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U.S. government shutdown: What's open and what's closed

NASA, Smithsonian, EPA reduced to small core staffs

Oct. 8, 2013

U.S. Capitol

The partial U.S. government shutdown forced roughly 800,000 federal workers off the clock on Oct. 1. Agencies including the Department of Energy and the Department of Homeland Security streamlined their services, although some workers have since returned.

Others, such as the Department of Commerce and the Smithsonian, have shut their doors to all but the most essential workers. The chart below shows how the shutdown affects different agencies, detailing the number of employees furloughed as well as the services that remain in operation.

Status legend:   Effectively closed/more than 85 per cent of workers on furlough   Partially open   Open or mostly open

Percentage furloughedTotal
Department of Commerce40,234 87%46,420 
Most research activities at NIST and NOAA will not operate. Also many government statistical functions from agencies like the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis will not be available.
Department of DefenseFew n/a800,000Military personnel on active duty will continue to report and perform their duties. President Barack Obama signed an exemption order on Sept. 30 that assures they will continue to receive their pay. Roughly 50 per cent of the civilian personnel, about 400,000, were furloughed, but most were recalled by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Oct. 6.
Department of Education3,972 94%4,225Schools remain open since state and local governments have primary responsibility for education. Among the few employees remaining at the federal department would be those administering federal grants and student loans.
Department of Energy9,595 69%13,814Workers with a function "related to the safety of human life and the protection of property" will stay on the job. In addition, about 3,000 workers are funded through sources other than direct appropriations.
Environmental Protection Agency15,136 93%16,205Workers with a function "related to the safety of human life and the protection of property" will stay on the job. In addition, 294 workers are funded through sources other than direct appropriations.
Department of Health and Human Services40,512 52%78,198Essential services will continue for the department's various agencies, including Medicare administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health.
Department of Homeland Security31,295 14%231,117Key security programs such as border screening will continue to operate. Other areas, like federal law-enforcement training and administration of non-disaster grants by the Fededal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be closed.
Department of the Interior58,765 81%72,562National Parks and National Wildlife Refuge Systems are closed to visitors. Non-emergency or research work at other agencies like the Bureau of Land Management will be stopped.
OpenDepartment of Justice17,742 15%114,486Exemptions from the furlough include: FBI agents and support staff, Drug Enforcement Administration field organization staf, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, federal prisons staff and commissioners of the U.S. Parole Commission.
OpenDepartment of Labor13,350 82%16,304Only some units within the Employee Benefits Security Administration, Mine Safety and Health Administration, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration will remain in operation.
OpenNational Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)17,701 97%18,250Only staff responsible for "protection of life and property" will continue to work.
OpenNational Science Foundation1,970 99%2,000Only 30 employees on the Antarctic and Arctic programs will continue to work.
OpenPeace Corps627 58%1,055Overseas personnel with the Peace Corps will wait two weeks before starting to wind down operations.
OpenThe Smithsonian3,514 83%4,202Smithsonian museums and research centres will be closed. The only exemptions are security staff as well as personnel who provide care for animals at the National Zoo.
OpenThe State Departmentn/an/an/aThe State Department will stay open for a limited time. The Bureau of Consular Affairs will continue to issue passports and visas, though some offices located in federal buildings may be forced to shut their doors. Overseas embassies and consulates will stay open.
OpenThe Supreme Courtn/an/an/aThe country's highest court will continue to conduct its normal operations at least through Oct. 4. The Court building will remain open to the public during its usual hours.
OpenDepartment of Transportation18,841 33%55,468Federal air-traffic controllers will be expected to continue to work while other employees who work at the Federal Aviation Administration will be furloughed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Transit Administration will furlough the bulk of their staffs.
OpenUnited States Postal Servicen/an/an/aMail delivery will continue to American homes and businesses since the postal service doesn't receive its budget from annual Congress appropriations and is therefore exempt from the shutdown.
OpenDepartment of Veterans Affairs14,224 5%332,025Employees who will be furloughed include employees who work for the Veteran Benefits Administration, IT workers, and the National Cemetery Administration.

Source: White House Office of Management and Budget

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