Shutdown begins, federal agencies close

The White House ordered federal agencies to shut down Monday night, with congressional negotiators unable to strike an agreement before the midnight deadline to keep the government open.

Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia BurwellSylvia Mary Mathews BurwellPence, Fauci to brief lawmakers on coronavirus Why Trump will win the wall fight Price was a disaster for HHS — Time for an administrator, not an ideologue MORE directed agency and departmental heads to execute their plans for an "orderly shutdown" of the federal government in a memo released by the administration.


The notice came shortly after Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidKamala Harris to young Black women at conference: 'I want you to be ambitious' Obama calls filibuster 'Jim Crow relic,' backs new Voting Rights Act bill McConnell warns Democrats not to change filibuster rule MORE (D-Nev.) rejected a last-ditch Republican plan to appoint conferees to negotiate a short-term continuing resolution. The final gambit came after the Senate repeatedly rejected attempts by House Republicans to link the continued funding of government to rolling back ObamaCare.

Burwell said she was ordering the action because there was no "clear indication" that Congress would strike an agreement on a continuing resolution before the end of the day Tuesday.

"We urge Congress to act quickly to pass a Continuing Resolution to provide a short-term bridge that ensures sufficient time to pass a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, and to restore the operation of critical public services and programs that will be impacted by a lapse in appropriations," Burwell said in a statement.

The White House said it would continue to closely monitor developments and issue agencies further guidance as appropriate.

The shutdown will be the first time that the federal government closes its doors in 17 years. The government estimates that more than 800,000 federal employees will be furloughed because of the shutdown, with national parks, museums, monuments and other government offices shuttering for the duration.

Earlier Monday, President Obama warned that office buildings would close, paychecks would be delayed and vital services "would be hamstrung."

Warning of "a very real impact on real people," the president warned that "right away" businesses would see less spending.

"All of us will be hurt greatly should Congress choose to shut the people's government down," Obama said.