Government shutdown hits close to home for White House
In the White House itself, only about 120 people will report to work if the government shuts down Friday night.
April 8th, 2011
01:23 PM ET

Government shutdown hits close to home for White House

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."


soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. disatisfied federal worker

    Oh so sad Michele Obama will have to make beds and cook meals like a real mother and wife.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  2. eric gieseke

    thats good

    April 8, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  3. just saying

    when did the Vice President's residence become the White House also?? He lives @ the Naval Observatory – you know, One Observatory Circle? just saying........ :)

    April 8, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  4. Fed worker

    So VP Biden gets to keep his house keeper, but I go without a paycheck? He gets to have someone cook his food, and I get to figure out where mine will come from. The rank and file federal employee does not make as much as most Americans would like to believe. I pay into my retirement account, I pay into my TSP (401k) at 15% of my salary, I pay into SS and I pay for heatlh care (no disability, vision or dental care). I work hard for my vacation time which is not as much as one would think. I can not negotiate my pay, my bonus or my work hours. I work weekends and holidays ..even the ones when everything including McDonalds is closed. I risk my life to keep others safe. The only difference between me and you the average private employee? I now have to do it without a paycheck!

    April 8, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      "I work weekends and holidays ..even the ones when everything including McDonalds is closed"?? Please tell us of this mythical Fed employee that works holidays. Fed and State employees have been munching off Americans for too long. Where do you think your pay comes from, out of the sky? No, it comes form real workers. Gov. employees are paid too much and should be let go. You have sucked our bank accounts dry, we can not afford you any more.

      Monday we will wake up, the birds will be chirping, kids will go to school, and the heavy burden of paying 800,000 people to drag their feet will be lifted. Maybe we will get smart and not hire them back.

      April 8, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
      • Summer

        I am one of those "mythical" Federal employees that works weekends and holidays. I am offended you think that i am just "munching" off of americans. . .no I PROTECT the american people everyday that i wake up and put my uniform on. I work weekends, i work holidays, i dont see my familiy for months even years at a time. I dont get time off. I work 24/7 believe it or not. I AM a federal governement employee and for your information I AM a real worker. I work for my paycheck that i am not going to see if our government doesnt get their act together and guess what i will still have to report to work and not get paid. I AM your 'mythical" federal employee.

        April 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        More Liberal lies, "I dont get time off. I work 24/7 believe it or not", "i will still have to report to work and not get paid"

        The truth every Fed employee, that works, gets paid, no one works for free, no one works for 24/7 with out time off.

        My comment was clearly directed at the 800,000 money grubbing, greedy people that live off the American tax payer. I am offended by their Audacity of Hope of continuing to get a hand out. I was not talking about soldiers, however, if you are a solder then you understood the job requirements before you volunteered. Your pay is guaranteed.

        Footnote: if you work 24/7 why did you have to put on your uniform when you woke up?

        April 8, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  5. Defense Contractor

    Dear Fed worker, Shut Up! The Democrat-controlled 3 chambers had 15+ months to pass ANY budget they wanted to, with no useful resistance from a Republican minority, but failed to do their job – when they EASILY could have. The new Republican house has had 2+ months and numerous attempts to pass FY11 budgets, but the Democrat controlled Senate will not agree. All of us government contractors and suppliers and food service workers (more than 800,000 people in the federal workforce) who support the federal city are about to go without paychecks too. Stop your whining...

    April 8, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  6. james flores

    i think that a government shutdown would kill this economy. i also think its bs that if the government shuts down that all servicemembers will not recieve pay.As a former specialist in the uniter states army , i know what its like to be in a war zone. but to be overseas and know while your fighting a war that your family back in the states is struggling to make ends meet, puts alot of stress on the military service member and their family.

