DC Shuts Down

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The federal government will enter a partial shutdown today as lawmakers were unable to reach a deal to fund the budget through October. USA Today's Washington bureau chief Susan Page updates the latest, from who still works, who stays home, and what comes next.


Susan Page

Comments [59]


The Congressmen took an Oath to uphold the Constitution.
I took an Oath to uphold the Constitution.
If Congressmen can't agree and take time off---no sweat.
If I don't agree with the guys and take time off---PLENTY OF SWEAT.
---An "Oath" is only as good as the People who uphold it.
( Semper Fi )

Oct. 17 2013 01:55 PM
Didi R from Manhattan

RUCB_Alum - the healthcare law that was approved and signed has nothing to do with the law as it is today. The Obama admin has made numerous large changes to it after the fact. I guess that's why Ms. Pelosi said we have to pass it before we find out what is in it. That is actually not constitutional and there is prior legal precedent under the Nixon administration to back that up. Whether anyone has the balls to take him to court over it is another story.

As for what some other listeners have mentioned, nothing make Washington above the rest of us, If they can't abide by their own concoction I don't see why they can force it upon the rest the country along party lines with underhanded tactics.

BTW, the representatives who are holding this up are doing their jobs - listening to their constituents. You know the land that exists beyond NY and CA.

Oct. 02 2013 10:02 AM

@Kelly from Manhattan

Financial ruin? Now whose using hyperbole.

In the very worst case scenario, nobody opts-in to ObamaCare - there is no requirement to do so. You pay a fine to the IRS for not signing up by March. The amount I've heard quoted is $95. So a family of four might have to may $380. How is that financial ruin?

So exactly what is the GOP afraid of if ObamaCare is implemented and it fails? The government collection $300 from 110M households? For that they shut the whole deal down? Sheesh....

Oct. 02 2013 09:42 AM

@CaptainDrG - The PPACA was signed by Obama on March 23, 2010. How is that the last days of a lame-duck Congress? You are cutting your recollections to fit your opinion.

@Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

re: Pelosi on having to pass it first to find out what's in it

It is neither progressive or idiotic to suggest that a complex law redefining the ebb and flow of a segment that is currently 17% of GDP would have to be passed, implemented, adjusted, adjudicated, re-tailored, fiddled with before you 'know how it works' for Americans.

Only simpletons think that legislatures can foresee all of the consequences of proposed legislation before hand. We're dealing with people, not computers.

Oct. 02 2013 09:35 AM
Kelly from Manhattan


Enough partisan hyperbole. The final thing that would have kept the government opened and funded fully at the level Obama was asking for was simply for Washington to also live by Obama-care. If they could not agree to live under their own law, than they clearly know how terrible it is. If they can complain about the costs to their employees where 6 figure salaries are the norm, how do they expect the rest of us to deal with it.

I assume you haven't read the 1000 of pages and thought of the unintended consequences we are already seeing in the job market. Take off your D and R team uniforms and look objectively at this wreck of a law. This is not a football game, this can take us one step closer to a financial collapse.

Oct. 02 2013 08:09 AM

President Barack Hussein Obama II, has finally managed to do,
what so many presidents before him were not able to, establish
a healthcare plan, Obamacare that will benefit millions of Americans.

But the GOP Congressman Eric Cantor, Senators John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Canadian born, Cuban Senator Rafael Edward Cruz are bound and determined to obey their Corporate Masters and the billionaire Koch Brothers, and pull out the Obamacare safety net out from under ordinary Americans.

The GOP clearly represents the interest of the 1%, tax breaks for
the rich and want to shaft everyone else.
Mitt Romney paid 15% in taxes on his millions of dollars
that he got from sucking the life out of companies, throwing people
out of work, he liked firing people, Romney said and kicking them to
the curb.

President Barack Hussein Obama II is fighting for the Veteran,
the single mother, the radio talk show host, the police officer, the
fireman, the postal worker, the McDonald's worker, social security

Senator Rafael Edward Cruz and his ilk
is fighting for Goldman Sachs and Koch Brothers, yachts,
private Hampton estates, Park Avenue Condos.

Oct. 01 2013 04:26 PM

I'm sending this to Congress using
I would notice and appreciate your co-sponsorship of the "One Subject at a Time Act" (OSTA), HR 2113.

