Federal Government Begins First Shutdown in 17 Years

Workers furloughed, blame game continues

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Brooks Kraft for TIME

Speaker of the House John Boehner on his way to a procedural vote on the House floor, at the Capitol in Washington, Sept. 30, 2013.

The gears of the federal government began grinding to a stop for the first time in 17 years on Tuesday, after Republicans and Democrats failed to break through Washington gridlock to keep the government running.

About 800,000 of the federal government’s 3.3 million workers will be furloughed without pay, and the cumulative effect could cost the still-fragile economy about $1 billion a week, CNN reports. National parks, many offices and the Library of Congress are closing, though military operations and other functions deemed “essential” will continue as usual. President Barack Obama and members of Congress, who couldn’t come to an agreement to avert the shutdown, will continue to get paid. Obama’s health care reform law, which Republicans, using the threat of a shutdown, had fought desperately to defund or delay, continues to go into effect with the opening of health insurance exchanges on Tuesday.

House Republicans had continued into Monday night their efforts to stop Obamacare. But the White House and Senate Democrats never blinked, saying it amounted to “extortion” for Republicans to use a government-funding bill to stop a law that was passed by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court.

“They’ve lost their minds,” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said of Republicans.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, whose conservative caucus pushed him not to accept any government funding bill that didn’t make changes to the health care law, said he and and fellow Republicans didn’t want a government shutdown. But after the administration recently delayed an employer mandate that is part of the law, Republicans used their last attempt before a shutdown to delay the individual mandate that people buy insurance, which is at the heart of the law.

“We believe that we should fund the government, and we think there ought to be basic fairness for all Americans under Obamacare,” Boehner said.

The question now is how long a shutdown will last. Public opinion polls indicate Republicans will bear most of the blame for any economic impact. The previous shutdown in 1995 lasted 21 days, but some Republicans were predicting a quicker end.

“We can’t win,” Arizona Sen. John McCain said, according to the Associated Press.

In a video message to American troops Monday evening just before the shutdown, Obama ensured military personnel that they would still be paid. He had earlier signed a bill guaranteeing them pay in the event of a shutdown.

“If you’re serving in harms way, we’re going to make sure you have what you need to succeed in your missions,” Obama said.

Furloughed workers at various agencies were instructed not to check their email or phones during a shutdown, the AP reports. Some workers at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Labor Department, and the Housing and Urban Development Department are coming into work Tuesday morning to change voicemails and set up out-of-office emails, but most workers are expected to be gone by midday.

NASA will be almost completely shuttered except for Mission Control, and the Smithsonian and National Zoo will close. The FAA safety inspectors and National Transportation Safety Board employees will suffer drastic furloughs, and most of the workers helping to rebuild in Colorado after last month’s devastating floods will be eliminated.

125 comments
ABS
ABS

My husband, a nurse at an IHS facility , is no longer getting paid. However, he  is expected, "by law, "  to continue   to work.  Oh my god!  We have five kids. What are we going to do? 

MarinaBohnen-pratt
MarinaBohnen-pratt

Well, hello to you 'open-minded 1' Are you talking to me? I can see where you are coming from but I honestly don't get it. The 'bleeding heart liberal' bit kind of threw me - rather arcane actually. I have not heard that expression in years. More than that, I do not have a clue what your reference to that 'bleeding heart liberal' position of mine might be. Sounds to me you are all mad and stuff. Angry would be better. I mean, it is not as if I am personally responsible for the present impasse our government is dealing with at the moment. Maybe it is because I used the word 'bigotry' - Ah -That can mean a whole lot of things so I have no idea what your take on that might be. Hey, no matter what, this bunch of politicians seem to be doing the best they can under the circumstances. Such a bother when 25 people figure out a way to block all legislation and then figure out a way to close down the government. I sure hope they figure it out. There is so much to do. Well, you have a good evening now.NAMASTE'   

CharleneTarleton-Roberts
CharleneTarleton-Roberts

Somebody needs to agree to disagree!  Congress need to be held accountable!!!!  They need an agency to watch over them and protect the average (meaning most people)  


Are the people in Congress deaf?  Everywhere you go you hear complaints about the injustice of their actions. People are UPSET!!!!!! 

Krazzyirish
Krazzyirish

It doesn't matter if its dem, rep or who, if you can not balance a damn budget then  get out the flipping way & make room for those who can.

My husband is one of those that are furloughed we are just getting our feet back under us from the last time, this time he doesn't get to go back to work or even get paid. but those dumb asses still do.

we have not had a budget since BUSH get these guy out of office & its our right to do it.

RacReaper
RacReaper

Democrat or Republican?  Your choice of two evils.  How about third choice?  You want change and progress, Vote Libertarian.  Get rid of the two party system.

lldean
lldean

We simply need JESUS more than ever right now because we don't what is going to happen from one day to another. I am not trying to be judgemental but. "BUSH" WAS in office 8 years and had our troops at war and made a LIFETIME of mess but he didn't have half as much trouble as PRESIDENT OBAMA this just shows that our country is still in a RACIST state of mind even in 2013.. It doesn't matter what is in your heart but merely the COLOR of your skin...

MarlinGiovanniCastro
MarlinGiovanniCastro

THIS GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN ONLY PROVES THE POWER OF CORRUPTION FROM THE PEOPLE WE ELECT AND VOTE IN AMERICA 

PatGunning
PatGunning

This marks the 18th Government shutdown since 1977

DurhamNH
DurhamNH

My question is "are the members of Congress a part of the group asked to work without pay while the government is shut down"?  If not, why not?

