Amid shutdown, 105 Minnesota health workers sent layoff notices

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MPR reports that the state has notified 105 workers at the Minnesota Department of Health of potential short-term layoffs due to the partial federal government shutdown. State employee contracts require a three-week notice of any layoffs.

The workers in question are supported in part by federal funds, so they could be let go temporarily if the federal shutdown drags on beyond when state money set aside to pay them runs out, MPR reports.

The workers would be brought back after the shutdown ends. State officials noted in a letter to employees that the “unfortunate action is entirely due to lack of funds and reflects no discredit on your service or job performance,” MPR reports.

There could be more letters. State budget officials have said as many as 3,000 state workers receive some federal funds, MPR noted.

Meanwhile, it's day eight of the shutdown, and there is still little progress toward a resolution in Congress. Democrats remain unmoved by refocused GOP efforts to reach a broader budget deal, USA Today reported.

A war of words between Republicans and Democrats over the shutdown has merged with debate over the nation's debt ceiling.

Congress is lurching toward an Oct. 17 deadline to raise the debt ceiling. Failure to do so would plunge the nation into a first-of-its-kind default – "such a calamitous possibility that you could go into a recession or even a depression … that he'll have no choice," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., told CNN's New Day. He was referring to House Speaker John Boehner, noting that Boehner would have to loosen his position as Oct. 17 approaches.

Republicans are calling on Democrats to negotiate over a short-term spending bill and a debt-ceiling increase, and President Barack Obama says he will negotiate on any topic, but only after Republicans pass legislation to re-open the government and raise the U.S. borrowing limit without conditions (i.e. changes to Obamacare sought by many Republicans), CBS News reported.

"That's what he's saying, complete surrender and then we'll talk to you," Boehner said.

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