Talk:United States federal government shutdown of 2013/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Impact section

Are headings necessary for all the federal departments and agencies affected? Wouldn't it be more efficient to put this information in bullet or table form? --Natural RX 17:25, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

I can easily see some of these sections growing to four or five paragraphs. A table might be helpful as an addition, but I think that most of this should be prose. GabrielF (talk) 17:51, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
What about splitting that section into Services impacted by the United States federal shutdown of 2013 or something similar? That way, we can dedicate more of the article towards how the shutdown affects the rest of the country. Illneedasaviour (talk) 18:18, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

The "Effect on businesses" section specifically mentions defense contractors and manufacturers, but the DOD is not the sole employer of contracted labor. I myself am a NASA contractor, and my company has been affected. NASA contracts provide employment for many thousands of people, and a good majority of those folks are now in limbo. I'm sure other agencies use contracted labor as well. I haven't been able to find a source for the number of contractors negatively affected by the shutdown, but a not *too* wild guess would be in the hundreds of thousands. -- a NASA contractor


Why are there only reactions from Democrats? (talk) 18:00, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Give it time, 161.xx. The article was only created within the past 24 hours, and it's still being expanded. Kurtis (talk) 22:24, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

What the heck?

Why was my comment taken out? I'm Expressing concern, after all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Koy Hoffman (talkcontribs) 18:10, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

This page is not a forum for general discussion of the event. Its for discussions about improving the Wikipedia article only, and your previous personal comment had nothing to do with that. That's why another editor has removed it (see also the edit summary). De728631 (talk) 18:17, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Impact section for DC

District of Columbia needs a section and how they are planning to circumvent congress by making all city employees essential personnel. -- (talk) 18:17, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

I've started this section. GabrielF (talk) 21:15, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Furloughs -- proportion & consequences to employees

Prodigious effort in creating this article! Kudos. To expand on it, I suggest giving data as to what percentage of government employees are furloughed overall. Also, I believe that in past shutdowns the furloughed employees received their back pay covering the shutdown days. Are there sources that cover that? – S. Rich (talk) 21:00, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Back pay for this event will only be sorted out when there is a budget deal, so no refs for this particular situation. In the past, on some of the 18 instances of shut down, the legislation allowed for back pay.
    -- Yellowdesk (talk) 21:10, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Impact section (2)

User:Lihaas removed the section on the economic impact of the shutdown. I believe that Lihaas is not applying WP:CRYSTAL correctly in this instance. The policy states: "Predictions, speculation, forecasts and theories stated by reliable, expert sources or recognized entities in a field may be included..." In this case predictions by economic analysts and government or business sources are perfectly reasonable. I don't see any reason to doubt estimates of government payrolls, tourist spending at National Parks or other well-understood things. The shutdown is already underway and analysts have had some time to prepare for it. This is not an analogous case to predicting the olympics or an election 20 years from now.GabrielF (talk) 21:21, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

I had just reverted this removal under the same justification and was going to start a section for discussion. Lihaas' justification was: "remove speculation/CRYSTAL BALL. that is not an impact that is the speculated impact of banks and newswires". Such speculation by credible sources, if it is well cited, is not in any way prohibited by WP:CRYSTALBALL. - BanyanTree 21:36, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
This is in no way a correct application of WP:CRYSTAL. I strongly support a restoration of the material. Ryan Vesey 19:20, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Washington Monument Closure

This is a quick thing, but the section on the Department of the Interior lists the Washington Monument as closing. However, the Washington monument has already been closed for repairs for some time now. Does this refer to repair work not being done? Or is this an error? Puppier (talk) 22:37, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

From what I find, the Monument has been closed since August 2011 and remains closed. The website is inaccessible b/c all non-essential gov't web pages seem to shut down during a shut down. Here's the link: (talk) 18:09, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
Should mentione that. Any source?(Lihaas (talk) 00:26, 3 October 2013 (UTC)).
I've got this regarding the closure after earthquake. It would be nice to try to find stuff regarding if it is still being repaired through shutdown. Puppier (talk) 23:19, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Social Security Administration

Although mentioned briefly in the article, there are some services that Social Security will not be providing during the shutdown. They have a list at so if someone more skilled at editing could integrate it, it would be much appreciated. Bachmac (talk) 01:38, 2 October 2013 (UTC)  Done(Lihaas (talk) 00:24, 3 October 2013 (UTC)).

"Essential" and "non-essential" federal employees

The above terms aren't to be used any longer (as of 1995) (though, of course, they'll still be used by some for some time to come).

  • "The laws and regulations governing shutdowns separate federal workers into "essential" and "non-essential." (Actually, the preferred term nowadays is "excepted" and "non-excepted." This was tweaked in 1995 because "non-essential" seemed a bit hurtful.)

The quote is from The Washington Post, here. --Hordaland (talk) 17:55, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks and  Done(Lihaas (talk) 00:44, 3 October 2013 (UTC)).
I think the most descriptive terms would be "urgent" and "non-urgent" employees. However, my personal opinion is meaningless unless I could push it into the Washington Post or something equivalent to that, so that we could point to a WP:RS using the term. Victor Victoria (talk) 03:49, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Counter-argument: I think a reasonable extension of WP:Weight is that Wikipedia should use whatever terms are most used in our sources. "Essential" and "non-essential" are the terms overwhelmingly used in news reports of the shutdown. So far as I can tell, the same Washington Post article is the only one that talks about "excepted" vs. "non-excepted". So I think the first paragraph of the article should read (in part): "...while another 1.3 million "excepted""essential" employees (also known as "excepted" employees) were required to report to work for some indefinite period without pay until an appropriations bill is passed or their function is no longer exceptedneeded."

