The White House said today through an anonymous official that the Merchant Marine Academy is canceling its classes this week because of the government shutdown.
President Obama met this afternoon with members of his senior staff, including Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors, about the shutdown’s impact.
“The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York has been forced to cancel this week’s classes as a result of the lapse,” the White House official said.
“The Merchant Marine Academy already moved up their fall break originally scheduled to start November 1 to begin October 4,” the official continued. “The Merchant Marine Academy is a federal service academy that prepares students to serve America’s marine transportation and defense needs. Unlike the other service academies, almost the entirety of the Merchant Marine Academy’s faculty and staff are civilians subject to furlough.”
On Saturday, the White House said via anonymous official that four out of the five Nobel Prize-winning researchers currently working for the federal government have been furloughed.
“Two-thirds of CDC personnel have been sent home. CDC’s activities in influenza surveillance and monitoring have been cut back, just as we are moving into peak flu season. While many flu vaccines are produced by private companies, CDC’s annual flu vaccination campaigns have been cut back and the weekly ‘Flu View’ report that is relied upon by public-health authorities has been suspended. CDC will continue to address any imminent threats to public health,” the official said. “Ninety-eight percent of the National Science Foundation has been furloughed, and new scientific research grants are not being issued.”
“Currently, nearly three-quarters of NIH staff have been furloughed,” the official continued. “Although the NIH Clinical Center remains open for patients already enrolled in studies, most new patients have been turned away during the shutdown. NIH will continue to monitor its admissions policy and adjust as necessary based on life and safety considerations, depending on the duration of the shutdown.”
This afternoon Obama also hopped on the phone with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
“The President and Leader Pelosi discussed the way forward on the pressing fiscal matters facing Congress today,” the White House said of the meeting. “They reinforced that there must be a clean debt limit increase that allows us to pay the bills we have incurred and avoid default, and that the House needs to pass the clean continuing resolution to open up the government and end the shutdown that is hurting middle class families and businesses across the country. The President and the Leader also discussed their willingness, once the debt limit is raised and the government reopened, to negotiate on a longer term budget solution that will grow our economy and create jobs. The President also thanked Leader Pelosi for her efforts to move forward with a clean CR and a one-year clean debt limit increase that would prevent a first-ever default of our nation’s credit.”
The Senate went into session at 1 p.m. today, though no votes are scheduled. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) sat down with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).
The House is expected to come back into session tomorrow on Columbus Day.
“I think all of us agree that negotiations are more than desirable; they are essential. But the issue looming before us is not that,” Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said on the floor today. “It’s whether the government will be open and the threat of default be lifted while we negotiate. Negotiations could last a while, so they should take place while the government is functioning. It is unconscionable that Americans are denied services and benefits while we negotiate.”