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

On November 4 2008 Barack Obamavictory in presidential race.

November 4, 2008 United States national debt was10,566,146,196,490.58 $

Now the national debt of the USA consist almost 17 trillion $.

During President Obama’s first term, the number of persons taking federal food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP), increased by approximately 11,133 persons per day. When Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, the number of SNAP recipients was 31,939,110. By October 2012, the latest month reported, they had jumped to 47,525,329.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/first-term-food-stamp-recipients-increased-11133-day-under-obama

This is corruption

AlexJ.Vallas
AlexJ.Vallas

Appaently too much booze shrunk Boehner's cahones.  

designcreature
designcreature

If the idiots running t his country had their pay checks stopped, you can bet there'd NEVER be a complete government shut down. They have NO incentive to try and cooperate with each other. So, as always, we the people take the brunt of their childish behavoir and tantrum trhrowing.

Remember this when voting in the next election.  Let's hope our usual short attention span will not be around at that time.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

The financial year started, and no budget.

Meanwhile, the U.S. national debt approaching 17 trillion - this is the result of tremendous corruption.

http://usdebtclock.org/

That is why many countries are switching to national currencies accounts.



john_rambo
john_rambo

They're Government Employees. Utterly redundant. No one will miss em.

BobFromDistrict9
BobFromDistrict9

@lldean Wrong!

They did the same excrement to Clinton, and he is white, no matter what anyone says.


If Obama was a republican they would worship him. It's all money and power, and race is a weapon they use, not a motive that drives them.

parkerjohn02
parkerjohn02

@lldean It has nothing to do with race! They will let you idiots anywhere. But I agree we all need more Jesus

turtlez
turtlez

@DurhamNH No, they are not.  They get paid because in 1992 they passed the 27th amendment that protects them during a shutdown.

BobFromDistrict9
BobFromDistrict9

@Sibir_Russia Your ignorance is showing. The federal government runs on a fiscal year, not a calendar year.


Bush left Obam a federal debt over $11.5Trillion. Bush more than doubled the national debt after inheriting an economy that had produced 4 balanced budgets in a row. 

We are in a depression, so of course more people are receiving food stamps.

When Obama was inaugurated is irrelevant, until Oct 1 2009 the govt was under Bush final budget. That's how it works. 

Again, depression means more food stamps. That's not corruption, that's a desperate attempt to keep people from starving.


MrObvious
MrObvious

@Sibir_Russia 

You need to learn the definition of corruption. Like what goes on in Russia right now.

BobFromDistrict9
BobFromDistrict9

@designcreature Most of the idiots running this country have so much money cutting off their paychecks would be just a temporary inconvenience. They're in it for power, and for the money they make outside the government. 

HazeAndDrizzle
HazeAndDrizzle

@designcreature Congress is a form of government by rich people for rich people. They could care less about the chump change you call a "salary". That aren't wage slaves, the are use car lot owners.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@Sibir_Russia Speaking of corruption how many reporters and political opponents has Putin jailed this year alone. Russia lecturing the US about corruption, is like Hitler complaining about  antisemitism.

HazeAndDrizzle
HazeAndDrizzle

@mantisdragon91 @john_rambo  Remember that next time the arm rest pulls off on your airplane or you get food poisoning. I do hope this shuts down Federal Courts which are a waste of time stacked against citizens.

reallife
reallife

@MrObvious @reallife @parkerjohn02 @lldean I was talking about Jesus Gonzalez, my neighbor and Tea Party colleague... I guess it doesn't compute in your racist head that a Hispanic could be a member of the Tea Party?

MrObvious
MrObvious

@Sibir_Russia @mantisdragon91 @MrObvious 

I understand that if you're a native Russian the idea of the 1st amendment is a little wonky - but it doesn't give you the right to post whatever drivel you want in a for profit forum - here you have to abide by whatever you agree too as you create your free account.

The 1st amendment is your right to speak out about your rights without repercussion. Now try to do that in Russia.

Also - I as a private citizens don't have to mind anything you write. Just as you don't have to mind what I write. The 1st amendment gives me the right to ignore all the wonky craep you write. It does however not give me right to publicly (you know in the commons) take away your rights.

Again - this is not the commons - this is a private for profit forum.

It's really not that complicated.

But then again - you being supposedly from Russia probably don't have a very good understanding of how the 1st amendment works.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

Such ratings are politicized, and most likely written in the United States. It is impossible to estimate the level of corruption in each country. For example, in Russia there exists a constant struggle against corruption. But in the United States, corruption, there is often called lobbying.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@Sibir_Russia @mantisdragon91 And yet according to the world rankings Russia is a 133rd and the US ranks 18th in corruption. I'll take the word of transparency international over that of Jackie Chan.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

@mantisdragon91 @Sibir_Russia

According to the American and Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan, the United States is the most corrupt country in the world. When the actor was asked a question about corruption in China, he said, that this phenomenon exists in all countries, not only in China, but worst of all things are in the United States.


mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@Sibir_Russia @mantisdragon91 It is? I notice you are avoiding the corruption question like the plague. Ranked 133 for Corruption. There is something to be proud of as you criticize a country ranked 18th.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@Sibir_Russia @mantisdragon91 The US owes less as a percentage of GDP than Russia does. Of course we also aren't behind most of Sub Saharan Africa when it comes to government corruption either.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

Government debt in Japan exceeded  1 quadrillion yen. But the largest national debt in the USA. Russia's national debt is almost absent.