Does anyone agree? --RoyGoldsmith (talk) 10:55, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Yes, the most common term should be used. "Non-excepted" is a euphemism for "non-essential". Euphemisms impair understanding which is contrary to the goal of an encyclopedia. JRSpriggs (talk) 15:57, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Listing the Federal Reserve?

I removed it, it was reverted, guess it's discussion time.

As this article and Federal Reserve System make clear, the Fed "is considered an independent central bank because its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government, it does not receive funding appropriated by the Congress, and the terms of the members of the Board of Governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms."

So it seems to make as much sense listing it here (saying nothing has changed, for obvious reasons) as listing any other organization with no direct ties to Congress (NASCAR, Wal-Mart or UNESCO, for instance). It has "federal" in its name, but otherwise irrelevant.

Yes? No? Maybe? InedibleHulk (talk) 03:12, October 3, 2013 (UTC)

  • Support removal of the mention of the Federal Reserve, per nom; the central bank, per se, is not connected with the government budget year, "shutdown", etc., unless we have a reliable source that says it has been affected by the partial shutdown, and how. N2e (talk) 03:30, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree, it seems pretty superfluous to mention something just to say it's not affected. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 04:12, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Architect of the showdown

According to these news reports:

Representative Mark Meadows was crucial in organizing the Republican congressman into using the funding bill as a means to oppose Obamacare. Where would be the right place to put this? FurrySings (talk) 05:18, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure quiet where. But be careful, calling someone the "architect of the showdown" may be considered sensationalized. Puppier (talk) 23:23, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
Rachel Maddow, on her MSNBC show just now, showed the letter and petition to defund Obamacare to Republican members of Congress that Mark Meadows sent to them and urged them to sign. She also showed a clip of him in 2012, with a Tea Party banner behind him and saying let's send Obama back to Kenya. --luckymustard (talk) 01:18, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Department of Labor section

Third sentence, first paragraph currently reads: The Labor Department will continue to pay unemployment insurance and worker's compensation claims. It should be plural possessive(emphasis added): The Labor Department will continue to pay unemployment insurance and workers' compensation claims. [1]

FYI, this is a very common mistake ...

Bdstein (talk) 09:17, 3 October 2013 (UTC)bdstein

  •  Done Thanks for pointing this out. GabrielF (talk) 16:35, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

International Reactions

How about a section at the bottom for International Reactions. Or at least reactions from foreign press? -- (talk) 09:20, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

That is a great idea. After all, there is land outside the DC beltway. Geraldshields11 (talk) 02:03, 4 October 2013 (UTC)


First stop at this article, so this may have already been pointed out, but this passage in the lead is curiously one sided (regardless of the rest of the article):

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.

Shutdown resulted from...specifically, the Senate's rejection...and the President's statement. Of course, the rejection and statement wouldn't have even occurred if there were not something out of the ordinary there to be rejected and if the idea of "negotiation" on this issue hadn't been introduced as a rhetorical device to make it seem like a clean CR is somehow a far-left demand. --Rhododendrites (talk) 09:42, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

The shutdown is solely the fault of the President and the Democrats in the Senate. If they had accepted the appropriations bills passed by the House of Representatives, then there would be no shutdown. In that case, the only dispute remaining would be over whether Obamacare should be funded. Obama and the Democrats claim that Congress has no right to pick and choose what to fund and they use that as an excuse to hold the whole government hostage while blaming the Republicans. However, picking and choosing what to fund is one of the major functions of the Congress and has been since the Constitution was ratified. JRSpriggs (talk) 10:11, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
The piecemeal bills are addressed in the last paragraph of the introduction. They could end a shutdown partially but not entirely. The responsibility of the hostage situation would then shift to the Democrats from the Republicans, where it began. While it is the Constitutional power of the House to propose partial funding, it is also the power of the Senate to propose full funding, and the power of the President to threaten a veto that can be overridden. Also, while there are enough House Republicans to pass a clean continuing resolution to fund the entire government and end the shutdown, the Speaker is rejecting motions to introduce such a bill, as addressed in the "Preceding events" section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by KinkyLipids (talkcontribs) 14:51, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
Please remember, articles are to be written without bias. Blaming people results in a bias. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Puppier (talkcontribs) 23:25, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
We shouldn't be assigning or implying responsibility. The lede should be as neutral and uncontroversial as possible while summarizing the events. What about something like:

The shutdown resulted from political fights between Democratic President Barack Obama, the Democratic-led Senate and the Republican-led House of Representatives – specifically, the Republicans' inclusion of separate provisions delaying or defunding health insurance programs authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into the House budget bills and the Democrats' rejection of these provisions.