    April 8, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  7. MommaWombat

    @Jay in NC

    State employees, cushy job? Ha! What is a weekend? Holiday? Do you realize that some state workers actually WORK for a living? Defense doesn't always come from the outside. There are those of us who protect people like you from those that live inside the US. We get feces and urine thrown on us, constant exposure to AIDS, HIV, hepatitus, TB, and not to mention that we interact on a daily basis with convicted murderers, rapists, and child molesters so that they can remain safely locked behind bars for YOUR protection. I have witnessed violent assaults against staff members-to the extent of where multiple surgeries are required to extract skull fragments from a fellow staffers brain. I don't have a cushy desk job. I put my life on the line daily inside a maximum security correctional institution. My goal at the end of the day is to walk out the front door with my co-workers ALIVE, not to listen to some ignorant jackoff complain that we are overpaid. It costs approximately 35,000 a year to house one inmate. I don't make that in one year-Not to mention the fact that due to the rising costs of healthcare, my pay has been decreased due to skyrocketing insurance premiums. I haven't had a raise in over 7 years. I may recieve compensatory time off for holidays but that doesn't replace being home with your family on Christmas morning. Instead, I get to spend it with convicted felons.

    What do YOU do for a living?

    April 8, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  8. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Hey people, I'm a retired federal employee who has debated back an forth with at least one of these bloggers who probably was unable to pass the simple civil service test to even obtain a federal job! So don't even try to defend us! They'd rather say we don't work and don't deserve our salaries, when we know entry level of private industry pays way more! Anybody in their right mind knows, that a federal employee doesn't really reap his or her obvious benefits, until they retire; and that's becoming shakey!

    April 8, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  9. Jay in NC

    Every year we hear that teachers are not paid as well as the private sector. That that is the reason we can not attract the best and brightest. Well, if Fed employees are paid way below private industry then Fed workers must not be the best and brightest.

    Most gov. employees are greedy Liberals that take from others, reap outlandish retirement benefits, and have job security even during a bad recession. Sounds like I am describing what Liberals call a corporation.

    April 9, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  10. Liz Carter in Georgia

    If I really believed that federal workers were inefficient and worthless; were hired, like some teachers, who were not being paid as well as private industry because they weren't the best nor the brightest, I'd be sure to send that finding or analogy to my CONGRESSMEN, who are also federal workers. Maybe they will go ahead with breaking down all federal agencies and services, including themselves, and we'll see how that works out. It may be the answer to some of our problems as a FEDERAL FORM OF GOVERNMENT.

    April 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  11. Liz Carter in Georgia

    If there are no more federal workers, don't think of calling on anyone to come to your rescue in an emergency or in need. Do it yourself. Fix it youself. Replace it yourself. We are none other than 'civil service' workers, who work for the government. 'CIVIL' 'SERVICE'; Service is the operative word. We 'serve' the AMERICAN people, in many venues. We get a stipend for our 'service'! Service is our job. That's what we do. If that isn't enough, then we're SO sorry! AMERICA will be no more without us!

    April 9, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  12. eric gieseke

    good one liz

    April 11, 2011 at 3:30 am |
  13. eric gieseke

    Liz you know they would never do that,eh?

    April 11, 2011 at 3:30 am |
  14. Liz Carter in Georgia

    eric, I think not. Well, I hope not. I hope it's just more hate spew, but we never know! Some people would rather choose to cut off their own noses, to spight their own faces. Out of pride, the end results don't matter to them, as long as they've rebuked and successfully disarranged the lives of innocent others, including their own, thinking they're proving some ridiculous point.

    April 11, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  15. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Tell'em MommaWombat! I agree 100%. They really don't have a clue! We should be thanked rather than denigrated by these ungrateful buffoons, whom we serve! They seem to be envious; begrudging of us because they evidently couldn't pass a federal entrance exam; state merit test, FBI, Post Office, Civil Service Examination, nor any other qualifying criterion instrument to secure careers of service to the nation. Police, firemen, lawyers, judges, doctors, and others work in service; federally, state, and local!

    April 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm |