WASHINGTON - The colossal machinery of the US government will be largely paralysed again Wednesday in the rancorous dispute over President Barack Obama's health care law, which conservatives want to gut.
In the first such shutdown in 17 years, the White House and Republicans were digging in for an extended struggle with no solution, or serious dialogue to find one, in sight.
National monuments would be barricaded for a second day in America's latest crippling political crisis which shut US war cemeteries in Europe and sent hundreds of thousands of federal workers home without pay.
President Barack Obama accused conservatives in the House of Representatives of waging an "ideological crusade" by making government funding conditional on gutting his landmark health care law.
His top foe, Republican House Speaker John Boehner, said Obama was pursuing a "scorched earth" policy by refusing to negotiate, as the rhetoric hit new heights and hopes for a swift end to the standoff faded.
The president was in feisty form at a White House event marking the rollout of a key portion of Obamacare, which turned into an extended taunt at Republicans for failing to halt implementation of the sweeping law.
"This Republican shutdown did not have to happen - I want every American to understand why it did happen," Obama said.
"They have shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health care to millions of Americans."