WASHINGTON (AP) — The political stare-down in Washington shows no signs of easing, leaving much of the federal government closed, with lawmakers from both parties ominously suggesting that the partial shutdown might last for weeks.

The shutdown was sparked by a fight over Republican attempts to kill or delay the new health care law, stalling what usually is a routine spending bill. Republicans pivoted to a strategy to try to open the government piecemeal, funding politically popular programs like the national parks.

Iconic parks like Yellowstone and Alcatraz Island were shuttered, government websites went dark and hundreds of thousands of nonessential workers reported for a half-day to fill out time cards, hand in their government cellphones and laptops and change voice mail messages to gird for a deepening shutdown.

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