The US government is heading ever closer to a shutdown. The Republican controlled House voted to tie a government funding extension to a year delay in most of Obamacare's key provisions. There's essentially no way the Democratic Senate (or Obama) will approve of this new addendum - meaning Congress is no closer to averting a shutdown. If a resolution can't be reached before October 1st, roughly 800,000 federal workers will be sent home. Make no mistake, it would be a huge blow to the US economy should the shutdown last. In fact, estimates are for a reduction of 1.4% in fourth quarter GDP. If Congress can't avoid such a harmful result over what amounts to petty squabbling, it would be one of the most bone-headed moves in recent history. US financial markets could also pay the price this week.