Here’s an example. The House, earlier in the week, passed an appropriations bill—devoid of anything else, a clean CR, IAW Democrat instruction—the Senate passed it, and President Barack Obama signed it. “It’s the law of the land.” This appropriations law fully funds the DoD for the next couple of months.
Despite that, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel decided to furlough 400,000 DoD civilians (apparently his fair share of the Obama shutdown). Congressman Buck McKeon (R, CA) wrote to Hagel, asking how that furlough worked, since DoD was fully funded.
Hagel’s response? Through “a senior Defense official,” Hagel said he had no way to respond.
Unfortunately, most of the staff who draft congressional correspondence are furloughed[.]
Because the responsible officials—Hagel’s deputies, Obama’s appointees—are illiterate, apparently. Or they need an authority figure to tell them what to do, and both Hagel and Obama are too busy to provide that instruction. Or these worthies simply are too proud to do their work with their own hands.