Government Shutdown

Dan Boyce

2013 began with a new governor and a new legislature - and wound down with a government shutdown. In-between there were headline-grabbing trials and home-destroying fires.

The MTPR news staff - Sally Mauk, Edward O'Brien, Dan Boyce and Katrin Frye - covered the issues and breaking news. In this feature, they take a look back at a year of drama and heartache, and political surprises.

File Photo

  The end of the federal government shutdown this week exposes a growing rift in the Republican Party—a rift between moderates and Tea Party Republicans.

Passage of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act boosted the Tea Party movement three years ago and the momentum put the GOP back in charge of the House of Representatives. Republicans have since tried multiple tactics to delay or defund Obamacare—culminating in the government shutdown early this month.

Katrin Frye

Barricades came down, open signs switched on, and employees went back to work as Glacier National Park reopened. The partial government shutdown closed the national parks October first.

Public Affairs Officer Denise Germann says the Park had about 20 to 30 people working during the shutdown. As of Thursday about 250 employees were back on.

She said a lot of the work going on right now involves getting housing and lodging buttoned up for the winter.

Congressman Steve Daines was one of eighty-seven House Republicans to vote for legislation ending the partial federal government shutdown and raising the country’s debt ceiling.

Many more Republicans voted against ending the shutdown—one hundred forty four of them.

Daines previously voted for measures to defund the Affordable Care Act, which eventually prompted Washington’s most recent gridlock.

He defends republican actions through the standoff—saying it was a result of Democrats refusing to negotiate.

If reporters have a question about Glacier National Park, they usually first call the park's public affairs officer, Denise Germann.

Dan Boyce

The partial shutdown of the federal government is now stretching into its third day.

President Obama is now saying House Speaker John Boehner is the only thing standing in the way of reopening the government. Congressional leaders made no progress on ending the shutdown after a Wednesday night meeting at the White House. 

The Wall Street Journal reports about 800,000 federal employees remain on furlough. 

  Montana employees of the US Department of Agriculture make up the largest piece of the state’s federal workforce.

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry Economist Barb Wagner said latest figures show about 12,600 federal employees work in Montana, not including military personnel—which she says her office does not track. Of that civilian workforce, about 3,000 work for the USDA.