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Posted at 4:17 PM ET, 02/22/2011

White House: Government shutdown plans in place

By Ed O'Keefe

Federal agencies are ready to operate at reduced levels if a government shutdown occurs, the White House said Tuesday.

But the Obama administration is still hoping a shutdown isn't necessary, according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

"There have been contingency plans for government shutdowns since 1980, and those plans are obviously updated accordingly, but they've been around for a long time," Carney told reporters traveling with the president in Ohio.

By March 4, lawmakers must either pass a short-term continuing resolution to continue funding the government, or Obama and congressional leaders can strike a deal on how to fund government operations for the final seven months of fiscal 2011. Failing to do so would prompt a shutdown impacting various government agencies and operations.

The White House is hoping to reach an agreement with lawmakers soon, Carney said.

Agencies are supposed to maintain plans "for an orderly shutdown in the event of the absence of appropriations," according to Office of Management and Budget guidance issued to agencies each year. Any revisions or changes must be reviewed by OMB and the plans must include:

-- Estimates (to the nearest half day) of how long it would take to complete a shut down.

-- The number of employees necessary to be working before the plan is implemented.

-- The total number of employees to be retained during a shutdown.

Any employees on the job during a shutdown must be engaged in military or law enforcement duties, providing medical care or protecting other lives and property -- essentially prison guards or building security officers, according to OMB. Other agencies may keep employees on the job if their compensation is paid for through a different appropriations process.

OMB would not provide details of the updated plans Tuesday.

During a shutdown in Nov. 1995, the departments of Commerce, Justice and State kept about 63 percent of their workers on the payroll, but made 36 percent stay home, according to partial data obtained by the Government Accountability Office. About 52 percent of Interior Department workers stayed on the job, and 42 percent of workers at the departments of Education, Labor and Health and Human Services, GAO said.

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

RELATED: What might happen if another government shutdown occurs

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 22, 2011; 4:17 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Government Shutdown  
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Obama is gunning for a shutdown...impeach Obama.

Posted by: JCM-51 | February 22, 2011 5:50 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: DrainYou | February 22, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Republicans hate Government. Their entire ideology depends on demonizing government. Therefore Government MUST fail to prove that they're right. So .. no taxes, huge deficits and government shutdowns. Just what they want. Perfect!

Posted by: thebobbob | February 22, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

just like on West Wing! "Shut it down!"

Posted by: shawforsenate | February 22, 2011 6:55 PM | Report abuse

These mental midgets just do not understand the over all impact of a Govt shutdown. This is typical of the GOP and their Billionaire controlled Tea NUTs

Posted by: Americacares | February 22, 2011 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Yes, watch the West Wing if you want to understand the politics of shutdowns.

Posted by: dnjake | February 22, 2011 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Like RepuBPlicans and their big corporate patron have held new jobs and investments hostage to get rid of Obama one way or the other, they now hold the Government hostage to get their own adolescent, school yard bully way. Let's hope Obama has the balls to call their bluff and doesn't cave like he did with continuing teabagger tax cuts for the rich.

Posted by: areyousaying | February 22, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Having experienced one government shutdown
I have developed what I think would be the best plan:


Posted by: glenmayne | February 22, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse


Obama is gunning for a shutdown? You are deluded sir. The GOP has passed a budget that does nothing to reduce the deficit and destroys many of the most effective programs the government runs. Yet they refuse to attack programs that would really make a significant difference.

Its hard to understand that anyone doesn't see the real priorities of the GOP. Billions added to the deficit for their rich friends, and cutting programs that help sick children and pregnant women.

Can't any of you right wing guys actually see what Republican's are FOR, and whey are AGAINST? For tax cuts for millionaires, for subsidies for their oil company friend, less regulation for their banker friends, the list goes on.

AGAINST: programs that benefit the poor and middle class, against the economic recovery, against anything to change the status quo on health care.

When Boyner said so what when it was pointed out that his cuts would cost more than 200,000 jobs, I think that might have been a warning signal to people that his agenda isn't about job recovery or anything of the sort. Its about partisan point scoring, and trying to make sure the economy stays sour so that Obama can't be elected in 2012.

Is that really pro America?

