The federal government shut down for the first time in 17 years on Tuesday, with lawmakers refusing to budge in a partisan battle over President Barack Obama's signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
Reaction on Twitter was both bitter and biting, with many users pointing to visible signs of the shutdown, tweeting pictures from national parks and monuments closed as a result of the halt.
Not Cool. RT @911BUFF: YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK BEING SHUTDOWN TOMORROW ON ITS 123RD BIRTHDAY— Maeve Reston (@MaeveReston) October 1, 2013
President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner exchanged hashtagged pleasantries.
"I urge House Republicans to reopen the government." —President Obama— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 1, 2013
"Nobody gets to hurt our economy and hard-working families over a law you don't like." —President Obama #EnoughAlready— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 1, 2013
"We're better than this." —President Obama on the government shutdown #EnoughAlready— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 1, 2013
Other Congressional soundbytes about the shutdown were captured in 140-character segments, too.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) calls the Cruz wing of party "lemmings with suicide vests...because jumping to your death is not enough."— Suzy Khimm (@SuzyKhimm) September 30, 2013
Boehner: "The House has done its work" http://t.co/QIhO3K4EbD— Anita Kumar (@anitakumar01) September 30, 2013
RT @JonEasley: Issa on CNN mangling a syllogism: "You can’t accuse me of beating my wife and then turn around and tell me isn’t that true."— Rebecca Shabad (@RebeccaShabad) October 1, 2013
Meanwhile, government agencies used Twitter to alert their followers of the shutdown.
Due to a lapse in government funding, this account will not be active until further notice.— U.S. Capitol (@uscapitol) October 1, 2013
As of Oct. 1, Library of Congress closed until further notice. Events canceled, most web sites inaccessible http://t.co/pW55mRaAG2— Library of Congress (@librarycongress) October 1, 2013
We're sorry, but we will not tweet or respond to @ replies during the government shutdown. We'll be back as soon as possible!— USA.gov (@USAgov) October 1, 2013
We're sorry, but we will not be tweeting or responding to @ replies during the government shutdown. We'll be back as soon as possible!— CDC STD (@CDCSTD) October 1, 2013
And that included the National Zoo and its popular "panda cam."
None of our live animal cams will broadcast during the #shutdown. The cams require federal resources, primarily staff, to run and broadcast.— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) October 1, 2013
We will not be posting to Facebook or tweeting except in the case of emergencies during the #shutdown.— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) October 1, 2013
All animals will continue to be fed & cared for. A #shutdown won't affect our commitment to the safety of staff & excellence in animal care.— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) October 1, 2013
Others tried to find a silver lining in the shutdown.
Due to the shutdown, NASA's asteroid detection team isn't working. If an asteroid hits, let's hope it lands on Congress.— CC:Indecision (@indecision) October 1, 2013
I hope the shutdown doesn't stop the NSA from reading our email #heroes— daveweigel (@daveweigel) October 1, 2013
Other Twitter users took the opportunity to riff with government shutdown pickup lines, replete with the #govtshutdownpickuplines hashtag. (Suitable-for-work sample: "You must be an essential employee, because that body is workin' today." Or, "Girl, @NASA may be closed, but you're still outta this world.")
Still, as one follower of the "Today" show Twitter feed put it: