Lawmakers trying to reopen government piece by piece

Lawmakers trying to reopen government piece by piece

By and , Tuesday, October 8, 8:51 PM

If House Republicans could get their way, the National Institutes of Health would be open right now.

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Transportation Safety Board would still be mostly shut down.

There would be funding for Head Start. But no money to produce federal unemployment reports.

The national parks would be open. But the national forests would not. Continue reading “Lawmakers trying to reopen government piece by piece”

Government shutdown worst-case scenario realized: Salmonella outbreak

Government shutdown worst-case scenario realized: Salmonella outbreak
By: Tarini Parti and Helena Bottemiller Evich
October 8, 2013 07:58 PM EDT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention building is pictured. | AP Photo

A multi-state Salmonella outbreak is exactly the scenario food safety advocates and lawmakers warned about when the federal government was forced to shutdown last week.

Now that nightmare has come true, though the federal agencies charged with arresting foodborne illnesses are scrambling to make due.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is operating with about one-third of its staff on the job during the shutdown, confirmed Tuesday that it has now brought back 30 furloughed employees in its foodborne division to help handle the outbreak, which has sickened 278 people in 18 states. Continue reading “Government shutdown worst-case scenario realized: Salmonella outbreak”

Area government workers frustrated by shutdown

Plenty of ‘real work’ isn’t getting done, they say

October 06, 2013

Mike Mikulka, a senior environmental engineer for the EPA, does yard work at his home in Crystal Lake while the governement shutdown keeps him out of work.

Mike Mikulka, a senior environmental engineer for the EPA, does yard work at his home in Crystal Lake while the governement shutdown keeps him out of work. (Keri Wiginton, Chicago Tribune)

Mike Mikulka was supposed to spend last week in Marinette, Wis., overseeing a $110 million project to clean up the Menomonee River, which is contaminated with arsenic.

An environmental engineer in the Chicago office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mikulka never made it to the site. He was sent home from work Tuesday, with a phone number to call to find out when he could return. The river cleanup, which is being handled by a private company, continued without him.

“Basically, it’s being done without (EPA) oversight,” Mikulka said. Continue reading “Area government workers frustrated by shutdown”

The Shutdown’s Squeeze On Science And Health

by NPR Staff October 01, 2013 6:41 PM

This image was posted by NASA to the agency's official Instagram account.This image was to the agency’s official Instagram account.

NASA/Getty Images

In addition to shutdowns of (including Alcatraz Island and Yosemite) and the supplemental nutrition program for , the mandatory furloughs are affecting a science and health agencies. Here’s a snapshot:


The “most painful consequence [of the shutdown for National Institutes of Health] is for the clinical center, the largest research hospital in the world” says NIH Director Francis Collins. Many of the hospital’s patients have cancer, a rare genetic disease or a serious infection that hasn’t been relieved elsewhere, Collins says. But Tuesday NIH had to close its doors to new patients. “How would you feel as a parent of a child with cancer,” Collins asks, “hoping that somehow NIH and its clinical center might provide some rescue from a very difficult situation, to hear that, frankly, you can’t come, because the government won’t be able to stay open.”

More specifically at the NIH clinical center:

  • No new studies will be started. Four had been slated to begin this week, but won’t if the shutdown continues.
  • No new patients will be enrolled in any of the 1,437 studies now underway. Roughly 500of those are studying new drugs and devices, and of those 255 are looking at cancer treatments for adults and children.
  • The hospital’s reduced staff will continue to care for existing patients, but new patients will not be admitted unless the NIH Clinical Center’s director deems it medically necessary.

Meanwhile, workers will show up to feed and care for animals in NIH labs, but basic research conducted by NIH scientists there will stop. Continue reading “The Shutdown’s Squeeze On Science And Health”

What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Shutdown

The Wall Street JournalWhat to Expect When You’re Expecting a Shutdown

European Pressphoto Agency U.S. Marines march in review during the POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., this month.

Originally published on Sept. 24 and subsequently updated.

As the U.S. nears an Oct. 1 deadline for a partial government shutdown, the Office of Management and Budget has directed federal agencies to prepare contingency plans should a shutdown occur. Here, we tell you what to expect from a partial temporary shutdown, drawing on agencies’ plans and information from the last time the government shut down in 1995 and 1996.

We will update this list as more information becomes available.

How will travel and transportation be affected?

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
An US Airways Airbus A320 airplane takes off from a runway at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Air traffic control is expected to continue, in addition to airport and airplane safety inspections.  All Federal Highway Administration activities will also continue. Continue reading “What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Shutdown”