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Who to blame for US Government shut down

Who do you blame for the government shutdown?
 66%  [ 2 ]
 33%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 3

While the whole world is slowly coming to terms with the recent shut down of the US government, Democrats and Republicans are already in the warfront exchanging blame missiles on who is responsible for the shut down.

On the one hand is General Barak Obama and his Democrat army on the offensive blaming the Republicans for taking the nation captive for parochial interest using the budget as means to get even on the Democrats on the Health bill (Obamacare). On other camp is General John Boehner and his hawkish GOP army who blame the Democrats for rejecting negotiations to end the deadlock.

While these two "elephants" are fighting it is the grass (the American people) that suffers.

Those affected:

According to a BBC report:

Department of Defense
US military Military personnel on duty will not be affected

The nation's 1.4 million active-duty uniformed military personnel will stay on duty.

About half of the defence department's 800,000 civilian employees will have to stop work, but there is a blanket exception for activities that "provide for the national security".

But where employees are needed to work, they may have to do so without pay:

"Military and other civilians directed to work would be paid retroactively once the lapse of appropriation ends," according to Defence Department Comptroller Robert Hale.

President Barack Obama later told civilian employees that they deserved "better than the dysfunction we're seeing in Congress".
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Department of Energy

Employees: 13,814 Due to work: 1,113 Staying at home: 12,701

Hydroelectric dam Hydroelectric dams will be maintained

Most Department of Energy facilities will close, with only 1,113 out of 13,814 staff required to work.

Exemptions include staff overseeing the safety of the nation's nuclear arsenal and operating dams and power lines across the country.

The National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the nation's nuclear weapons and naval reactor programmes, will have 343 employees on duty to "perform functions related to the safety of human life and the protection of property".

More than 400 employees will stay on to work at the Southwestern Power Administration and the Western Area Power Administration, which are in charge of overseeing hydroelectric power and power lines in the south and western US.

Some staff in other areas will remain at work to oversee "the protection of human life and property."
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Department of Commerce

Employees: 46,420 Due to work: 6,186 Staying at home: 40,234

Ocean and the San Diego skyline Weather and shipping reports will still be provided

Most of the department's staff will remain at home. However, staff at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will continue to report for duty to ensure weather, shipping and other reports are still provided for public safety.

Some of the workers at the Bureau of Industry and Security, which reviews exports, will also remain on duty.
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Department of Transportation

Employees: 55,468 Due to work: 36,987 Staying at home: 18,481

Airport Most air traffic control roles will not shut down

Transport roles run by the department, ranging from air traffic control to airport and hazardous materials inspections, will continue and 36,987 out of 55,468 personnel will remain at work.

Staff involved in overseeing commercial space launches will also continue operations - as at least one of a succession of launches will occur between the end of September and the first week in October in support of the International Space Station, according to the department.

Suspended activities will include facility security inspections, routine personnel security background investigations and the employee drug testing program.
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Smithsonian Institution

Employees: 4,202 Due to work: 688 Staying at home: 3,514

Tian Tian Animals at the National Zoo will still be fed

The National Zoo and 19 museums and galleries, including the Natural History Museum, the Portrait Gallery and the Air and Space Museum, would close.

Of the 4,202 employees, 688 will be retained to "protect life and property" - security guards, maintenance staff and people to care for and feed the animals at the National Zoo.

The Smithsonian Institution says: "During a shutdown, the Institution cannot legally accept voluntary services from federal employees to continue their regular duties."
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National Parks

Employees: 24,645 Due to work: 3,266 Staying at home: 21,379

National Park National Parks will be closed

National parks - from Yosemite to Alcatraz and the Statue of Liberty - will be shut down with 3,266 essential staff out of 24,645 remaining on duty. These will include some fire management, law enforcement and emergency responders.

Day-use visitors will be instructed to leave the park immediately and visitors using overnight facilities will be asked to make alternative arrangements and leave.

