White House orders government agencies to begin shutting down

imageAFP WASHINGTON: The White House budget director late Monday ordered federal agencies to begin closing down after Congress failed to pass a budget to avert a government shutdown.

“Agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the
absence of appropriations,” said Sylvia Mathews Burwell, director Of the White House Office of Management and Budget in a memo.

The order was issued 10 minutes before the US government officially ran out of money after a day of angry brinkmanship between the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Senate, where Democrats have the majority.

Burwell urged Congress to pass a temporary operating budget as soon as
possible to allow departments to reopen. “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.”

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama in his address to the military on this occasion told members of the military he’ll work to get Congress to re-open the government as soon as possible.
Obama is addressing troops in a video message after Congress missed a midnight deadline to avert a partial government shutdown.
Obama says troops in uniform will remain on duty as usual. He says he’s signed a law ensuring troops get paid on time. He says ongoing operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere will continue and the U.S. will ensure those in harm’s way have what they need.
But Obama says Defense Department civilians may be furloughed. He says that compounds the damage from spending cuts that have already affected the military.
Hundreds of thousands of government workers will be off the job Monday, but some essential services will continue.