WASHINGTON — A federal government shutdown that threatens thousands of Arkansas jobs will continue into a third day as Congress failed Wednesday to pass a temporary spending measure.

WASHINGTON — A federal government shutdown that threatens thousands of Arkansas jobs will continue into a third day as Congress failed Wednesday to pass a temporary spending measure.

The shutdown of nonessential discretionary services, including national parks, food banks and National Guard training missions, began Tuesday after Congress failed to approve a budget for the new fiscal year and declined to pass a temporary extension.

The Republican-controlled House insisted that any spending resolution also defund, delay or limit the Affordable Care Act. The Senate’s Democratic majority refused to accept any changes to the law known as ObamaCare as part of a continuing resolution.

On Wednesday, House Republicans declined to take up a Senate measure that would simply fund the budget for 45 days. They instead proposed three bills to provide spending for national parks, disease research and the District of Columbia. Another measure to fund the National Guard is expected to be taken up Thursday.

House Democrats opposed the bills as a "piecemeal" approach that could be avoided if Republicans allowed a vote on the Senate resolution.

U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, spoke on the floor in favor of funding the National Institute of Health.

"Two-thirds of the staff at NIH was furloughed because of this lapse in appropriations," Womack said. "We must allow NIH to stay open while we continue to work through regular order."

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., called the measure a "cynical and offensive" attempt by Republicans to continue playing political games that have created the current budget crisis.

Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Little Rock, said House Republicans are trying to make some progress on ending the shutdown.

The House bills, he said, "give Democrats another opportunity to do the right thing and reopen government."

Hundreds of state employees in Arkansas, and hundreds more military personnel, were on furlough Wednesday.

The number of Arkansans who will be hurt by the shutdown is expected to rise as funds dry up for school nutrition, Head Start, WIC and other federal programs.

"The shutdown is already impacting many Arkansas families," Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., said Wednesday. "We need to work together so we can eliminate this interruption in government services."

Boozman said that he supports the House Republican proposals to begin funding pieces of the budget.

"This approach is a step in the right direction to funding the services provided by federal agencies. I encourage Majority Leader Reid bring these bills to the Senate floor and support the American people who are depending on us to find a solution to this shutdown," he said.

The government shutdown looks to be a major issue in the 2014 election clash between Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Dardanelle.

The two campaigns — and their surrogates — have already begun to point fingers and blame each other for the fallout from the shutdown.

"Mark Pryor thinks that he can exempt himself from ObamaCare while forcing it upon the people of his state," said Brook Hougesen, press secretary for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. "It’s simply unfair that Democrats like Mark Pryor who forced this law on the rest of us scheme for a special exemption from the ObamaCare trainwreck that they created."

"When Congressman Cotton said he was prepared to shut down the government, he showed a troubling disconnect with reality that is right now hurting hard-working Arkansans like our National Guardsmen, many of whom are combat veterans," said Jeff Weaver, Pryor for Senate campaign manager.

Meanwhile, President Obama met Wednesday evening to discuss the shutdown with House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.