Where possible, park roads will be closed and access denied.
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Department of Homeland Security

Employees: 231,117 Due to work: 199,822 Staying at home: 31,295

Coast Guard Coast Guard operations will continue

About 86% of the Department of Homeland Security's 240,000 employees are expected to be exempt from the shutdown, including uniformed agents and officers at the country's borders and ports of entry.

Most members of the Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration, Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies are exempt.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services employees will continue to process green card applications.
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Department of Justice

Employees: 114,486 Due to work: 96,744 Staying at home: 17,742

DEA badge DEA agents will be exempt

Of 114,486 Department of Justice employees, an estimated 96,744 will be exempt from the shutdown.

All Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and support personnel in the field will be exempt as their operations are focused on national security and investigations involving protection of life and property.

Drug Enforcement Administration agents working on active counternarcotics investigations, agents in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and US attorneys will be exempt.

Staff at federal prisons will also be expected to work.
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Department of Health and Human Services

Employees: 78,198 Due to work: 37,686 Staying at home: 40,512

Flu jab being administered The annual flu programme will not be supported

The department will be sending home more than half its workers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will continue "minimal support to protect the health and well-being of US citizens". However, fewer staff will mean reduced capacity to respond to outbreaks and the agency will be unable to support its annual flu program.
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Department of Education

Employees: 4,225 Due to work: 212 Staying at home: 4,013

Students eating breakfast Funding for schools, due this month, will be paid

About 212 of the department's 4,225 employees - both full and part-time - will be expected to work for the first week. An additional 30 staff may be called in if the shutdown lasts more than seven days.

Some $22bn of funding to schools, due on the 1 October, will still be distributed. Among other things, this pays to help educate poor and disabled children.
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Environmental Protection Agency

Employees: 16,205 Due to work: 1,069 Staying at home: 15,136

Administrator Gina McCarthy said her department would effectively shut down with only a core group of individuals available in case of a "significant emergency".
With so many federal employees working, how is the federal government shut down?

Who will be there to press the buttons on the elevators for the clueless politicians?
lol this is not a binary answer
I think its not the first time shutdown.


On October 1, 2013, the United States federal government entered a shutdown suspending discretionary services deemed "non-excepted" by the Antideficiency Act.[1] Because of the government's failure to enact regular appropriations or a continuing resolution for the 2014 fiscal year, appropriations have lapsed and about 800,000 federal employees were indefinitely furloughed without pay, while another 1.3 million "excepted" employees were required to report to work indefinitely without pay until a budget is passed.[2]
The most recent previous previous U.S. federal government shutdown was in 1995-96.[3]
The shutdown resulted from political fights between Democratic President Barack Obama, the Democratic-led Senate and the Republican-led House of Representatives specifically, the Senate's rejection of House budget bills which included separate provisions delaying or defunding health insurance programs authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the President's statement that he would veto such a budget.[4]
October 1, 2013, the first day of the 2014 federal fiscal year, was also when many of the Affordable Care Act's measures took effect.[5] The health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act launched as scheduled on October 1.[6]
On October 2, the House of Representatives proposed several piecemeal bills to fund national parks and museums, the NIH, and the city of Washington, D.C.[7] After initially failing, all three passed the house,[8][9][10] but Senate leadership and the president rejected these efforts. The piecemeal bill for the NIH has been criticized as an interference on the interlocking roles and responsibilities of public health agencies.[11]

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Material you did not write should be quoted and sourced. Please refer to the forum rules here:
- Ankhanu
The best way to explain what just happened at US shutdown.

The US government has begun shutting its non-essential services. Hundreds of thousands of workers are waking up to the news that they are on unpaid leave, and they don't know how long it will last. The shutdown, triggered at midnight Washington time, will bring a range of services to a standstill across the world's largest economy.


The Federal government had no choice. The US financial year ended on 30 September, and politicians on Capitol Hill have failed to agree a new budget for the 2013-2014 financial year. Even a 'stopgap' funding deal proved beyond them. Without a budget deal approved by both parts of Congress, the House of Representative and the Senate, there's no legal agreement to pay non-essential staff.

Weren't they supposed to fix this last night?

They tried. A series of proposals rattled between the two sides on Monday night until midnight struck without a deal.

