Statues representing Grief and History outside the US Congress
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US shutdown: Infighting and turmoil

The US government has gone into shutdown. No essential services are being cut - police will still patrol the streets, the military will still patrol the world and hospitals and schools will stay open.

The two houses of Congress could not agree on a federal budget, but it is not a political battle over finances or the state of the economy - it is about health care.

In contrast to the Democrats, Republicans in the House of Representatives wanted to use the budget battle to scrap or at least delay the implementation of President Obama's healthcare reforms.

The BBC's Jonny Diamond reports on a long, bitter night in the US capital.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Tuesday 1 October 2013.