Yes, federal libraries and museums are closed. Not only is the Library of Congress closed, but its Web site is blank, aside from a notice.
Due to the temporary shutdown of the federal government, the Library of Congress is closed to the public and researchers beginning October 1, 2013 until further notice.
All public events are cancelled and web sites are inaccessible
except the legislative information sites THOMAS.gov and beta.congress.gov.
I have not been able to confirm this, but I believe the E.P.A. National Library Network has also shut down. The National Archives and Records Administration (N.A.R.A.) must suspend operations paid for with annual appropriations or administered by staff members whose salaries are paid for through annual appropriations.
The Smithsonian Institution’s museums and National Zoo are closed. All the federal parks and monuments are closed. On the other hand, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars remains open because two-thirds of its staff is not paid via federal annual appropriations.
In an open letter to federal workers, President Barack H. Obama, Jr. stated the U.S. Government employees approximately 2,000,000 civilian workers and 1,400,000 active-duty soldiers, sailors and airmen.
Hundreds of thousands of federal workers are being furloughed without pay. Federal officials are vague about how many are being furloughed, but CNN reports the number of employees is around 800,000.
The U.S. Postal Service, which is self-financing, will continue to deliver mail. Other federal governmental services that are paid for by taxes and fees that are considered “essential” will continue to function.
Active-duty soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen will continue to be paid and serve. Congress voted Monday to continue funding the military.
Further, the call centers and regional offices that support veterans are closed. If the shutdown drags on for too long veterans will receive smaller pension payments. The National Park Service is curtailing services at Arlington National Cemetery, but burials will continue to take place.
On the civilian side of government, a few hundred thousand federal security guards and safety inspectors will work either because they are paid through channels not affected by the Antideficiency Act – such as permanent indefinite appropriations – or because they will work without pay.
Air-traffic controllers are being paid and will continue to work. Prison guards and border guards will continue to work.
N.A.S.A. Control will continue to function to support the International Space Station. All other N.A.S.A. services have to stop. The Web site is down.
Under the Antideficiency Act, agency heads must “limit obligations to those needed to maintain the minimum level of essential activities necessary to protect life and property.” Violations of this law can lead to a fine of up to $5,000, a prison term of up to two years, or both.
The Social Security Administration will continue to make payments. Services that provide food to elderly people and minor children should continue to function, but will do so fitfully. The U.S. Government stated, “Vital services that ensure seniors and young children have access to healthy food and meals may not have sufficient Federal funds to serve all beneficiaries in an extended lapse.”
The processing of small business loan applications and loan guarantees will halt. Loans to rural communities will also come to a stop.
The National Institutes of Health will not accept new patients for clinical trials. Scientists at federal labs will stop their research on diseases.
No-one will be looking to protect investors from financial chicanery. Some food safety inspectors may work without pay.
Product safety inspectors will stop testing products. This includes children’s product safety inspectors.
Inspections at hazardous waste facilities will end. All E.P.A. services will stop, except for the work of a few inspectors who gage the safety of drinking water systems and chemical plants.
Permits for transportation and energy projects will not be issued, and reviews of ongoing projects will stop. This means the private companies that would have started or continued working on those projects have to stop working, as well.
Gallingly, the president and congressmen will continue to be paid, as CNN reported. If the shutdown drags on for long enough, the federal courts will continue to function for ten days and then shutdown.
CNN reports economist Brian Kessler with Moody's Analytics believes if the shutdown goes on for three to four weeks, it would cost the economy about $55,000,000,000. In addition, Congress must vote by mid-month to raise the U.S. Government’s debt ceiling.