Why couldn't they agree a deal?

Under the US constitution, the president cannot unilaterally bring in legislation. And despite weeks of talks, Republicans continue to include cuts and delays to Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act in the budget legislation they sent up to the Senate.

The House of Representatives is controlled by the Republican Party, whose Tea Party movement remain deeply opposed to Obamacare. They tried to use the budget as leverage to crowbar changes to the Act. The Senate, which is under the control of Obama's Democrats, has stood firm.

Will the shutdown mean the entire US government grinds to a halt?

No, it's not an anarchist's (or libertarian's?) dream. Essential services, such as social security and Medicare payments, will continue.
The US military service will keep operating, and Obama signed emergency legislation on Monday night to keep paying staff. But hundreds of thousands of workers at non-essential services, from Pentagon employees to rangers in national parks, will be told to take an unpaid holiday.

So what happens how?

US politicians are meeting again in Washington on Tuesday. Before Monday's session broke up, the lower house proposed a 'bipartisan committee' to consider a way forward. The Senate is expected to reject this proposal, sticking to its position that Obamacare cannot be unravelled. Federal staff will remain unpaid until a budget is agreed. A 'stopgap' funding plan is an option, but Obama appeared wary of that option, arguing that would simply guarantee a repeated fight in a few weeks' time.

How much damage will it cause?

If people aren't getting paid, they won't spend as much in the shops. They may be unable to meet essential financial commitments, such as mortgages and credit card payments.

Analysts at IHS Global Insight have calculated that it will knock $300m a day off US economic output (total US nominal GDP, or output, was around $16 trillion last year).

The key issue is how long it lasts. Moody's Analytics reckons that a two-week shutdown would cut 0.3% off US GDP, while a month-long outage would knock a whole 1.4% off growth.

When did this last happen?

It's the first shutdown since 1995-1996, when Bill Clinton and the House of Representatives (and its speaker, Newt Gingrich) also failed to agree on a budget to fund federal services. That row ran for 28 days (over two stages).
But it was a more regular event in the 1980s, usually for a few days at a time. In total, the US government has partially shut down on 17 occasions before today.

Why doesn't it happen in other countries?

The shutdown situation is a product of the US democratic system. The president is both head of state and head of the federal government, without a guaranteed majority in either of the legislative bodies where new laws are debated and voted upon (because presidents, congressmen and women and senators are elected separately). The president can't simply ram laws through Capitol Hill.

In Britain, for example, tax and spending policies are outlined in the budget, presented to parliament by the chancellor of the exchequer. These changes are brought into law in a finance bill in the House of Commons. That's in effect a confidence vote in the government, and even the most fractious backbench MP would balk at rebelling on it.

Finance bills are also one area where the elected House of Commons has the upper hand over the unelected House of Lords. The Lords have no power to reject a money bill; they can only delay it for a month.

How does the US shutdown row tie in with the debt ceiling battle?

They are separate issues, but the shutdown is raising fears over the debt ceiling.

America has a legal limit on its borrowing of $16.7tn dollars, and it's likely to hit that point in mid-October.

If a deal isn't reached, then America would run out of borrowing room, meaning the world's biggest economy would default on its debts. Both problems need solving and a shutdown is now eating into valuable time to fix the debt ceiling.

Why can't they just raise the debt ceiling?

Again, legislation is needed. Republicans are again trying to link the plan to Obamacare arguing that the healthcare reforms are unaffordable.

How are the markets reacting?

So far, there's no panic. Investors are calculating that the shutdown will be short. But prepare for nervousness as that debt ceiling deadline gets closer.
The dollar, though, is being hit dropping half a cent against major currencies.

MOD - Quotes added; please provide which sites you used for your Sources.
Material you did not write should be quoted and sourced. Please refer to the forum rules here:
- Ankhanu
There's no one to "blame". Why do we always try to point fingers when something goes astray politically? Something as significant as a government shutdown can never be the fault of one of multiple groups, especially when the power between these groups (the two major parties in the USA) is nearly equally distributed.

