House and Senate negotiators unveiled an $85-billion agreement late Tuesday to fund federal agencies through the fall of 2015, avoiding another government shutdown and ending the cycle of crisis that has paralyzed Washington for much of the past three years. In a rare display of bipartisan cooperation, House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) stood side-by-side in the Capitol with Senate Budget Committee chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to announce the deal, which would cancel half the sharp spending cuts known as the sequester for the current fiscal year.
The website for the United States National Security Agency suddenly went offline Friday.
NSA.gov has been unavailable globally as of late Friday afternoon, and Twitter accounts belonging to people loosely affiliated with the Anonymous hacktivism movement have suggested they are responsible.
Virginia is an early test for how the government shutdown could impact Republicans in the 2014 elections. The state's unusual off-year elections put a referendum on the party's governance a mere four weeks away. The state is disproportionately reliant on government spending to fuel its economy, having almost 145,000 federal workers, even more contractors, and other industries that depend on federal workers having money in their pockets, like restaurants and shops. "Ken Cuccinelli was apparently more concerned about his reputation with the Tea Party than with ending the government shutdown that is undermining Virginia's economy," Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe said of his Republican rival. "It is the obligation of Virginians to send a message to Washington -- a government shutdown should never be a bargaining chip."
Just before the weekend, the National Park Service informed charter boat captains in Florida that the Florida Bay was "closed" due to the shutdown. Until government funding is restored, the fishing boats are prohibited from taking anglers into 1,100 square-miles of open ocean. Fishing is also prohibited at Biscayne National Park during the shutdown.