Is the Obama administration employing a make-it-hurt strategy to gain political leverage in the budget battle on Capitol Hill?

Republicans are making that charge as the stalemate drags on, and point to the Pentagon furlough of 400,000 civilian staffers — even though Congress passed and the president signed a bill to supposedly keep them on the job.

The partial government suspension, which started Monday after lawmakers failed to strike a budget deal, is expected to result in the furlough of roughly 800,000 total government workers. Many federal agencies have significantly curtailed their operations; national parks and monuments are closed.

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