Fault lies in both parties, and each side will argue that the other has more of it. In the end, they both need to own up to their mistakes (and they've all made big mistakes) and work out a bipartisan deal. Unfortunately, accountability has become a lost art in the world of politics.
Nevertheless. something I do not understand (as a European) is how Americans (1) are not able to organize health care properly and (2) how in the world it is possible the largest democracy can be brought to a stand still over that single issue ?? WTF IS WRONG WITH THIS HEALTH CARE INSURANCE SYSTEM ?? Cut a few F-35 fighters and America can pay for it twice. Easily. I blame the republicans.. for stubborness.
Josso wrote:
lol this is not a binary answer


LxGoodies wrote:
Nevertheless. something I do not understand (as a European) is how Americans (1) are not able to organize health care properly and (2) how in the world it is possible the largest democracy can be brought to a stand still over that single issue ?? WTF IS WRONG WITH THIS HEALTH CARE INSURANCE SYSTEM ?? Cut a few F-35 fighters and America can pay for it twice. Easily. I blame the republicans.. for stubborness.

The interesting thing is how blame is tossed around. I'm Canadian, so my stance pretty much mirrors your European stance... their health care is a joke, and it shouldn't even be an issue...
That said, I have Texan and Arkansan in-laws, and it's amazing that they're placing the blame for this entire situation squarely upon the Democrats... well, no, squarely on Obama, and his "dictatorship". It's kinda funny how perspectives are informed with politics.
I think the American people that voted all these bozos into office especially the President are to blame. That is who is really at fault!
Government resolved issue by kicking the trash can down the road a few months to start all over again.

zimmer wrote:
I think its not the first time shutdown.

The Government has been shutdown many times. Threaten shutdown even more. It is a poor tool.
The blame game is the primary source of the problem IMO. Instead of working together towards common goals, each side finds things that can make them stand apart and look better than the other. There are few people in the US government who actually have our best interests in mind when they go to work. Most have the best interests of their parties in mind, and that is where the problem lies.

Of course the Feds problem is just a symptom of the underlying issue, which is that of the American people. Some of our people particularly those with the loudest voices and the most money are extremely polarized and will do anything in their power to help themselves.

I really think the whole "party" system is extremely out of date and old fashioned. People should be forced to run for office strictly on there personal merits.

Take me for example I am a Christian conservative environmentalist who has many beliefs that transcend both parties and completely cross party lines. I would say that most people in our country would say they share viewpoints of both parties.

But no one runs on what they believe any more (except maybe Ron Paul) they just spit out the same ole partisan crap!
Passing blame seems like fun and everyone is doing it and so I will give it a try:

I put blame on any politician that makes decisions based soley on what will get them votes (so almsot every politician).

I blame people that vote for the same morons over and over.

I blame the children in Washington that just like fight with each other.

I blame the people that voted for those people.

I blame Democrats.

I blame Republicans.

I blame all of you.

I blame myself.

We're all human beings and having a difference of opinion is a normal part of being human (and I'm grateful for that) and wanting it your way is something that every one of us here and every person has been guilty of many times. That's part of the issue. Everyone wants it their way and no one budges. Anyone playing the blame game should recognize that and then recognize that they do that too and so they're partly guilty for following human nature. Running a government isn't easy (especially with two major parties that couldn't be more different)/
I blame the few politicians who are tired of the one party political game and tried to use it to do what they were elected to do, represent the constituents that elected them. It was against their party leadership's wishes who just wanted to wave their white flags of surrender.

I blame the blameless

I blame George W Bush, because of his lingering scapegoat potential.

I blame big business for not being small business

I blame small business for not being out of business

I blame the void of deep space for not doing anything for us lately

I blame the zombies for the coming apocalypse

I blame Bob for no longer being called Bobby after he grew up

I blame the 5% approval rating of congress as being good enough to win another re-election

I blame the tolerant for being intolerant

I blame everyone and everything except for the Hypno Toad... All glory to the Hypno Toad

I blame it on the rain, girl you know it's true.

I blame it on the boogie
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