Federal Government Shutdown: Introduction

About this Guide

During a government shutdown, many government websites and databases may go dark.  Columbia University Libraries provide our research community with a number of sources to ensure continued access to current and historical information from the Federal government. Many of these resources index or republish government information, and are not affected by a shutdown.  Current Columbia students, faculty, and staff have off-campus access via the proxy to all of these databases; non-Columbia public patrons must visit the Library to use them. Please contact the Journalism and Government Information Librarian for more information about access and resources. 

Current Government News

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Federal News Network is a media publisher that functions as a key source of breaking news, information and analysis for the people who support the missions of federal agencies. Its intended audience is government employees.

Official Federal Response

Official responses from federal actors overseeing federal actions during a government shutdown


Agency Contingency Plans
Announcements provided by agencies, commissions, and council impacted for the Federal shutdown, including staffing, services, and operations. Updated daily.

Frequently Asked Questions During a Lapse in Appropriations
General principles that govern an agency's operations during a lapse in appropriations. 

Special Instructions for Agencies Affected by a Possible Lapse in Appropriations Starting December 22, 2018
Outlines guidance for employee payroll, leave and holiday pay. Provides working definitions of orderly shutdown and excepted employees.

Guidance for Shutdown Furloughs
This handbook guides the implementation of shutdown furloughs, which employees must continue to work without pay, and its impact on benefits such as retirement and healthcare. Published by United States Office of Personnl Management.

Responses from Columbia Community

Public comment on partial government shutdown by various departments and affiliates of Columbia University

Fried Frank on how the Government Shutdown affects M&A, the SEC, and Litigation
Columbia Law School Blog on Corporations and the Capital Markets, January 15, 2019.

Resources for Federal Employees During Shutdown
Tomomi Uetani, Office of Career Services and Management, School of Social Work, January 13, 2019.

Update: Partial Government Shutdown
Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, January 07, 2019.

Anti-government Ideology and the Federal Government Shutdown
Steve Cohen, General Earth Institute, January 7, 2019.

Partial Government Shutdown: Research Guidance
Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, December 22, 2018.