With congressional budget negotiations at a stalemate and the government shut down for a second day, there appears to be no clear path forward to resolve the ongoing impasse. But it must end at some point. Here are five scenarios from NBC News for how the Washington dysfunction could end: The House GOP could stop its efforts to attach a delay of the Affordable Care Act and pass the "clean" Senate-approved spending bill that would allow discretionary spending through Nov. 15. Another option is a short-term deal to fund some agencies, but similar attempts Tuesday faltered in the House. In another scenario, spending bill negotiations could be combined with talks over raising the nation's debt limit – solving both issues in one package deal. Or the shutdown could continue until mid-October, when the government would default on some of its debt and reach the end of its legal authority to borrow, forcing Congress to act. In a final scenario, a "grand bargain" long-term spending bill could be reached, although this seems highly unlikely.
Five Ways the Government Shutdown Could End
Dark clouds pass over the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. Congress plunged the nation into a partial government shutdown Tuesday as a long-running dispute over President Barack Obama's health care law stalled a temporary funding bill, forcing about 800,000 federal workers off the job and suspending most non-essential federal programs and services. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Updated at 2:37 PM EST on Wednesday, Oct 2, 2013