Kimsey said. "We need to go back to work. We have proposals sitting on our desks. We can't do it from here, I can't do it sitting home."
Warner stated, "Sequestration is stupid; shutting down the government is stupidity on steroids."
Virginia's Democratic senators are calling on House Republicans to accept a funding proposal passed last week, which would fund all government agencies, but not touch reforms to the Affordable Care Act. Republicans are pushing back.
7th District Representative Eric Cantor (R) stated, "No two sides are going to get everything they want."
Republicans want to take a piecemeal approach, funding agencies like the National Institutes of Health and national parks, leaving more contentious details up for negotiation.
"Instead of issuing insults and ultimatums, why don't we sit down, cooperate, and have a conversation so we can work out these differences?" Cantor said.
President Obama did invite congressional leaders to the White House Wednesday evening for a conversation. But the White House says it is not a negotiation, which means progress could continue to stall.