April 8th, 2011
01:23 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN)–As the clock continues to tick down to a government shutdown Friday night, the White House is moving forward with plans to make-do with a skeleton staff. Normally 1,781 people work in the Executive Office of the President, which staffs the White House offices, the residence, the vice president's office and residence and other critical departments like the National Security staff, the Council on Economic Advisors and the office of the National Drug Czar. If the government shuts down Friday at midnight, only about a quarter of those staffers will remain because their positions will be deemed "excepted" or "exempted" which is bureaucracy speak for people essential to allow the executive offices to continue to run. But it's a bare bones staff.
In the White House itself, only about 120 people will report to work after Friday night’s deadline. That's fewer that one quarter of the regular staff. The people who will be reporting to work are higher level officials including special assistants to the president, commissioned officers and those whose positions required Senate confirmation. According to the contingency plan for the Executive Office of the President, this staff “will support the President in the discharge of his constitutional duties including staff required to work with Congress in the enactment of appropriations."
As for living in the White House during a government shutdown, the first family may be roughing it. The contingency plan calls for a total of 15 staff required "to provide minimum maintenance and support". There are normally 90 people including chefs, maids and other maintenance workers who staff the White House residence. But there is good news for Vice President Biden who gets to keep his full residence staff. There's apparently only one person who staffs his residence on a daily basis and that worker is deemed "excepted."
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