But even if you don't pass the "One Subject at a Time Act" in fact, this is a very good time to implement it in principle.
The House should pass many small bills, funding each aspect of the government on its own merits.
The Senate can then confirm only what it wants, and the President can sign only what he wants.
Wasteful nuclear submarine construction might need to wait, but popular programs should sail through on their own merits.
Why shut the parks when they are in season, earning revenue?
Congressman, have your staff slice-up that budget and pass it to the Senate, one-subject-at-a-time.
Un-shut the Government, one part at a time, till you get to the parts nobody wants.

Oct. 01 2013 02:21 PM
sue from NYC

Josh, I talk about compromise in relation to the Tea Party legislators' conduct since they got in -- obstruction of anything the President tries to do. While obstruction has been the Republican response to Obama since Day 1, there have been enough grown ups in GOP leadership roles that they have ultimately compromised sufficiently to keep things going, but now the infants are throwing a temper tantrum. And the rest of us are suffering (similar to how we feel when someone's toddler is thrashing around on the floor of the supermarket screaming until our ears hurt, but worse).

Oct. 01 2013 01:22 PM
Capper from NYC

@ Amy and Chantal,

Thanks for the links/info.

Oct. 01 2013 12:44 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Here is a youtube of Nancy Pelosi:

"so we have to pass the Bill (Obamacare), so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy"


It's like reviewing a book without reading it.

How Progressive and idiotic of her.

Oct. 01 2013 12:08 PM

Imagine a liquid workforce!!

Imagine a world were people were actually FREE to NOT be held hostage at unfulfilling jobs because they need to maintain health in$urance for their family.

Imagine being free of the corrupt work/healthcare connection paradigm!!

How many new businesses would be created??? How may new hires??

Businesses with fewer than 20 employees account for 90 percent of all U.S. firms and are responsible for more than 97 percent of all new jobs, according to a new report by the Small Business Administration. ~ Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy

How many dreams fulfilled??


Oct. 01 2013 12:03 PM

Obama care was passed in the last hours of a lame-duck Congress, that had been un-elected to prevent them from inflicting Obomney Care on the country. Before it passed, it evolved into a scheme sponsored by the insurance companies to force people to do business with them.

Health insurance is particularly profitable when the victim is too sick to fight the insurer for payments. Some people would rather die than pay money to insurance companies. But the lame ducks conspired with insurers to take away that choice.

Oct. 01 2013 12:02 PM

The President controls what is considered: Non Essential.
Even during the not-really-a-cut Sequester, Obama has been a master of Firemen-First budget cuts.
The clever bureaucrat knows that when budget cuts are looming, you leave alone what’s unessential and talk about eliminating what is essential. That way, the public will agitate against the cuts.

In 1976, Charles Peters of the Washington Monthly dubbed this approach the “Firemen First” principle, as he explored and explained why firemen and combat troops, rather than desk-bound middle managers, tend to be at the head of the line to be whacked.

original story
1976, Charles Peters of the Washington Monthly:

Oct. 01 2013 11:56 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

So JG - to that point, the GOP should shut down Obamacare, as is there right, in a more procedural manner, as opposed to what they are dong now.

Oct. 01 2013 11:37 AM

Eliminate the middle man.

Healthcare is a right, NOT an opportunity for the corrupt corporate structure to siphon billions out of the United States' economy.

We have the MOST CONVOLUTED and MOST EXPENSIVE healthcare delivery system in the ENTIRE WORLD!!

The US spends almost twice as much per person on healthcare as any other nation. As a result of an incredibly wasteful, bureaucratic, profit-making and complicated system, the US spends 17% of its gross domestic product – approximately $2.7tn annually– on healthcare. While insurance companies, drug companies, private hospitals and medical equipment suppliers make huge profits, Americans spend more and get less for their healthcare dollars.

I need healthCARE, NOT health IN$URANCE®!!

Oct. 01 2013 11:31 AM

@jgarbuz from Queens

"The problem is, once the "progressives" get a law to their favor..."