Posted by: reussere | February 22, 2011 8:16 PM | Report abuse

The fed govt in DC was shut for 4 1/2 days during snowmageddon last year. Noting bad really happened. A lot of the hysteria around the shutdown is fear mongering. A week or two long shut down probably won't be earth shattering except obviously for the elephant poo piling up ;)

Posted by: Skippy21 | February 22, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh go ahead, Republicans - shut down the government.
Air traffic controllers need a break - it's a very stressful job.

Posted by: angie12106 | February 22, 2011 8:27 PM | Report abuse

One ranter said impeach Obama. I say if the Government shuts down then take every GOP leader off the Hill in handcuffs out of DC, line them up against a wall and make them eat garbage from the poor and middleclass they are trying to destroy.
Boehner, McConnell and their friends in 2 months have not created one job. But boy have they partied at the taxpayers expense.
Evidence of this might be seen by the empty wine bottles in Boehners trash.

Posted by: sumo1 | February 22, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Boehner and his Republican friends are going to give hundreds of thousands of Federal employees a paid vacation with the shutdown. Federal employees will still be paid, even if they don't have to work. So Boehner, knock yourself out and shut down the government. The federal employees which Republicans hate will thank you.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | February 22, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

The last government shut down in the 90s didn't work out so well for the Republicans. Once people figured out that they couldn't get into any national parks or federally funded museums, apply for social security benefits, get a passport or get roads built/maintained with federal transportation funds, they got ticked off. Also, all those zillions of private-sector contractors (think Defense corporations and local businesses that take out the trash or provide food service to federal cafeterias) will have to lay off their workers. This doesn't even mention the airlines that lose passengers due to no passports, or restaurants that don't have these federal contractors and employees buying lunch. Yeah, I was there 15 years ago, and it wasn't pretty.

Posted by: rosepetals64 | February 22, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

The trouble is the Republicans will exempt the programs that will most impact the public. After all, if they stop paying the troops at war, everyone would scream, "Those damn Republicans." So, they'll pay the troops, the border patrol, etc. It will take a few weeks before people in the trenches begin to feel the ill effects of a government shutdown. The last time, in 96, the thing that brought Newt to heel, was the Chief Federal Judge wrote him a letter saying they would start releasing federal prisoners who they could not bring to trial in compliance with the Speedy Trial Act. Prisoners released and walking the streets! That brought Newt around, he quickly caved. But it took about three weeks. After three weeks, the public actually realized that they need their Government. These stupid Republicans and their stupid Republican supporters need to learn that again. They flunked history. In the meantime, people will suffer.

Posted by: JohnKolar | February 22, 2011 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Fun to see all you dems scared and frothing at the mouth.

Posted by: MRGB | February 22, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Don't cut off your nose to spite your face.

Posted by: tluv2dantz | February 22, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Fun to see all you repubs repeating the same mistake you made 15 years ago. Those who are stupid are doomed to do the same thing again and again expecting a different outcome. (Except for the fact that real people, including you, suffer.)

Posted by: JohnKolar | February 22, 2011 10:43 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: DrainYou | February 22, 2011 11:13 PM | Report abuse

This current crisis over the budget reminds me of W W I. Both sides under estimate each other. The major players do not want war. But, partisans do want a shut down.
If this happens, it will take much longer and be much harder to resolve. Hardened positions will result. Bonds may not sell. The government from this will be forced to balance to budget because bonds to finance can not be sold without unacceptable inflation.
So Liberals and conservatives who want this, you may rue the day of this dream being fulfilled.

Posted by: peterroach | February 22, 2011 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Great leadership mr president. Absolutely atrocious!!!

Posted by: sagedutch | February 22, 2011 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Many apparently assumed that Obama took office to break the backbone of the USA.
No one is suprised that the Imposter -in- Chief was going to do anything differently.

The 50 States need to be prepeared and on ready alert to help each other in the Chaos that enmy of theis Country will probably begin to perpetrate as ACORNS.

Isn't this just the planned manifesto of Aztlan?

Preppers Depression was expecting no better from this administration.

Shut it down.

Just use UPS and Fed ex for your mail.