That way, it at least seems to say the shutdown resulted from...the Republicans...and the Democrats.
By the way, I just noticed there is a problem with the article structure in that the last paragraph of the lede talks about events in Congress after the shutdown, but this really should be in the body of the article somewhere, though I'm not sure where. There may need to be a new section for that. - Maximusveritas (talk) 15:59, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
I replaced the paragraph with your's Maximusveritas, it was massively bias how it was, to say it's the democrats fault for not giving into all the republican demands is ridiculous. Sepsis II (talk) 16:21, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
The way the system is supposed to work is that an appropriation is made when the House, Senate, and President agree on it. The House Republicans do not agree to fund the implementation of Obamacare — so it should not be funded. The President and the Senate clearly want the other spending as much as the House does. However, they have decided to block it and use their control of the media to demagogue the issue to try to force the House to do what the House clearly does not want to do. Thus it is the Democrats who are engaged in extortion, not the Republicans. JRSpriggs (talk) 16:51, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
The top of this talk page says "This is not a forum for general discussion of the article's subject." If there is any specific edit you object to or if you want a specific edit you want approval of, then say so. Responding to your comment, if the House wants the spending as much as the Democrats, as you say they do, then they should have proposed a separate bill to delay Obamacare instead of combining it into a spending bill. Trying to withhold funding in a discretionary bill doesn't work when Obamacare is in mandatory spending. The only way to defund it is to try to repeal it, so they should just go back to doing that. Also, the media is controlled by viewer ratings and opinion polls; they only side with whoever is winning the American people. — Preceding unsigned comment added by KinkyLipids (talkcontribs) 18:09, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
Many comments on this talk page are arguing for presenting this issue as either being the fault of republicans/conservatives/tea-party or being equally the fault of both sides. I am merely trying to oppose those comments by pointing out that to do so would be to propagate the lies of the Obama/Reid group instead of presenting the truth. Truth is the only rational standard which can be used here. If neutrality means something other than truth, then what is it? A non-truth which is equally offensive to both sides? Or what?
As to the form of the bill, if I am not mistaken a continuing resolution usually takes a form such as "continue spending for all line items at the level of the previous year until such-and-such a date with the following exceptions ...". If that is so, then mentioning the exception of implementing Obamacare explicitly is the natural way to exclude it. When that was blocked, the Republicans tried to work around that by explicitly calling for funding certain high-priority items (Veterans Affairs, National Parks, D.C. local government). However, the Democrats blocked those appropriations also even though they did not mention Obamacare. This confirms that the Democrats are the ones who are engaged in extortion. JRSpriggs (talk) 23:24, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
Please stop soapboxing. Sepsis II (talk) 00:11, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
This is NOT A FORUM, JR. You obviously have a POV to push; this is not the purpose of the article or the Talk page. There are innumerable places on the web you can go and get and discuss this in general. (talk) 14:39, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
You speak of it being "lies" to represent the shutdown as the fault of both parties. Exactly how is that? You point out - and you may be right, I am not especially knowledgeable of the document - that it is a constitutional role of the HoR to only adopt appropriations it approves of, and thus the HoR is acting reasonably. But as others have pointed out, the Senate also has the authority to sculpt the budget according to its constituents' beliefs, and the President certainly has every right to veto a budget he disapproves of. Per your own argument, all three entities are exercising their constitutionally-granted powers, leading to this impasse. The only logical conclusion one can come to, per your logic, is that there is some diffusion of responsibility among all three entities. However, you explicitly insist above that it is "solely the fault of the President and the Democrats in the Senate". One can only conclude it is sheer bias that leads you to this conclusion. You need to understand that the ONLY objective tool we have to make judgments is reason. You need to stop letting the passion of your pride overruling your logical faculties, and look at this objectively - there is no argument to be made for the Senate and President abdicating THEIR responsibilities while the House stands by theirs. Your thinking is inherently contradictory. And while we speak of contradictions in casual parlance, a genuine contradiction CANNOT exist, in whole or in part. Either your argument is broken, or your conclusion is wrong. - Drlight11 (talk) 01:26, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Now, ignoring the philosophy of it all - here's a critical fact that has not been mentioned: Boehner has yet to even allow the House to vote on the Senate's bill! It cannot be overlooked that the Senate did in fact vote on - and reject - the House's bill multiple times. It is time the House votes on the Senate's, to see if there even IS a dissenting majority that "justifies" this gridlock. After all, it is the most basic of constitutional powers for each house to vote on the others' work. - Drlight11 (talk) 01:26, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
To Drlight11: Since I do not want to run afoul of Sepsis II and, I will reply on your talk page, User talk:Drlight11. JRSpriggs (talk) 07:09, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Reader feedback: Make it clearer that this shutdown was driven by conservatives and is a historic uprising posted this comment on 2 October 2013 (view all feedback).

This article is off to a good start. But it doesn't make it clear enough that this shutdown was largely driven by a group of 40 or so conservative extremists, supported by John Boehner and most House Republicans. Instead of just a 'he-said-she-said' report, this article should identify who started this attack, and point to their willingness to jeopardize the lives of millions in an attempt to repeal an established law just because they don't like it. The historic nature of this hostile takeover should also be noted, and linked to the previous GOP shutdown 17 years ago. Lastly, I also recommend a section on Public Opinion, citing recent polls, as well as this puzzling study by Pew Research, which reveals dueling views on #Twitter: 77% blame GOP for the shutdown, yet 71% oppose Obamacare.

Any thoughts?

