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On First Weekday Of Shutdown, Federal Workers Had To Sort Out Whether To Go To Work

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

So the federal government is expected to return to normal operations tomorrow morning. Even though this was the third day of a partial shutdown, it was the first working day for most federal employees. And it was not exactly a break, as NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: Washington was a bit off of its routine today. Some federal workers went into their jobs so they could be formally told to go home. Others got to stay but weren't sure if they'd be paid for their efforts. In offices around the capital city, there were recordings telling callers the agency they reached was closed for business.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: There is a temporary shutdown of the U.S. government due to a lapse in appropriation. We will return to normal operations as soon as possible.

NAYLOR: It's unclear what, if any, damage was caused by this short shutdown. Eighty-five percent of the federal workforce is outside Washington. Government Twitter feeds weren't updated. The Washington Post reported some snowmobilers got too close to Old Faithful because there were no rangers to shoo them away. But apparently no harm was done to the geyser. For most federal workers, the biggest concern now is that this whole scene could be replayed in three weeks when this latest temporary budget bill expires. Brian Naylor, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk. In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies.

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