Oct. 15, 2013 -- As the government shutdown stretches into its 15th day, you, as a non-essential citizen of the United States, probably have a lot of questions. Thankfully Fusion's crack team of experts has not been affected and is here to answer them.
For any other questions we haven't answered, please call Jay Carney at 202-395-7254.
What is a government shutdown? Oh boy. We're really starting at the beginning here. Have you even tried looking it up on Wikipedia? Pretty sure that website hasn't been shut down.
Has the government been shut down before? Yes. Once in 1995, and once earlier this year when Joe Biden refused to come out of his room until he was FedExed an advance DVD screening of the Breaking Bad finale.
Who will be furloughed because of the shutdown? Mostly a bunch of government pencil pushers, park rangers, and the three Supreme Court justices who are last to finish an obstacle course on the National Mall.
Why are government websites shut down? Turns out that cabinet secretaries are personally responsible for maintaining their department's website. (That's why Hillary Clinton is always on her BlackBerry). But now they’re too busy picking up the slack, so they don’t have time to clear the cookies bin.
Will members of Congress still get paid during the shutdown? Yes. In fact they get overtime.
What happens to Capitol Hill interns? Unfortunately, as the least essential members of the government, they are usually the first to be furloughed and brutally sacrificed to the animistic deities who oversee the legislative branch.
When will the shutdown end? The Constitution says that the federal government must reopen when Congress passes a bill to fund the government that is signed by the president; or, whenever they get sick of the congressional cafeteria being closed.