Fabrice Florin (talk) 15:55, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

On the second point, there is already a Public Opinion section, though it maybe gets buried under all the sub-sections of the impact on every department, which could hint at a problem with the structure of the article, though I'm not sure what can be done about that. I don't think the Pew study is notable considering it's a non-scientific study of Twitter and hasn't gotten any other coverage. - Maximusveritas (talk) 16:09, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
It's most certainly a hint at the structure of the article. It's a friggin' nightmare. Inanygivenhole (talk) 18:26, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
How do you propose changing the structure of the article? GabrielF (talk) 18:59, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
This has happened before and likely will happen again. Wikipedia is not here to blame. Wikipedia is here to catalog. If you wish to read an article blaming someone, open the news paper. Puppier (talk) 23:29, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
What about a person taking credit and being happy about it? See these two articles,0,2739790.story "“We’re very excited,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). “It’s exactly what we wanted, and we got it.”" It could get added to this section --luckymustard (talk) 20:42, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Department of Energy status

The DOE status is a little misleading. It reads "The U.S. Department of Energy will furlough 9,584 of its 13,814 employees. Those working will continue to work and be paid until reserve funds are exhausted." It is very easy to misread "Those working" as applying to ther 4,054 not subject to furlough, rather than the 9,584 who are subject to furlough. DOE is relatively unusual in that most of its appropriations do not expire at the end of a fiscal year, but instead remain available until expended. The effect of this is that if a program did not spend every last penny of available funds during the 2013 fiscal year, the remainder is still available for continuing activities during the 2014 fiscal year. So DOE is not furloughing employees until those funds are exhausted. How long that takes will vary across programs within DOE. One office might have enough funds to keep people working for a week while another might have enough to keep people on for 3 weeks. So if the funding lapse continues long enough, the 9,584 furloughs will occur, but they won't happen all at once. See, which notes in part "Most of DOE's appropriations are multi-year or no-year. In the immediate future, we expect Federal employees to continue to report for work as scheduled. A prolonged lapse in appropriations may require subsequent employee furloughs." -- (talk) 16:14, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Discretionary/ Non-Discretionary

Although "non-discretionary" spending is LESS affected by the shutdown, it is not, in fact, unaffected - particularly given the looming debt limit crisis. The SS and Medicare trust funds don't fund the whole apparatus of those agencies and the US government owes the trust funds a LOT of cash - which has to be appropriated annually. Therefore, the use of "discretionary" to describe the government functions affected by the shutdown is wrong, misleading and confusing. Dlawbailey (talk) 21:24, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

This sounds interesting. Could you provide a source, especially about how the government owes a lot to the trust funds? KinkyLipids (talk) 01:22, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Kinky: Federal law mandates that those trust funds have to buy US government securities (eg: bonds) with their excess cash, and those bonds constitute the `debt obligation' we're all talking about. Here's a quick explanation: (talk) 22:29, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Is this really note-worthy?

This doesn't seem like it noteworthy enough of its own article.--Collingwood26 (talk) 01:02, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

It's a major national and international event with significant political, economic, governmental and social implications. It's pretty clearly encyclopedic. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 02:12, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
Seriously? You don't think that an event that throws 800,000 people out of work indefinitely (not to mention headlining every news source on the planet) is noteworthy enough for a wikipedia article? GabrielF (talk) 02:13, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

It hasn't thrown 800 thousand people out of work, and there has been no real impact of the shutdown. If say it caused America to go back into recession or created a major financial crisis then I would say it is worthy, but until then I nominate it for deletion.--Collingwood26 (talk) 07:43, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Give it up. This is more notable than 99% of the stuff in Wikipedia. Everyone in the Washington metropolitan area is talking about it, and it sometimes leads the national news. JRSpriggs (talk) 07:56, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
Uh, yes, it has thrown 800,000 people out of work. There are more than 800,000 federal employees who have been furloughed indefinitely. Furloughed means they're not going to work and they're not getting paid. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 08:04, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
Admittedly it lacks the global impact of a one-day battle out of a decade-long war, but I'd say the ongoing furlough of almost a million people and a financial impact of aproximately 300M USD per day qualifies as noteworthy. Phearlez (talk) 14:52, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
The original comment is a wind-up from an editor who has a long record of doing this . Don't take any notice. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:16, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
Collingwood26's comments here are referred to at WP:ANI. Thankyou.Nickm57 (talk) 23:46, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

Miriam Carey under individual reactions

I propose a subsection or sentence under individual reactions about Miriam Carey actions on October 3, 2013 when a reliable source becomes avaiable. After all, she, by herself, put the US Capital on lockdown for one hour.[5] Please discuss. Geraldshields11 (talk) 02:06, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Unless reliable sources connect her actions to the shutdown, it doesn't really belong here. There is no evidence, as of yet, that her actions were in any way related. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 02:15, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
At this point, we cannot exclude the possibility that this whole incident was merely the result of the authorities over-reacting to an unfortunate automobile accident. To say that she, single-handedly locked down the Capitol is preposterous. Clearly she could not have had any intention of doing such a thing. JRSpriggs (talk) 05:51, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
OK, it now appears that she was irrational. However, I still think that the authorities over-reacted and made the situation much worse than it had to be. JRSpriggs (talk) 02:09, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Is this the second time American government had this problem?

We have an article on United States federal government shutdown of 1995–96. Did it happen before? If so, those events would be notable, too, and after they are stubbed, we could create a category linking them (Category:United States federal government shutdowns?). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 06:47, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

See Government shutdown in the United States (there is a link to this in the "See also" section) which includes a list of the seventeen previous shutdowns. There have also been many cases when a shutdown was threatened, but did not materialize. JRSpriggs (talk) 07:51, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Economic impacts

The article mentions lost salaries of federal employees as negative economic impacts, but these are merely impacts on federal employees and their families. Do tese losses to federal employees, while being negative for them, equate to a saving for the government (and therefore the taxpayers)? Has there been any assessments regarding the economic impacts of the shutdown on government budgets (as opposed to individual federal employees)? A core argument of libertarians like Ron Paul is that limited government is better for the economy. This shutdown is just a small taste of limited government, but it offers an interesting window of opportunity to assess both positive and negative effects of limited government. Has anyone come across anything objective yet regarding the effect of the shutdown on government operating costs? It may be too early for such reports (particularly since the shutdown is ongoing at the moment). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:09, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

