WASHINGTON, D.C. -- We don't know yet when the current government shutdown will end.
But the US House gave workers temporarily left out of a job some good news.
They unanimously passed a bill Saturday morning to give back pay to federal workers furloughed during the shutdown.
Meanwhile, President Obama took his message directly to the public using his weekly address to urge Congress to reach an agreement to end the shutdown. The president again took on Republican leaders, who he says are holding the country hostage over his health care law.
GOP leaders have demanded changes to the Affordable Care Act be made as part of any deal to re-open the government. With the shutdown bringing a disruption in services, benefits and pay, Obama says he's received 30-thousand letters from people affected over the past few days alone. He asked House Speaker John Boehner to bring a new bill to the House floor for a vote.
"There's only one way out of this reckless and damaging shutdown: Pass a budget that funds our government with no partisan strings attached. The Senate's already done this and there are enough Republican and Democratic votes in the House of Representatives willing to do the same and end this shutdown immediately," said President Obama.
Obama also looked ahead to a potential battle over raising the debt ceiling. He says an economic shutdown caused by defaulting would be far worse than the current shutdown.