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What’s Not Shut Down During the Shutdown

While nearly three-fourths of the White House staff are furloughed during the shutdown, the White House is still posting updates.

While nearly three-fourths of the White House staff are furloughed during the shutdown, the White House is still posting updates. // Thinkstock

A large chunk of the government’s Web and social media presence has been shuttered by the government shutdown and the furlough of employees that manage those systems. Some government websites and social media profiles are still up and running though.

Here’s a rundown.

White House

The main White House blog is still posting updates, mostly about the shutdown’s effects on citizens and on the health care reform law’s insurance exchanges, which went online Tuesday, the same day a budget impasse between Republicans and Democrats in Congress forced a lapse in agency appropriations.  

Nearly three-fourths of White House staff are furloughed. The post-shutdown posts are all written by the White House’s acting Digital Strategy Director Nathaniel Lubin, with the exception of one written by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Subsidiary White House sites, such as the main site for the Office of Management and Budget are offline during the shutdown.

The White House’s main Twitter account is still posting updates as is the White House Facebook page. Other accounts, such as the @whlive Twitter account, which alerts the public to streaming video feeds of presidential addresses and other content, have not posted since the shutdown began.


The State Department website is still posting updates. The department has only furloughed a handful of employees.

The department’s Facebook page is also still posting updates. Department Twitter feeds have not posted since Tuesday morning when most of them posted a tweet noting visa and passport offices would remain open during the shutdown.

The department’s e-diplomacy office tweeted at Nextgov Tuesday morning stating it was still operating.


The Defense Department and military services are still updating their main websites. Defense is also tweeting and updating its Facebook page. DoD has furloughed 50 percent of its civilian employees.

The Army is not tweeting or updating its Facebook page during the shutdown. The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are continuing to tweet during the shutdown. The Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast guard are also updating their Facebook pages. The Navy has said it will post limited Facebook updates.

Veterans Affairs

The Veterans Affairs Department has not updated its main website since posting a Veterans field guide during the shutdown on Tuesday. The department is continuing to tweet and update its Facebook page, as are its main divisions, the Veterans Health Administration, Veterans Benefits Administration and National Cemetery Administration.

The department has only furloughed 4 percent of its staff but that includes 40 percent of its IT staff, the department said.

Health and Human Services

The Health and Human Services Department updated its home page and Facebook page on Tuesday to note the launch of online health care exchanges connected with President Obama’s health care reform plan. The agency is regularly tweeting.

HHS has furloughed 51 percent of its staff.


The Treasury Department has stopped updating many portions of its website but is still posting updates about important financial information. The department is not updating its social media profiles.

Treasury has furloughed 90 percent of its employees.


The Interior Department is not regularly updating its homepage or social media profiles. It did post a final Instagram photo showing that national parks are closed.

Interior has furloughed 81 percent of its staff.


NASA has stopped posting to its homepage and is not updating its main social media profiles or its mission Twitter accounts, such as the @MarsCuriosity account.

NASA has furloughed 98 percent of its staff.


Agencies listed below have not posted news updates to their homepages or updated their Twitter or Facebook profiles since the shutdown began, except to notify readers and followers that the shutdown occurred and to post plans. Some have been taken offline entirely.

The Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security, Education, Energy, Justice, Labor, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development departments, as well as the National Archives and Records Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Social Security Administration, the Small Business Administration, the United States Agency for International Development, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the General Services Administration

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