"These are merely impacts for federal employees and their families" - What do you think happens to the money which is paid to federal employees? It is put back into the economy as consumer spending. This is effectively putting 2.2 million people temporarily out of paid employment. You will not find a single economist on the planet who would argue that putting 2.2 million people off paid status doesn't have a significant negative economic impact. Fortunately, a law has been passed which guarantees back pay to all federal employees after the shutdown is resolved, so unless the shutdown continues for months, that impact should be negated once back pay is issued. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 17:29, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
To NorthBySouthBaranof: Your statement that "You will not find a single economist on the planet who would argue that putting 2.2 million people off paid status doesn't have a significant negative economic impact." is simply false. In fact, much government spending has a depressing effect on the economy. It diverts resources which would otherwise be used productively to waste. JRSpriggs (talk) 00:16, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
Well, no. If the shutdown were a permanent defunding of the programs and services involved, it would result in the loss of 2.2 million federal jobs overnight. There is not an economist on this planet who would argue that it would be economically healthy to lay off 2.2 million people overnight. In fact, it would constitute an economic disaster.
This is a separate issue from whether or not it would be a good thing to gradually scale back some government programs. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 00:31, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
I stand by my previous comment. While people who lose their jobs because their work is no longer needed do suffer, the economy as a whole benefits. The sooner the newly unemployed find productive work, the better. JRSpriggs (talk) 00:48, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
"What do you think happens to the money which is paid to federal employees?" Well, a chunk of it is taken back in personal income tax, which means that the federal employees can't spend this money into the economy themselves. Money not paid to federal employees during the shutdown will reduce the deficit and therefore reduce the need to pile on more debt, which is already an economic ball and chain on our kids. If the 2.2 million people you mention found jobs in the private sector, government income from taxation would increase without the expenditure of federal employee salaries. Government jobs don't add anything to the economic output of the nation because the added spending capacity of a federal employee is offset by the reduced spending capacity of others from taxation. As far as the economy goes, government employees are no different to welfare recipients (they both spend money generated by taxes or government debt) but at least federal employees work for their money so it is more honorable than receiving welfare (also welfare recipients don't pay taxes but they also get much less than a federal employee). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:05, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
Because all federal employees will receive back pay for their furlough time, it won't "reduce the deficit" at all. Beyond that, we're in the realm of WP:NOTAFORUM. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 06:58, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
Regarding WP:NOTAFORUM, you should take your own advice and lead by example rather than soapboxing your own agenda and then gaming the system (WP:GAME) in a vain effort to discourage others from responding. (talk) 21:19, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Full faith and credit clause?

What was the rationale for claiming that the debt ceiling issue threatens "possible default on the Full faith and credit" clause of the US? The clause refers to an obligation of one state to recognise legal judgements made in, or other status granted by, another state (such as: if you're legally married in one state, then you're recognized as legally married by all states - whether or not your original marriage would have been legal in those other states). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:12, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Good point. None of the references discuss the Full faith and credit clause or even default. I will remove it.--Nowa (talk) 23:38, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
Do not confuse the Full Faith and Credit Clause in article IV of the original Constitution with section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution which says "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. ...". The "full faith and credit of the United States" is what section 4 is talking about. JRSpriggs (talk) 00:29, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

other impact - US geological service furlough

their web page currently says

Due to the Federal government shutdown, and most associated web sites are unavailable.

Only web sites necessary to protect lives and property will be maintained.

Ecosystems Disease Maps National Wildlife Health Center Imagery and Geospatial Information USGS Hazards Data Distribution System (HDDS) satellite and aerial imagery portal Natural Hazards USGS coastal erosion hazards information USGS earthquake information USGS information on geomagnetic activity USGS landslide information USGS volcano information Water

Please see for more shutdown information.

I guess that should have some minor mention in the page (apologies formatting not staying intact withing the quote template EdwardLane (talk) 00:17, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Here's two references to support notability [6][7]--Nowa (talk) 00:25, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Overdose on detailed departmental effects

Compared to previous shutdown articles, there is, in my opinion, far too much weight given to the details of each department affected. All that content is overwhelming and serves little value to the core of this article other than sensationalisation; the effects and numbers would be better summarized in a few paragraphs, and further expansion can be explored after the shutdown has ended and the actual impact can be evaluated. ~Araignee (talkcontribs) 19:09, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Given that the one comparable shutdown occurred 17 years ago - long before the creation of Wikipedia - it is not surprising that coverage of this shutdown is much more detailed. I actually think your proposal should be reversed. We can explore consolidating and trimming after this is all over. While the shutdown is underway the public has an interest in knowing what is and isn't operating. GabrielF (talk) 19:21, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
Agree with ~Araignee. But good luck trying to change it. Dezastru (talk) 23:48, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't expect to be able to trim it due to the opinionated nature of the article, but I thought I'd voice it. That being said, as a compromise, what do people think of putting that content in its own article? ~Araignee (talkcontribs) 13:17, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm in favor of dumping the entire list of agencies section into a separate article page, and having only a summary on this article. An example model is any presidential candidate biography's method of pushing detail into a subsidiary page.
    -- Yellowdesk (talk) 20:52, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
GabrielF, any thoughts? Anyone else opposed? I'll give it another day or so, then split it off barring opposition. ~Araignee (talkcontribs) 01:34, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't believe that including these details is "sensationalisation". I would argue that an event that leads to 800,000 people not working and a further 1.3 million working without pay for an indeterminate period is pretty sensational on its face. If the text is overwhelming it is because the shutdown itself is overwhelming in its scale.
Given that this list includes programs that millions of people rely on, there is a strong public interest in making an attempt to be comprehensive about what is and is not functioning. This is especially the case since the shutdown has effected different parts of the government in different (and perhaps surprising and counterintuitive) ways: 90+ percent of the EPA is non-functional while the entire State Department is working as normal. The actual status of the government is fluid and is changing by the day - different departments are either increasing or decreasing furloughs. We're going to need more than a few paragraphs to provide an explanation of what's going on. When we're talking about information that is important to our readers' daily lives, we should keep in mind WP:NOTPAPER.
I don't believe we have reached a point where the article is so long that it needs to be immediately split. At 122k this article does not crack the top 500 at Special:LongPages. We are not even in the same league as Defunct local councils of the Boy Scouts of America or History of the single-lens reflex camera, not to mention articles on most of the recent Presidential campaigns. We don't need to act immediately. We can wait until the situation stabilizes and the details become less immediately important before making drastic changes. GabrielF (talk) 03:28, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
There was a proposed split added further down the page, so you may want to comment there as well. ~Araignee (talkcontribs) 13:14, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

