D.C. Goes Dark: GOP Shuts Down Government for First Time in 17 Years

For the first time in 17 years, the U.S. Government has shut down, as Congressional Republicans refused to pass a budget resolution funding the federal government without attaching provisions to delay or defund Obamacare.

The official memorandum sent by the Office of Management and Budget reads:

Appropriations provided under the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (P.L. 113-6) expire at 11:59 pm tonight. Unfortunately, we do not have a clear indication that Congress will act in time for the President to sign a Continuing Resolution before the end ofthe day tomorrow, October 1, 2013. Therefore, agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations. 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.

Agencies should continue to closely monitor developments, and OMB will provide further guidance as appropriate. We greatly appreciate your cooperation and the work you and your agencies do on behalf of the American people.

As of 12:33 a.m., the Panda Cam was still live. More disconcertingly, however:

As of Tuesday morning, more than 800,000 federal workers will be placed on furlough, and more than a million other government workers, including air-traffic controllers, prison guards and Border Patrol agents, will be asked to work without pay. National parks, museums and monuments will all be closed. And, thanks to an obscure, likely unenforceable law, it will be illegal for furloughed government employees to check their work email.

There is at least some good news: President Obama approved a bill late Monday that will allow active-duty troops to receive pay during the shutdown.

Congress will continue to work on the continuing resolution to fund the government, with the House convening Tuesday at 10 a.m and the Senate at 9:30 a.m. But the Washington Post is reporting that senior Republicans expect the shutdown to last at least a week. The last government shutdown, in 1995-96, lasted for 27 days.

[Image via AP]