EconomyNorth America

Government Shutdown Sends Websites Offline, Facilities Shut in US

park350As the US government entered its third day of a partial shutdown on Thursday, some government websites are being completely shutdown, including the Library of Congress, NASA and the Census Bureau. The White House web page is also not being updated due to the federal government shutdown.

Other agencies say their sites will remain open but won’t be updated until the government is restored, as members of Congress and President Barack Obama remained at an impasse on how to end the political stand-off over the budget.

Websites that have been shut down clearly state, “Due to the Federal government shutdown, usgs.gov and most associated web sites are unavailable,” while other sites redirect to a webpage, which says, “Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available. We sincerely regret this inconvenience.” The US Department of Homeland Security has also stopped responding to public emails.

Social media accounts of federal departments have also been curtailed as a result of the government shutdown. Final tweets and posts were sent out earlier this week telling followers services would be suspended, according to the Washington Post.

Even Michelle Obama isn’t allowed to tweet, according to her last message published on October 1.

The shutdowns cut off access to online services. People can no longer sign up for federal student aid.

Many of the public parks and monuments Americans and tourists enjoy every day are off limits. The National Zoo panda cam went off, Vacations have been ruined.
And Wall Street, on the third day of the shutdown, is starting to get a little wary.
On Oct. 2, US stocks fell as investors started to assess the effects of budget impasse, Bloomberg News reported.

Also according to America Merrill Lynch Global Research Report, the loss of tax revenue from the masses of furloughed workers, coupled with the cost for agencies to implement the shutdown, will likely “put upside risk” on the budget deficit.
yet Congressmen are still getting paid despite the fact tens of thousands of federal employees have been furloughed.

Also, despite the public outrage at the mass surveillance operations by the US National Security Agency (NSA), these wiretapping and communication snooping programs will continue, as the federal government claims these operations are considered critical to what it calls ‘national security’ and will continue to tick over, reports The Hill.

According to leaked documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the US government hands the spy agency $10.8 billion each year out of the wider $52.6 billion “black budget.”

On Wednesday evening, a meeting at the White House between Obama and congressional leaders failed to produce an agreement.

“With the nation’s ability to borrow money soon to lapse, Republicans and Democrats alike said the shutdown that has idled an estimated 800,000 federal workers could last for two weeks or more, obliging a divided government to grapple with both issues at the same time,” the Associated Press said.
The US federal government staggered into a partial shutdown on Monday at midnight after congressional Republicans stubbornly demanded changes in the nation’s health care law as the price for essential federal funding and President Barack Obama and Democrats adamantly refused.

Republicans are demanding the defunding or delaying of Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, in return for increasing the government’s ability to borrow more money.

“This whole thing is about one thing, the Republican obsession with the Affordable Care Act. That seems to be the only thing that unites the Republican Party right now,” Obama said during his speech in Maryland.
The US Treasury has warned of catastrophic effects if the political stalemate over raising the government’s debt limit forces a US default on its obligations.
The International Monetary Fund has also warned that a possible US default would wreak havoc on the global economy.

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