I'm a progressive and the law as passed is NOT to my favor. It is a very conservative bottom rung for a plan to cover the healthcare needs of all Americans rather than have them ripped off or underseved by the existing system. We can both be certain that the financing of American healthcare will not look like ObamaCare 1.0 but it is passed law and the country should not be held hostage to a few loons who *really* don't like it. Let them grow up and act like citizens who actually read The Constitution.

ACA was modeled after plans offered by Jack Kemp and Bob Dole - neither of whom are a real models of progressivism. Romney implemented the SAME plan in Massachusetts. So, please, step off the 'progressives' tag. You are not one, so do not condescend to speak for them.

The TP got seats in the House because they focused confusion and anger over one issue - whether the government can MAKE you buy health insurance into an ideologically blind single issue splinter. [No doubt one of the 'regrets' in Obama's post-WH memoir will be - Why o why didn't I get more Democrats elected in 2010!!] The issue for the TP is that 'the government is too big'. They are anarchistic reactionaries and there is little difference between their behavior and the anarchistic radicals who would bomb and kill innocents. They are Luddites throwing their wooden shoes into the machinery of government.

Bottom line: Their simplistic view of the way things work is hurting people. Their self-righteousness makes them think they are right to do it because it is for our own good. Please spare me from others who know what is best for me.

Oct. 01 2013 11:06 AM

John Boehner and Eric Cantor have disgraced themselves by ceding their authority to the lunatic fringe faction of their party. The Republican Party has completely lost its mind.

Oct. 01 2013 10:48 AM
jiminnj from N NJ

Congress should forfeit their pay during the time the government is shut down -- though it would hardly make a difference, since most of them are millionaires anyway.

Oct. 01 2013 10:47 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Sheldon

Even the 1st and 2nd Amendments of the Bill of Rights could theoretically be rescinded by 2/3rds of the majority of states vote against it. Nothing is set in stone forever.

Oct. 01 2013 10:37 AM
The Truth from Becky

Yes! The government is shut down and the Affordable Heatlthcare Act is in full effect!

Now what? SMH

It was vindictive and just plain evil to proceed to put so many non essential gov't employees out of work today with this shutdown!

Oct. 01 2013 10:33 AM

This runoff is MORONIC!

Oct. 01 2013 10:32 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Capper, I've been getting emails from multiple organizations about where to reach out on this. has a petition on their website. CREDO Mobile is asking people to call their representatives, w/info at

Oct. 01 2013 10:27 AM
Chantal from NY/DC


Oct. 01 2013 10:22 AM
arlene from New Jersey

Why isn't anyone calling this circus what it is, an attempted coup??

Oct. 01 2013 10:21 AM

Veronica's question -- please address

Oct. 01 2013 10:20 AM

What economic outcomes?

Oct. 01 2013 10:19 AM
Sue from NYC

Y'know, I'm getting VERY SICK of hearing about how much Americans are confused about the A.C.A.

TONS of information about the A.C.A. is readily available online, in news reports, on government websites and on the websites of public health groups, to name a few.

Everyone's walking around with a computer in their pocket. Don't understand it? Look it up!

Oct. 01 2013 10:19 AM

Ed from Larchmont ~

You do your cause a very serious disservice by being so boring and pedantic.

Oct. 01 2013 10:19 AM
Jeannette from manhattan

I have not heard anyone talk about the loss of earmarks. It seems that since these were discontinued the battle is all or nothing. Before congress could compromise because House members could get their bridge to nowhere for voting differently. Now neither side gets anything by backing down.

Oct. 01 2013 10:18 AM
Teisha from Brooklyn

Lets see how it works? I've already had my hours dropped at work! I can't make rent - I don't give a damn about healthcare if I cannot live!

Oct. 01 2013 10:18 AM

Obama put a rare positive PR spin on a GOP dig in his decision to refer to the ACA as "Obamacare" with pride! He must have even won respect from his talk radio critics.

Why Obama's exasperated flip flop yesterday?

Oct. 01 2013 10:18 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Yeah, JG, all those "progressive" laws: "Gay" marriage, Jews and others being allowed to practice their faith without fear, women being allowed to vote, Blacks being allowed to sit anywhere on a bus. Shame that they are all settled right?

