Government shutdown begins


The closing of a vast swath of government operations is now under way as this Office of Management and Budget memo makes clear. The U.S. Agriculture Department, meanwhile, has wasted no time taking down its website. The Office of Personnel Management’s site, however, is still live, with a page with guidance on everything you probably never wanted to know about employee furloughs.


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  1. What shutdown? The DoD is not shut down, the furlough of 400,000 federal DoD civilians notwithstanding. If DoD were to truly shut down, as they should, every single warship would be ordered back to port, every single aircraft, including the VC-25 (commonly referred to as Air Force One) would be grounded and every single base would be locked with every single civilian, as well as every single soldier, sailor, airman and marine would be furloughed. Oh, and there would be a blanket “stop work” order on every single DoD contract.

    That’s what a shut down ought to entail–with resulting consequences severe enough to compel even this dysfunctional congress and intransigent administration from tolerating.

  2. @grumpy: Shutdowns never entail what you describe. All those people continue to work without getting paid until funding is provided. Shutting down the government just makes people work for IOUs.

  3. @Andy,
    It is illegal for the government to compel anyone, including active duty military personnel to work in the absence of an appropriation as it violates the anti-deficiency act. That is why it is illegal for federal civilians to “volunteer” time in a furlough situation.

    That the government declares certain personnel exempt and or excepted does nothing to change the fact that an illegal act is being committed when government personnel perform official duties in the absence of an appropriation.

    Circumventing the law makes it easy for the clowns in congress to not do their jobs.

  4. This corrupt, dysfunctional, and incompetent elected federal government is destroying the foundation of the DoD, the civilian work force. Our current government considers us “non-essential”, “non-important”, a pawn, and a liability. We federal workers have been getting screws ever since this administration has taken office. If our elected officials will screw its own federal workers, what makes the general public think that they will not screw them?

  5. Perhaps those tea party obstructionist need to reimburse the American people for the 300 million dollars its costing the country everyday. I wish I had the resources to file individual damage suit against each one of them, if nothing else to draw national attention to their stupidity. When the defense cuts are taken in 2014 and beyond perhaps those states represented by the same tea party members should also bear the brunt of those cuts to any DOD installation in their respective states to save money. Just a thought

  6. @Rascal,
    There are a lot more at fault than the tea party. Besides, defense has a huge presence in states like California, Washington, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Ohio and Hawaii. Those are hardly tea party states.
    Senate and administration intransigence is absolutely causal to the shut down. The house presented a number of bills, all containing compromises to varying degrees that were declared dead on arrival by the enate majority leader.

  7. Its quite obvious what the house has attempted to do is purely symbolic and the only agenda item republicans have is to defund or delay Obama care which isn’t going to happen. The DOD cuts are coming to every state in one way or another all Im saying is that those states represented by the obstructionist tea party folks they should bear a greater burden when the cuts are levied. Is it fair…hell no but neither is what the tea party folks are doing to the country, military, civilian employees and all the other citizens affected by this ridiculous exercise right now and god helps if they don’t raise the debt ceiling and pay the bills congress approved. Of course this is my opinion and have the right to speak out after 36 years of military and federal service.. I suppose in time we will see the fruits of the tea parties efforts to obstruct and my prediction is that they will fail and hopefully lose every election. We know they have and will continue to inflict severe economic pain on the country and all those who serve. Perhaps if more of those in congress had served in the military they would know the sacrifices the military and civilian employees make everyday. I would love to see all federal employees walk off the job once funding is restored….what are they going to do fire them all like the controllers, I don’t think so…

  8. Racal, You’re free to resign at any time and seek better fortunes in the private sector. I will be doing exactly that if or when I am furloughed. You’re not free to go on strike because that is an illegal act and you would and should be summarily fired if you do, just like the controllers who illegally engaged in a strike were.

    If you had any shred of critical cognitive reasoning, you would see that both sides are in fact, equally intransigent in their demands–it is downright farcical to place all the blame on a small faction, whose goals are little more than reducing the size of the federal government to better fit within the borders outlined by the very same Constitution you and I swore to defend.

  9. Grumpy. I’ve already retired my friend like many others who just got tired of being used and abused by our elected officals who continue to try and deprive me of my rights under the constitution. Having worked in HR for years you’re absolutely right we cant strike but federal employees can step out for a breath of fresh air all at the same time, how about a doctors appt? Many ways to skin a cat. I joined the military in Oct. 1968 and got to go to as they promised a faraway exotic land, served six and half before separating. We also lost our son on 21 Jan.2009, he was a Navy, helicopter crewman/rescue swimmer so I think I’ve given enough in upholding our constitutional obligations. It’s too bad the sons of Mitt Romney and other government officials in Congress don’t serve as well. Perhaps they and the American people would have a better understanding that DOD military and civilians are “Family”. Wouldn’t the general population have more insight into our “Family” if we had compulsory military service for everyone? You have a right to your opinion as do I however I blame the Tea Party for the pain that has been inflicted on this nation. How many votes did they take to attempt to delay or defund Obama care? 41/42? Couldn’t pass other critical legislation such as the farm bill. I would think that since they have the potential to provide health coverage to 30 million folks I would suggest that’s cheaper than all those folks going to the E.R for treatment which would costs a hundred times more. Grumpy, I believe you should retire, life is to short and you could devote more time expressing your opinions on this blog. I wish you well my friend and be peace be with you. Rascal

  10. Rascal,
    I am very sorry for the loss of your son. There can be no higher price to pay for our freedoms: you have indeed upheld your obligations.
    I certainly agree with your sentiments that elected officials should have a better understanding of the DoD, primarily from having served themselves. Perhaps it would reduce the likelihood of the lunacy we all are living with today.
    I wish you the best Rascal.

  11. Gabby, My family thanks u for your kind words. My son was but one of many willing and ready to make the ultimate sacrifice for country and for those they served with. I was an army brat growing up and also knew the risks probably better than most but when you enjoy the freedoms of this country every citizen bears that obligation to serve. Today is another sad day since I heard on the news this morning we lost four more of our service members in a IED event. I’m so sorry for the families of those troops who were killed and my prayers are with them just like so many families before them. Life is so short my friend so pursue those things that bring you peace and happiness, be it retirement, helping our vets or yes even holding our elected officials responsible for doing things which bring harm to our country and put those serving at greater risk. Peace be with you my friend. Rascal

  12. Grumpy. One final thought, I spoke of those who have given their lives and are at peace now but if our elected representatives during this shutdown or future events are not fully funding and addressing the needs of our vets especially those who were wounded they should be ashamed of themselves and so should the country. Congress and Mr. President please put aside your political differences and show our active duty folks, their families and those who served, retired or were wounded the honor and respect they deserve. Just pass the darn CR and raise the debt limit, NOW, TODAY or first thing Monday morning, I just gave all of you thousands of individual reasons to do what’s right. Rascal

  13. Rascal,
    I’ll be as point blank honest as I can. To the exclusion of everything else, if need be, defense, including and especially care for our veterans must be funded. I give a substantial amount of my income to the Wounded Warrior organization and I am glad to do that, but at the same time, I am ashamed that the government perennially fails to fund veteran’s needs to the extent today’s environment demands.

    Our veteran’s needs alone should be a compelling enough reason for congress and the administration to solve these issues.

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