Posted by: dottydo | February 23, 2011 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Sigh. Haven't we been through this before? It didn't turn out so well for Newt and Co.
Republicans wanted and did extend (their Holy Grail)tax cuts to the wealthy......still no jobs.
Although the Stock Market is at an all time high, and CEOs and Wall St. are making money hand over fist.
Repubs want to cut programs for the average person and kiss the collective a$$es of the super wealthy and their corporate cronies.
And people vote for them why?????
Republicans, for the wealthy, by the wealthy and will soon perish when the ignorant self destructive 'wanna blow up my own wallet to vote in a RepublIcAn' mindset eventually gets it.....when they are trying to feed themselves from a dumpster.

Posted by: lenegal77 | February 23, 2011 2:27 AM | Report abuse

What Republicans stand against:
Medicare, SS, Medicaid, OSHA, environmental controls (Yes, corporations that are left here, dump all your chemicals and kill everything in sight.)Public Works, libraries, public schools, amongst other programs.
What Republicans are for: More money in the pocket of the wealthy, no restrictions on Wall St. allowing their corporate friends to have tax loopholes the size of Mr. Rushmore.

Posted by: lenegal77 | February 23, 2011 2:38 AM | Report abuse

Boehner already went to K Street to pick up the checks for himself and his Republican clan. He doesn't care about a shutdown, even for Congress. His government salary is just chump change for what he really makes.

Posted by: magnifco1000 | February 23, 2011 3:45 AM | Report abuse

Many existing laws and regulations apply specifically to pregnant women. Several provisions of the Affordable Care Act offer new benefits for expecting mothers. Search online for "Wise Health Insurance" if you need affordable insurance for yourself or your wife.

Posted by: gonzamunz | February 23, 2011 4:13 AM | Report abuse

The Obamba plan is for public/government employees to picket the white house to get more money for public employees...

Posted by: robinhood2 | February 23, 2011 5:51 AM | Report abuse

The West Wing is a TV show and NOT real people. I worked during the last government shut down, at a hospital. We sent 75% of our staff home, as well as patients. I personally fed over a hundred people, every evening for dinner, as I was working and they, my staff, were not.

Most went to the food banks, but there was not much food there. I do not know how it was in DC, but I can imagine, people worried about paying the mortgages, rent, food, car notes, etc, and no money to do that. The GOP is not very nice, as they take people's livelihoods away just to prove a point, and it hurts, but the GOP will not do unto themselves what they do too others. That is disrespectful, very simple. The GOP cannot take the same advice they give, which makes them inconsistent in thought, word, and action, or as most would say, a common liar.

I hope the economy fares better with people worried about eating, they will no longer be consumers, which will surely drive the DMV into a recession, like the rest of the country.

Posted by: patmatthews | February 23, 2011 5:53 AM | Report abuse

Yonkers, New York
23 February 2011

Good to know that there are Contingency Plans already in place just in case the Republicans make the horrendous mistake of shutting down the Federal Government, driven by their obsession to cut spending the way they think it should be done.

Theirs is no empty threat. Former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich, driven by hubris, arrogance and recklessness in pushing his "Contract with America," shut down the Federal Government some 16 years ago.

Mariano Patalinjug

Posted by: MPatalinjug | February 23, 2011 7:06 AM | Report abuse

These politicians need to stop picking on the federal workers who did nothing to cause this mess. Does it not cost more to shut it all down then it saves?

And to Skippy21, only areas affected by the snow storm shut down last year. The rest of the country went on as usual. This time would mean everybody is staying home, which means that truly nothing will be getting done. I hope you don't have elderly relatives who need their Social Security checks on time...

Posted by: shorty0213 | February 23, 2011 7:54 AM | Report abuse

The next ignorant American that blames Obama for any of this Government Shutdown mess needs to have their citizenship revoked. The President of the United States has NOTHING to do with the budget or taxes. It is the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES that controls the purse. So if you want to blame someone for the mess we are ALL in, first if you voted for a Republican Representative - blame yourself, and second blame the idiots in the House who are more concerned with getting re-elected than helping the middle class put food on the table. Oh and P.S.... all of you ranting about impeaching Obama or blaming Obama for this mess...PICK UP A SOCIAL STUDIES BOOK!