Oct. 01 2013 10:17 AM
Collin from Ridgewood, NY

What is maddening about this "negotiation" is that there is nothing to negotiate. The Republicans had their opportunity to negotiate the terms of the ACA and did -- and then the law was passed. To even use the word "negotiation" in this instance is disingenuous.

Also, side note: the NY Healthcare Exchange website is currently not working!

Oct. 01 2013 10:16 AM
Katie from Huntington

Staff is not exempted. As I understand it, the government employees were REQUIRED to take the exchanges, giving up their better insurance. The change was to correct that. Brian should be able to explain that better than I.

Oct. 01 2013 10:16 AM

@ Mark,

THANK YOU, brother!!

Oct. 01 2013 10:15 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Maybe if the administration worked the publicity from the other end it would work better: Do you want less-expensive health insurance? Yes? Obamacare does that. Do you want coverage for pre-existing conditions? Yes? Obamacare does that. Etc. (& they'd have to call it "Obamacare," because that's what they need to change people's minds about. The polls show that if they say "The ACA does that," people who oppose "Obamacare" will still think Obamacare is bad.

Oct. 01 2013 10:15 AM

Love the conservative caller who just needs to call in and harass government workers -- they are victims here.

Oct. 01 2013 10:14 AM
John from Fanwood, NJ

I'm a retired Fed, and was around during the last shut-down. I checked my bank account this morning and was thrilled to see that my pension was deposited despite the stupidity in DC. The crazy thing about the last time around is that we got paid retroactively. Since the House doesn't pass anything anyway, my fellow Feds will probably get screwed by the intransigent faction in Congress.

Oct. 01 2013 10:13 AM

Sue - how can you talk about compromise. All the Democrats had to do in the final hour was to agree to use Obama-care themselves. That's it. And they couldn't accept using what they are making everyone else deal with. One thing Obama is good at is drawing "red-lines". Not compromising.

Oct. 01 2013 10:13 AM


Shutting down the government *is* the political endgame for many Americans!

Next best is to paralyze it by overspending (see: Iraq War).

Oct. 01 2013 10:13 AM

When behavior defies all LOGIC, apparent educational achievements and CLEAR fundamental facts there is only one conclusion:

I D E O L O G Y.

Oct. 01 2013 10:13 AM
Tim trojian from Mt tremper

Concerned about your Iraq analogy Was the Iraq war an enacted law? Both are life and death issues, war and health care, but one is to sustain life, the other to end. Please don't confuse the issue

Oct. 01 2013 10:12 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Senator Obama did just that in 2006 or so, threatened to shut down the government to not fund Iraq.

Oct. 01 2013 10:11 AM
Schnallity from Bloomfield NJ

Last night I watched that show where a small group of crazed, gun-toting criminals broke into a house and held innocent people hostage, aiming to do harm to the President.

Then I turned off CNN and put on "Hostages".

Oct. 01 2013 10:10 AM
DK in BK

How will the government shut down effect applicants for civil service exams?

Oct. 01 2013 10:09 AM
EJ from hastings

I don't understand why the president does not invoke the 14th amendment like Pelosi wants him to? Seems he is contributing to manufacturing the crisis as much as the GOP is.

Oct. 01 2013 10:09 AM
Robert from Ann Arbor, MI

To your guest: a common comment that I have heard from conservatives is that the government has been shut down 20 times over the past 30 years, many of which were caused by impasses between Reagan and Tip O'Neill. I have looked into the claim a little bit, and it does seem to be true, but there is not much information on these shutdowns. Do you know how these shutdowns differed from the current one and the shutdown of 1995-96? Thanks!

Oct. 01 2013 10:09 AM
Sue from NYC

The Tea Party is going to have to learn that our government does not work without compromise. Compromise is absolutely required for our federal government to operate. Until the Tea Party learns that, we're going to have these kinds of disasters.

Oct. 01 2013 10:09 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

WNYC - Why are you not better addressing the Obama/Democrats' demand that Congress and its staffers be exempt from Obamacare?? Hey, where's the muckraking populism!!??

In a statist world, the technocrats always live the best.

Oct. 01 2013 10:07 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The problem is, once the "progressives" get a law to their favor, it becomes holy and untouchable like tablets from Mount Sinai. Rowe vs. Wade? Settled law. Untouchable. Gay marriage? Settled law. Untouchable. Medicare? Untouchable. Social Security? Untouchable. Women get child custody in almost all cases? Untouchable. Anything the "progressives" have passed becomes "settled law" and can never be questioned ever again. It's like the Quran. Not a word can be changed.