title change

Can we change the title of this article to: "United States federal government slimdown of 2013" Wpegden (talk) 02:11, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Considering that your proposed title is a neologism created and pushed for political purposes by one conservative-leaning news network... no. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 02:16, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Agree with NorthBySouthBaranof. See Wikipedia:Article titles. GabrielF (talk) 03:03, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Ridiculous. No, we don't adopt whatever politically-correct language that one partisan network is currently pushing. (Same reason we don't use the moronic phrase "homicide bomber.")--Loonymonkey (talk) 15:33, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
The only way that the proposed title could even be considered would be if the slimdown title lasts for decades and historians start to refer to this as the "United States federal government slimdown of 2013" on a virtually unanimous basis (ie like the Boston Massacre of 1770). That however would take several decades as last to happen so it is not currently a viable option.-- (talk) 02:05, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Possible candidate for banning anonymous edits?

Emotionally charged topics like this are good candidates for valid logins.Tgm1024 (talk) 14:48, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

I'm not seeing any real problem, there are enough intelligent people watching the article to keep the quality high, we try not to discourage potential new editors from joining wikipedia, plus, many older wikipedians hold a bias themselves. Sepsis II (talk) 15:38, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Timeline of the United States federal government shutdown of 2013

I am wondering if there might be utility for a "Timeline of the United States federal government shutdown of 2013" section or article. I mean, It would be interesting to see this as a continuum over time versus "that thing that happened on Oct 1." ... we could have sections on Day 1, Day 2, etc. Ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions? Peace, MPS (talk) 18:00, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

I'm not opposed to it, if people think it is a good idea. If you make one, I'll add dates/info related to the introduction and passage of different pieces of relevant legislation. What else would you plan to put in the article? HistoricMN44 (talk) 20:34, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Redundancy between 2nd/3rd paragraph of lede?

First of all , congrats for generally keeping this a well written, neutralish article. With the partisan slap-fighting going on nationally, it is good to see cooler heads prevail now and then:)

In the 2nd/3rd paragraph of the lede, it seems there's a bit of a redundance. The 2nd describes the process that lead to the shutdown, and then the third does the same but with more detail on the provisions, etc. Is it possible to combine these two paragraphs, or move detail to the main body? It seems a bit redundant to say the same thing twice, at differing detail levels, in the general summary of the lede. (talk) 18:51, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

National park closures

Thought I would start the discussion here because this seems to be a contentious area.

The idea (introduced and then reverted) that national parks were somehow not affected by previous closures is, quite simply, a lie. All units of the National Park Service were closed during the last government shutdown. This is amply sourced, including Congressional Research Service reports. There's a place for inclusion of criticism, but not for an inclusion of outright falsehoods. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 20:26, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Just to preface, I don't mean to appear contentious, just want to improve the flow of the article :^) The problem as it stands is that the section starts with NPS defending its decision, but no statement of why it has to defend itself. I'm open to whatever wording, but as per the Washington Post article: "The National Park Service has closed privately run marinas, restaurants and inns throughout the country and in some cases even posted guards to keep people from using them during the government shutdown, arguing that it doesn’t have the money, manpower or authority to let them operate." There needs to be a statement that mentions this, in an unbiased but accurate way. ~Araignee (talkcontribs) 22:59, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
It wasn't the NPS' "decision" - that's the problem with the way you're framing it. It's the fact that there's no money that made the decision for them. The NPS can't choose to keep its lands open if Congress does not allocate money to operate them.
The article should note that such facilities have been closed and that political accusations have been made, but it must specify who made those allegations - namely, Republican lawmakers and conservative pundits. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 23:30, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Agreed, political accusations are blaming the Administration, not NPS. Perhaps something like this: "Due to the high-profile impact the shutdown has had on the parks, the Obama administration has been accused by several Republican lawmakers and conservative pundits of trying to make the shutdown as painful as possible." ~Araignee (talkcontribs) 01:33, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
I reworded the addition you put, as no one is saying the NPS doesn't need to be closed. It's the aggressive enforcement of the closures that are being questioned. ~Araignee (talkcontribs) 13:22, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
"As painful as possible" doesn't specify what is wrong with the policy and what they want done differently, though. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 17:00, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
The current edit is fine with me. Thanks! ~Araignee (talkcontribs) 19:54, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
How is is that nobody is saying the NPS doesn't need to be closed? There have been a variety of stories where the NPS is spending money to block or deny access, this is money that they wouldn't have to spend otherwise. The latest example is the Cliff House in San Francisco [8] which is leased to a vendor. The vendor re-opened it temporarily in defiance of the closure order but has subsequently agreed to comply. What do these examples have to do with the NPS not having the money to operate them? These seem to be unwarranted closures being made for political purposes; the various acts of defiance seem like an interesting angle to the story. Fabrickator (talk) 04:12, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
It is your POV that such closures are "unwarranted." That POV is shared by some conservatives. It should be (and is) represented in the article, as is the NPS' response. This is not a place to debate the merits of the shutdown or its impacts - it's a place to discuss the article. If you think that the conservative POV is not well-represented in the article, please feel free to be WP:BOLD and make changes. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 05:10, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 7 October 2013

