The White House told federal agencies on Tuesday to prepare for a government shutdown.
President Obama's budget director Sylvia Matthews Burwell in a memo to agencies said they should set their plans in case Congress fails to pass a funding measure by the end of the month. The government would shut down Oct. 1 without action by Congress.
While there is time for Congress to act, Burwell wrote that "prudent management" requires agencies to prepare for a shutdown.
Only activities that are required by law would be allowed to continue to function during a shutdown, the memo states. A similar memo was released twice in 2011 amid potential shutdowns.
Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are demanding that any government funding bill include language defunding ObamaCare and have said they will oppose a funding measure that doesn't include the ObamaCare defunding language.
Since Senate Democrats and President Obama are not expected to accept such language, the bill would likely lead to a government shutdown Oct. 1.
GOP leaders are expected to discuss various options for moving forward at a conference meeting Wednesday. Leaders appear to be leaning toward bringing a bill to the floor that would include language defunding ObamaCare.
The last government shutdown came in 1996. Washington came close to shutting down several times in 2011 amid budget fights.