What happens at the White House when the government shuts down?
September 30th, 2013
10:26 AM ET
7 months ago

What happens at the White House when the government shuts down?

Washington (CNN) – As the government charges toward a shutdown at midnight, federal workers are facing forced time off – including those who work for President Barack Obama.

Like all federal agencies, there are White House staffers whose work is deemed "essential," meaning they won't be forced to stay home. But a good portion of people who work under the umbrella of the Executive Office of the President will be placed on furlough – 1,265 in total, according to a letter from the administrative office in the White House that was addressed to Sylvia Burwell, the director of President Barack Obama's budget office.

If the government shuts down at 12:01 a.m. ET on Tuesday, those workers are allowed to report for four hours of work to "engage in orderly shutdown activities," but after that, will be expected to stay home.

The letter noted roughly 436 employees would be "excepted" from the furloughs in order to keep essential functions running at a minimal level. About a quarter – 129 in total – are responsible for "supporting the president in the discharge of his constitutional duties," the letter stated.

Inside the president's residence, 15 staff will be required to provide "minimum maintenance and support" – though at Vice President Joe Biden's official residence, only a single staff member is necessary during a government shutdown.

In total, Biden requires 12 staff members to perform his constitutional duties.

Different offices within the White House will still require staffers to show up for work – the National Security Staff, tasked with foreign policy matters, needs 42 employees for work during a shutdown, and the Office of Management and Budget, responsible for handling any government funding measure that eventually passes Congress, will need 118 staff members at work.

Eight employees are required to man the Office of National Drug Control Policy, while seven are needed at the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

–CNN White House Producers Adam Aigner-Treworgy and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: Joe Biden • President Obama • White House
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC
    You know there is something wrong when Democrats can collect millions more House votes, and still have such a wide margin in the number of House Seats held by each party.
    -------------------------------------------------
    We, the voters, have got to look at the WHOLE picture.
    We just can't go out and vote during a presidential election. President Obama's re-election has taught us that.
    We screwed ourselves and in turn our country by keeping our butts home in 2010. We are living the end result of this fatal error in judgement.
    I also believe Rudy, that with the infusion of the so-called Tea Party (why not call it by it's real name, the Koch brothers?) the days of compromise rational or otherwise have come to an abrupt end.
    If these so-called patriots were at all concerned as they claim to be about our economy and our finances I would think that the LAST thing they would want to happen is to downgrade our credit rating thereby increasing the interest rate we have to pay back. Let alone the turmoil that and downward spiral that the world and domestic stock markets are baout to be plunged into.
    All of these factors impact our economy negatively.
    The fact is that the deficit is being lowered at a faster rate than it has in the past 60 years and that is NOT what these Teatrolls want while THIS President is President.
    The Tea Party has chosen to throw us into economic chaos at the expense of our country's steady pace towards recuperation.
    I call that unpatriotic, and heartless.

    September 30, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. smith

    @Libs- Really?..So the GOP is doing this to shutdown the secret services in hopes that Obama is endangered. Where does this crap come from? This is a new low for libs..smh

    September 30, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  3. just saying

    smith
    @Libs- Really?..So the GOP is doing this to shutdown the secret services in hopes that Obama is endangered. Where does this crap come from? This is a new low for libs..smh
    --

    there is no limit to the lows the left is capable of. their lies flow like snot from a runny nose which really is quite indicative of what their statements are worth.

    September 30, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    So the GOP is doing this to shutdown the secret services in hopes that Obama is endangered. Where does this crap come from
    -------------------------------------------------
    So the GOP is making the country go into default, putting domestic and world markets into turmoil because they "care" about the economy and the deficit. Where does this crap come from?

    September 30, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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