Posted by: oatmeal23 | February 23, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

I would love to see the 'crats out protesting the change from not working at work to not working at home, but they'd have to get out of bed first.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | February 23, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

The GOP is so ridiculous. They are going to cost the "country" money and severe losses by forcing a government shutdown. It basically adds up to a vacation for government workers. Their creditors will understand; because, the shutdown is well-known.

Posted by: Xfactor | February 23, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

None of this fake shutdown nonsense. 53% of employees keep coming in? No, shut it down.

No TSA at airports, no mail, no border patrol, no FBI, no soldiers guarding the Korean border. No checks to retirees and disabled vets. No checks for student loans, no ports, no food inspectors, no drug inspectors. VA hospitals shutter, highway funds are cut off. No check clearing, no loans to banks.

The 13th Amendment forbids forced labor. If soldiers and civilians aren't getting paid, they shouldn't be forced to work.

Shut down means shut down. Until people realize what the government actually does every day, they will continue to view taxes as theft and think that the modern world can run without a functioning government.

Posted by: AxelDC | February 23, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

ah yes within a month the theiving right wing swine bankers and Wall Street will be hurt, not as bad as the lowest 50% of the people whom don't control as much wealth as the upper 400 individals. The working people didn't create this mess but the right wing scumbaggers want them to pay for it. Walker getting his plan from the koch brothers ad they are solid now that the supreme(hah) court has been compromised and or bought. Let the derivative fav fifty take charge lmao, go repubs you have 99.5% of the wealthy and want the rest,why not just bring back slavery? Anb btw you 40k per year scumbaggers you ARE NOT part of the elitists who will throw you under the bus when they are done with you. FOOLS,lmao

Posted by: gogatorsgo | February 23, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Go Rick Scott gov of Florida you already stle 400 million bucks of Medicare and now you are in charge of Florida boy you can make a fortune. Do what fatso Christy is doing in NJ, have a ex gov Whitman borrow billions from the unions to float her tax breakers then leave them in a lurch and cry poverty, Americans, too dam dumb to be allowed to vote.

Posted by: gogatorsgo | February 23, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

And finally keep cutting school funding soon we can look up at Ceylon,Somalia, and Jarkta et al schools eating our lunch in education. Any of the rightie intellects ever question why those "evil" democratic socialist countries are beating our brains out in all of the quality of life issues lmao.

Posted by: gogatorsgo | February 23, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I see that there are quite a few moronic Dems on here that haven't figured out that the only way for the GOP to force a gov shutdown, is if the Senate GOPers filibuster the House bill. Otherwise the GOP can't, at this point, force a shut down.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 23, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Yes and already at least one Utah moron has said he will filibuster. We thank the right for out moroning dems and voting against filibustering, now if only the dems get it.
And has walker got any more "calls" from kochhead? If any of the fence sitters in this were doubtful of which side to take the bogus call from koch to walker should have settled it for you. The kock boys and their bircher buddies do NOT want to pay ANY taxes and be free to let their polluting enterprises crap where we eat with impugnity and let the little guy suffer and revenues to decrease so the little guy can be blamed.Republicans have shown what they are the greediest,most heartless non-caring bastards ever put on this earth hiding behind their fraudulent Christianity. May they burn in hell.And forgive the name calling but I happened to watch C-Pac and the hateful diatribes by breitbart,gingrich and soooo many others.

Posted by: gogatorsgo | February 23, 2011 8:36 PM | Report abuse

If we as a nation would quit spending billions of dollars in "aid" to other countries, fighting wars abroad and then spend more millions on rebuilding and helping then recover we would not have a deficit. How about taking care of US and stop being the saviours of the rest of the world.

Posted by: MFFI420 | February 24, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

No were not prepared. Staff at epa has received no information re shutdown

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | February 25, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

If there is a shutdown not only will hotels, restaurants and airlines suffer. The furloughed workers will suffer and will be reluctant to spend. Limited groceries, possibly no activities like shopping or going to the movies. If people are not getting paid EVERYONE suffers. No money, no buying.

Posted by: acloves79 | February 28, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

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