Government Unwinds from Shutdown Drill

Monday, 11 Apr 2011 11:05 AM

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The on again, off again federal shutdown left government employees across the country spinning their wheels for a week, making plans for an event that didn’t happen. Federal workers report that most of last week was lost to contingency plans, meetings and determining who was an essential worker, The Washington Post reports.

California’s Mojave National Preserve’s Danette Woo said there could be a “post-crisis period” around her office. “I won’t be able to just come in on Monday or Tuesday morning and hit the ground running,” she told the Post.

The Office of Management and Budget, which would approve government shutdown plans, was swamped with calls from reporters. While a background conference call on the president’s budget can generate about 100 participants, a conference call on the potential shutdown Wednesday drew more than 450 reporters, the Post said.

The U.S. Postal Service, which would not have closed during a shutdown, nevertheless had to deal with the possibility of stopping delivery of millions of pieces of mail sent and received by the federal government. Spokeswoman Joanne Veto said planning was made more difficult by the fact some post offices are located in federal buildings that would have been closed in a shutdown, the Post said.

government, shutdown, drillRegardless of the outcome, OMB Director Jacob J. Lew was ready. He had three memos prepared, one announced a shutdown, another that the government would continue to operate, a third that would permit the government to continue operations on the belief a deal was near, the Post said.

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