USDA turns off entire website, claiming shutdown woes

USDA's total website shutdown goes far beyond the response of other federal agencies, and seems to be part of an effort to make people feel the effects of the shutdown. Thursday morning calls to USDA's press office seeking an explanation were not answered.

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The USDA page gives readers no way to enter the department’s main website and access information that was posted prior to Oct. 1.

Instead, it directs readers to three other sites, including a White House page, that describe the Obama administration's response to Congress's failure to pass a 2014 appropriations bill.

Other agencies say their sites won't be updated, but allow visitors to access older information.

The Commerce Department, for example, leads with a large post about parts of the Department that are closed down, but it then allows readers to move around the site to see information posted before the shutdown.

The Departments of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Labor and others have posted notes saying their sites will "not be actively managed" or will not be regularly updated. But these still allow readers to navigate around the website.

"Due to the current lapse of federal funding, the Department of Energy's website is accessible, but may not be updated until Congress approves funds for Fiscal Year 2014," reads the top of the Department of Energy's website.

The State Department's website is still being updated, and has a link on the main page to the Oct. 2 remarks from a spokesman on how the Department is being affected by the shutdown.

Thursday morning calls to USDA's press office seeking an explanation for the total website shutdown were not answered.