By Justin Sink
Nearly three-quarters of White House employees would be furloughed during a government shutdown, according to a contingency plan created by the administration.
According to a letter prepared for the Office of Management and Budget, some 1,265 White House employees would be sent home if lawmakers are unable to strike an agreement Monday to keep the government open. Approximately 436 presidential staffers would be designated as exempt and continue working despite a shutdown.
"The White House will maintain minimal staffing consistent with supporting the president in the discharge of his constitutional duties, including staff required to work with the Congress in the enactment of appropriations," Katy Kale, the assistant to the president for management and administration, said in the letter.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday that the White House would rely on a "skeletal staff" if a shutdown occurred.
"It will be an extremely lean operation if this comes to pass," Carney said, calling the potential cutbacks "significant."
But, Carney said, cutbacks in the White House "pale in comparison" to the "women and children and seniors" who will see benefits restricted.
"It's folks out in the country who will be affected who concern us the most," Carney said.
Vice President Biden, meanwhile, would keep aboard 12 staff members and one additional person to tend to his residence at the Naval Observatory.
Various offices and councils under the executive office of the president would also work with skeleton crews. The Council of Economic Advisors would keep four staffers active, while the Council on Environmental Quality would maintain three to catalogue and secure official records.
But other offices, including the National Security Staff, would maintain bigger presences despite the possible shutdown. The NSS is expected to ask 42 employees to keep coming to work, while 36 staffers providing technology and administrative support to the president's staff would continue coming to work.
The Office of Management and Budget has identified 118 staff members whose services would be required, and said other staff members could be called in as necessary. The Office of National Drug Control Policy would keep eight staffers, while the Office of Science and Technology Policy would have just 7 to provide the president with any emergency scientific or technical advice.
Finally, the U.S. Trade Representative's office plans to keep a total of 61 staff members on duty.
The letter did not detail whether unpaid interns would continue coming to work during a shutdown, although they did continue to staff the White House during a shutdown in the 1990s.
--This report was updated at 1:46 p.m.