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Government Shutdown - What all will be closed?

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Government Shutdown - What all will be closed?

i have heard recently in the news that there is the possibility of a government shutdown in March if the federal budget isn't passed. The last government shut down in the 90's lasted 27 days. We have our trip planned for the last full week of March. I assume all govenment buildings will be shut down, National Park run sites, and Smithsonian museums? I really hope this doesn't happen or we will have to reschedule our trip for summer. This will cost DC some serious tourism dollars since it could impact the Cherry Blossom season.

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1. Re: Government Shutdown - What all will be closed?

As I recall, nearly everything you can think of shut down. Not the private museums and galleries though, like the Newseum and Spy Museum. You might want to call your Senators and Representative and express your dismay at their lack of integrity on this issue. They love to posture more than actually do anything and the rest of us suffer.

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2. Re: Government Shutdown - What all will be closed?

Start thinking of a fallback in case it is closed when you are here. AS mentioned above, PRIVATE museums and the like will be open. Mount Vernon is private.

Canberra, Australia
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3. Re: Government Shutdown - What all will be closed?

Could someone explain this more fully for the foreign people? What should we expect, exactly what could close and how long could it last?

Thank in advance

Rachel

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4. Re: Government Shutdown - What all will be closed?

Rachel, You don't plan to be in DC until April. If it does happen it should be over long before you get here. It is a bunch of politicians being stupid, something they are very good at. You probably have some in Australia too.

Canberra, Australia
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5. Re: Government Shutdown - What all will be closed?

Thanks Darrell - we only have lovely sensible politicians in Australia! Didn't you hear about out last election?

I won't give it another thought.

Thanks as always for your time.

Rachel

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6. Re: Government Shutdown - What all will be closed?

For the benefit of foreign visitors, the short version is this: the US national government is very good at spending more money than it takes in via taxes and other revenue. While they have no problem running at a deficit, they need to set a budget that agrees how much they're going to spend that they don't have before they print the money and spend it. If, by a certain point in the year, they don't come to terms on that budget, they stop spending money on anything that isn't an emergency service. That shutdown point is now about a week a way.

They usually avert the shutdown through short term deals and then ultimately a proper compromise. But if the current pigheaded crop on both sides of government can't do that, or don't want to do that to make a political point, then things like museums, parks, most agencies, etc. will close for a few days / weeks until the political pressure gets too great.

Stay tuned, but don't assume it will actually come to pass.

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7. Re: Government Shutdown - What all will be closed?

It's worth noting that you can enjoy walking to/around all the monuments, as well as admiring the exterior of the White House & Capitol. This is as much as a lot of tourists do anyway. Getting on a private tour company's schedule will help provide a lot of the detail that a ranger walk usually would (but again, not a lot of tourists avail themselves of this opportunity anyway).

I suspect that the Tomb of the Unknown ceremony at Arlington Cemetery probably continues despite any government shutdown, but I could be wrong.

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8. Re: Government Shutdown - What all will be closed?

So the monuments will still be accessible even during a shutdown???

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9. Re: Government Shutdown - What all will be closed?

R.e. memorials being open, Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR, Vietnam Veterans, and WWII are basically open structures without doors, so even if the visitor's centers / booths aren't manned, you should still be able to walk around them. The Washington Monument needs to be staffed to get to the top, but you can always walk around the base of it.

So I have to think you'd still be able to walk all around the Mall area and see the sights even during a shutdown; there might just not be park service personnel around to answer questions and some of the exhibits (e.g. downstairs under Jefferson & Lincoln) may be closed.

The bigger impact could be Smithsonian facilities.

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10. Re: Government Shutdown - What all will be closed?

"I suspect that the Tomb of the Unknown ceremony at Arlington Cemetery probably continues despite any government shutdown, but I could be wrong."

I think the ceremony continues but it won't be possible to view it because the visitor center wouldn't be open and I think that's the only way for tourists to access the cemetery.

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