Oct. 01 2013 10:07 AM
Rct from NYC

Just got a post that the FDR library and museum in New Hyde Park has closed. We were there last summer - a wonderful site that had already been affected by the sequester.

Oct. 01 2013 10:03 AM

What I find ridiculous is the final deal was to let the government eat its own dinner - basically they would have to use Obama-care as well. If they can't agree to use their own product, crying about its affordability with their 6 figure salaries, why should they force the rest of us peasants to use it? The government would be working today had they just accepted that! Unbelievable!

Oct. 01 2013 10:02 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

We should restore the medical system to as it was in the 1950s. Doctors were businessmen with their own practices, and could charge whatever the market would bear. But doctors were also required to donate 20 hours a week of their time for free to charity hospitals to take care of the indigent.
What happens when you socialize medicine, is like what happens when you socicalize any industry. You get shortages. Whether it is shortages of toilet paper as in the old Soviet Union, or shortages of doctors and nurses.
What good is "universal access" to health care, when there is no one there? No one there who is paid enough to care.

Oct. 01 2013 10:00 AM
Shawn from Bergen County

I love how WNYC talks about Obamacare Law as if we have never questioned any other laws before. They just keep on spouting how "Well, it's already LAW, so what's the problem here??" There's a huge problem. We can question marriage laws, we can question immigration laws, but not Obamacare? Come on!

As well, WNYC loves talking about how there were similar debates and criticisms when Medicare passed. As if that helps your argument. Medicare is a huge problem. HUGE. And you act like "Well, similar protests happened when they passed medicare and medicaid, so it will just blow over and be fine." Come on! If you could only separate your hatred for Republicans with the fact that these programs are a HUGE waste, then we could have a discussion.

If every single time the Debt Ceiling comes up, and every single time the Liberals and Obama say that it's our "Obligation" to raise the ceiling, then what's the point of a ceiling in the first place? If spending limits get reached, and every...single...time you raise the limits, then in effect there is no limit. And THAT's what republicans are upset about.

Guess what's going to happen? Obamacare is going to go into effect. And millions of people will become eligible for medicaid. And guess who accepts medicaid? Almost no one. Not one doctor that I know of, certainly no specialists, accept medicaid. And of the primary care doctors who do accept medicaid, they certainly don't have the space to see all these extra people. So now we have swollen ranks of people who have a horrible insurance called medicaid. And guess where they will go for their care? The only place that accepts medicaid....the ER. So now the hospitals will become even more overcrowded. But instead of the hospitals just eating the costs of the uninsured, guess who eats it? The government. Medicaid eats it. So the ERs will continue to see people, maybe even more now because people aren't afraid of the bills they may get. But the government will just get sucked dry.

The republicans are aware of this. The republicans are willing to fight to defund a horrible law that, if left in effect, will defund the entire country. Health care is good, everyone needs to have it. But Obamacare is a horrible law. Get with it. It's not rich, greedy, white guys trying to rip you off. If you'd open your eyes for a second you'd see that.

Oct. 01 2013 09:31 AM
Veronica from Florida

Will the salary of the members of Congress be suspended? Is there skin in the game here!!

Oct. 01 2013 09:14 AM
Capper from nyc

What can we do / who can we reach out to in order to express our complete disgust that our representatives allowed this to happen. I haven't seen any petitions people can sign.

Oct. 01 2013 09:01 AM
Capper from nyc

What can we do / who can we reach out to in order to express our complete disgust that our representatives allowed this to happen. I haven't seen any petitions people can sign.

Oct. 01 2013 09:01 AM

Hey man, the pope told you to cool off the abortion obsession...

Oct. 01 2013 08:40 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Obamacare is the largest entrenchment of abortion in our society since Roe v. Wade since every healthcare plan must cover it. They estimate an annual increase of around 100,000 abortions. Is it a surprise that the government would shut down the very day it was implemented?

One has to think that the intrenchment of abortion was one of the main purposes of Obamacare.

Oct. 01 2013 08:26 AM

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