A partisan fight over implementation of the Affordable Care Act has forced a government shutdown that caused the Smithsonian museums, national parks and numerous federal offices to shut their doors or curtail services.
Also facing a shutdown would be the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County according to Senator Bob Casey.
Most federal employees were expected to report to work today only long enough to shut down their programs, secure their buildings and change their voice-mail messages. That was expected to take no more than three or four hours, according to directives issued by several agency heads. Public safety employees and presidential appointees would still work after that, but many other federal workers would not.
The National Park Service will turn away day visitors and give campers already inside two days to leave.
The shutdown has no effect on enrollment in the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges, which open today. The exchanges are funded through Medicaid, a mandatory spending area not subject to congressional approval. It also does not affect self-sustaining agencies, such as the Postal Service.