Please Include a statement that conveys: Doctors and Nurses at the VA hospitals are required to work unpaid. Studleylee (talk) 21:38, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Studleylee (talk) 21:32, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. --Stfg (talk) 21:55, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Reader feedback: What about the letter Barack... posted this comment on 3 October 2013 (view all feedback).

What about the letter Barack Obama sent to all government employees notifying them of the shutdown?

What about that letter? Should it be linked or otherwise included in the article? NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 06:45, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Support, but not in the lead section: That letter (File:POTUS-letter-20131001.pdf) should be wikilinked to the "Effect on federal government operations" section. The current picture there may be moved down to the "Department of Argriculture" section. Z22 (talk) 14:55, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

How Representatives & Senators Voted

Should we create a new page on how members of the HR & Senate voted on the various bills which led to the shutdown? I can't find any records on this. Did any Republicans (or Democrats) cross the aisle (cross the floor) on any of the bills, which preceded the shutdown? --Mrodowicz (talk) 12:33, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

There is really only one primary bill that led to the shutdown - Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014 (H.J.Res 59) - which is linked to in the article. This is the final bill that would have prevented the shutdown, the one that passed the House twice (with the Obamacare provisions added, and then replaced again), and the Senate once (with the Obamacare provisions removed). The Senate refused to vote on it a second time and midnight on September 30th hit, resulting in the shutdown. This article would probably be the appropriate place to add info about how voted how, with only a summary line or two in this article. Otherwise, you'd have to include giant tables on at least three different votes. Many of the other appropriations bills - both the mini-continuing resolutions from the two weeks AND the original appropriations bill from this summer (which would have funded the government for a year instead of only a month or two) - also have existing articles where voting data could be added. If you want the exact voting breakdown, you can check this page which links to all the official roll call votes on H.J.Res. 59. I'm not really up to making the charts myself - I don't really know how. Thanks! HistoricMN44 (talk) 14:29, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
I think a timeline would clear this up. I will add one. Shii (tock) 02:19, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
It looks good! Thanks. HistoricMN44 (talk) 17:27, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

2010-2012 section

A lovely WP:OR section was added, which I removed. The New York Times article linked to declares this "A federal budget crisis months in the planning". It does not say "years" in the planning. In fact no sources were provide to link events of 2010 to 2013. Shii (tock) 15:13, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

It's background on the events that led to this (as many of the cites state), same as the sections on Obamacare and the election (all of which led us here). I'm not sure where you're getting the idea this is OR. Are you actually suggesting that these events just transpired spontaneously in the last couple weeks or months? --Loonymonkey (talk) 17:36, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
No, I'm not suggesting but pointing out that 2010 newspaper articles have no place in an article about a 2013 event unless if reliable sources say they do. Shii (tock) 17:37, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
You're being willfully obtuse. Are you actually suggesting that we can't use articles from 2010-2012 in a section about the events of 2010-2012? Obviously, those articles weren't written with a time machine so they're not going to specifically mention future events. So what are you asking for specifically? A reliable source from the last couple weeks that states "these articles from three years ago are relevant to today?" That's an absurd standard and not how Wikipedia works. And where are you drawing this arbitrary line to say that an article is too old to appear here. One year? Two years? Six months? This edit, countered with your other edit seeking to repeat John Boehner's talking points as (incorrect) fact, seem to suggest something other than just a neutral desire for good sourcing. --Loonymonkey (talk) 17:48, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the bad faith assumption. This is an article about "United States federal government shutdown of 2013", not about 2010-2012. It is not for us to decide what events of 2010-2012 are relevant-- Obama's reelection? Who knows? That's neither my nor your job. We need to be summarizing what RSes, such as the New York Times, describe as relevant prior events. Shii (tock) 17:56, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
No assumptions, just pointing out an inconsistency. In this case you're demanding iron-clad references from the NYT that explicitly state that prior events are related to current events. But in your edit before that, you tried to pass off a press release from John Boehner as a reliable source for (incorrect) factual material about a living person. --Loonymonkey (talk) 18:14, 9 October 2013 (UTC)


I've removed the timeline which was added today for a number of reasons. There's nothing wrong with timelines, but the details should be hashed out here first. The tone of this was definitely non-NPOV, using the language of one side in a partisan fight. To state passively that the House simply passed a resolution "without funding for Obamacare," is incorrect as the CR has little to do with funding Obamacare anyway. The Scalise Amendment actively defunded Obamacare in future years, which is the entire issue. Also, the timeline does not start early enough in this process (this didn't spontaneously pop up three weeks ago) and it contained factual errors such as the claim that Obama "refused to meet" with legislators until 10/8. --Loonymonkey (talk) 18:01, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

