Originally Posted by Infidien
Interesting, since rec.gov it's a private business
Over my career I've done a mix of private and government contract work cleaning up toxic waste sites.
Basically once the shutdown begins most government contractors are told not to expend any funds (do any work). So in the weeks prior, there's lots of uncertainty and stress, and lots of extra effort spent in the process of mothballing projects. With complex projects this can be a significant effort with flying people back home from remote field projects, making arrangements to store equipment, and so forth. And you have no certainty when the project can start back up.
Then the contractors have to sit idle during the shutdown and start back up once a funding measure gets passed. This all adds a lot of costs to projects due to lost productivity, attrition by gvt. and contractor employees and subsequent loss of institutional knowledge, and also places a heavy burden on the contractors serving the government.
Lots of projects are just cancelled in the shell game to fund inefficiency due to the shutdown and through the compromise process to get the government running again. This happened to my grad school research funding in 1996 when the government shutdown happened and I had to find a new project and funding source to continue.