President Barack Obama, in a visit to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offices in Washington, D.C. urged Congress to reopen government and raise the debt limit immediately.

"My very strong suspicion is there are enough votes there" to pass legislation, he said. "Hold a vote. Call a vote right now. Let's see what happens."

FEMA had to recall furloughed employees to deal with Tropical Storm Karen, but the storm has weakened and Obama said the agency would now send about 100 of the workers home again.