Government Shutdown: Now What?

Closure could last at least a week

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 1, 2013 1:46 AM CDT | Updated Oct 1, 2013 7:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – The House and Senate's failure to reach a deal to resolve the budget brouhaha has left the US without a functioning federal government for the first time in 17 years—and the two sides seem so averse to compromise that it's anyone's guess when the shutdown will end.

  • Federal agencies have been ordered to "execute plans for an orderly shutdown," meaning around 800,000 federal workers will be furloughed immediately and another million or so, including Border Patrol agents and air traffic controllers, will be asked to work without pay, the New York Times reports. In the past, federal workers—though not contractors—have been reimbursed for time missed, but it's unclear whether Congress will approve a similar measure this time around, the Washington Post finds in its guide to the shutdown's impact on federal workers.

  • Politico explains the process for furloughing workers: Federal employees do have to go to work today; once there, they'll be handed an official notice outlining who is essential. Those who aren't will have until mid-day to wrap things up and set up those out-of-office auto-replies.
  • Social Security and Medicare benefits, veterans' services, and the US Postal Service will not be affected, but national parks, monuments, and other government offices are closed, and transportation safety inspectors nationwide have been furloughed, the AP finds.
  • The Post reports that all but 549 of NASA's 18,250 employees will be furloughed ... in a slightly cruel twist, on the agency's 55th birthday.
  • Last-minute legislation ensures that members of the military will keep receiving their paychecks. Members of Congress will also keep getting paid, but their employees will have to either work without pay or be furloughed, the Federal Times reports.
  • Mother Jones looks at some of the more quirky casualties: the National Zoo's Panda-cam, winery permits, National Park Service golf courses, Bureau of Land Management's wild horse and burro adoption programs, and 45 fountains.
John Boehner has called for a special House-Senate committee to resolve the two parties' differences, but some senior Republicans believe the shutdown could last at least a week, the Washington Post reports. Democrats, meanwhile, believe that the funding battle could overlap with debt-limit talks that need to be resolved before October 17.

The Ohio Clock outside the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill shows the time of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 in Washington.
The Ohio Clock outside the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill shows the time of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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The scary thing about the period we’re in right now is there is no clear end. - Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland)

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