If you don't like the language, why not improve it instead of deleting the timeline entirely?? It was created in response to a reader review (see a few sections up). To fix the House item, all you would need to do is change it to "House passes appropriations bill H.J.Res 59. Prior to passage, the Scalise Amendment, which would defund Obamacare in future years, was adopted." Is that sufficiently neutral? And if it doesn't start early enough - why not add earlier items??? I also don't see a line in the timeline that says Obama refused to meet with legislators - just that he started to. That can be rephrased as well. HistoricMN44 (talk) 21:00, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Would you like to replace the timeline with your preferred language? I promise I won't revert it. Shii (tock) 22:14, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

I'm going to rephrase the final line about meeting with legislators. The line "...begins holding meetings" is incorrect as it implies this is the first meeting that's taken place, when in fact he's been meeting with Congressional leadership since this began. Also, as is often mentioned in news articles about this, it's worth noting that the invitation was to the entire GOP House caucus but the leadership announced that only they were going. (probably a smart move, as it would have been political theater that played into Obama's hand, but that's just my opinion). As a side note, please don't mark ongoing discussions as "resolved." That's not what that tag is for. --Loonymonkey (talk) 20:32, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I corrected this item to include the information that Obama invited all of Congress to four separate meetings, not just the House Republicans. (This is on the first page of the article cited). Republicans also said they would sent 18 people, not 20. (This is on the second page of the article). Thanks. HistoricMN44 (talk) 21:17, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Great, thanks. The press isn't giving much attention to the meeting with the House Democratic caucus. (Probably because it's just going to be an internal pep rally.) CNN was saying 20 GOP House Leaders this morning, but maybe that's changed. --Loonymonkey (talk) 21:52, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Once the meetings have happened, it might make sense to add each one individually - I guess it would depend on how long it is appropriate to make the timeline box. Re 18/20 - maybe two of them complained really loudly and got added after the initial announcement of 18? The footnoted article says 18, but maybe if we add an item about the actual meeting we can include the final correct count. Thanks. HistoricMN44 (talk) 13:50, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Including debt-ceiling crisis in article title

It seems to me that the shutdown and the current debt-ceiling debate are inextricably linked in sources and political negotiations, and we already include information on the debt ceiling. So it makes sense to title the article accordingly. There is a separate United States debt-ceiling debate of 2013 article, but that primarily addresses issues from earlier this year. I boldly moved it to United States federal government shutdown and debt-ceiling crisis of 2013 and was reasonably reverted, but it doesn't make sense to just title the article after the shutdown any longer. (A less unwieldy title than that might be good, too.)

As for the revert comment about changing the scope, that's already been expanded with the inclusion of a "Debt Ceiling" section...which specifically mentions how the two issues are intertwined. Odg2vcLR (talk) 21:12, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Agree, inextricably linked at this point. I support a merge. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 22:34, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Support a merger - The two debates are one and the same now. It has become clear that neither one is going to be resolved without resolving the other simultaneously. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 22:50, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Support but the article's title should be better thought out. Shii (tock) 03:35, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Agree. A better name would be United States fiscal crisis of 2013. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 04:30, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't agree with a title that does not have the words "government shutdown" included. "Fiscal crisis" suggests that it is just a battle over spending levels, when in actuality the crisis emanated from one party's demand to repeal a specific government program (a repeal that arguably would have increased the federal deficit), and has led to a wide-ranging suspension of government services. "Fiscal crisis" alone is not an adequate summation. I would support United States fiscal crisis and government shutdown of 2013. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 04:55, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I also agree that "government shutdown" needs to be included. The suggestion of United States fiscal crisis and government shutdown of 2013 makes sense to me (or maybe the other way around, with government shutdown first, since that was in the news earlier...even though the debt-ceiling issues were looming even before. Though, I think your ordering makes sense since fiscal crisis is somewhat of an umbrella term for the two.) Odg2vcLR (talk) 23:23, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Rework - I think the debt ceiling history/debate deserves its own article, as there are plenty of happenings on that topic alone that if described here would lead to an eventual split due to the length of this article. However, I don't think it should be its own "2013" debt ceiling article; instead it should be renamed. ~Araignee (talkcontribs) 04:07, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose incorporating into title for now. Debt is part of the conversation, yes, but it is not a crisis that the government shutdown has become until a required payment cannot be issued by the government -- and that moment has not yet arrived. It is a legislative controversy, and a party issue, in the House, and a saber-rattling source of legislative leverage, and a topic in the news, yes, but not a crisis -- yet. Certainly the topical history of the debt as an aspect of the legislative wrangling and shutdown should be included in the article, and the existing debt article would become more of a sub-article of this article. Yet more than a few reliable sources, including Speaker Boehner himself predict that the government shutdown will end before the debt limit is reached.
    Yellowdesk (talk) 11:20, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
    Well, we're already including information in the article; that's what should determine if it's in the title, since the title should match the article's scope. Things like general reporting and opinion polls reflect both issues. It's simply not feasible to separate the two at this point. It does make sense to have the debt-ceiling article be more detailed (as other articles split off from this one could be as well), but I don't see how the main article can only be about the shutdown. The US government does not need to miss a payment for it to become a crisis; a quick Google search shows plenty of sources referring to a "debt-ceiling crisis" already. We also have articles on the debt-ceiling crises of 2011 and 2013 (covering both earlier this year and the current mess.) Odg2vcLR (talk) 23:23, 11 October 2013 (UTC)