President Barack Obama used his weekly address to the nation to pressure the Republicans to agree a longer debt ceiling extension to get the US economy through the holiday shopping season.
Obama stressed: "It doesn't have to be this way. It's not supposed to be this way ... and we have to stop it."
"Let's pass a budget, put people back to work, and end this Republican shutdown. Let's pay our bills, and prevent an economic shutdown. Then let's get back to the work of the American people," he added.
The US shutdown is but a precursor to a much bigger problem - in a couple of weeks the government, shutdown or not, will run out of cash.
Landmarks across the US have closed as the Congress failed to reach a deal over the budget.