A disastrous fiscal crisis looms when the Federal government is shut down after the President (Martin Sheen) engages in a war of wills between the powerful G.O.P. House Speaker (Steven Culp) over an extra two percent in budget reductions that would trim many of Bartlet’s key social programs — and the Democrats are blamed because of opinion polls. As Leo (John Spencer), Josh (Bradley Whitford) and Toby (Richard Schiff) send everyone home, they remain uneasy as the President refuses to compromise — until he arrives on a bold plan to personally and publicly challenge the Republicans in the halls of the Capitol. Meanwhile, Abbey (Stockard Channing) suddenly reappears from her self-imposed exile for a State dinner that she might have to cook herself.
THE WEST WING "SHUTDOWN" WRITTEN BY: MARK GOFFMAN DIRECTED BY: CHRISTOPHER MISIANO TEASER FADE IN: INT. THE MURAL ROOM n NIGHT On the right hand side of the table sit the Republican Congressional leadership. On the left, President Bartlet and staff. Bartlet stands. Everyone else follows. Haffley is the last to rise. BARTLET And I said no. HAFFLEY Let's be clear sir. You'll be held responsible for shutting down the federal government. BARTLET Then shut it down. HAFFLEY Mr. President. BARTLET Mr. Speaker. Leo looks alarmed. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE n NIGHT Bonnie enters Josh's office, where Josh and Will are waiting. BONNIE Here they come. Will looks at his watch. WILL Six minutes. The meeting lasted six minutes. That's good, right? Josh walks around his desk and out of his office, Will following. Josh pushes open the hallway doors and watches the GOP leadership file out. Haffley looks grave. WILL Maybe not. Toby crosses the lobby and joins Josh, Will, and Donna. TOBY What happened? DONNA There's no agreement. JOSH How far apart are we? DONNA They're leaving the building. WILL Without a continuing resolution? DONNA Haffley said the only way he could see it was with a three percent cut. TOBY We had a deal at one percent! Bob Russell walks up to the group. JOSH He's bluffing. RUSSELL We'll never know because the President ended the meeting. Will? Russell and Will exit. JOSH It's only 8:30. We'll get a deal before midnight. DONNA I don't know. TOBY I'm gonna... [walks off] JOSH Yeah. CUT TO: EXT. DRIVEWAY - NIGHT The GOP leadership exits. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER ROBERT ROYCE I hate November. HAFFLEY No no. Christmas came early this year. He walks up to a group of reporters who are yelling questions. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT Leo enters with Angela. LEO Sir, you want to talk about what just happened? BARTLET [signing some papers] You were there. Make sure Nancy sees me in the morning about the ? in Indonesia. I don't want any training East of Kupan. Anything else? LEO We need a continuing resolution by midnight of 940,000 federal employees aren't going to show up in the morning. BARTLET Give them your shirt, they want your built. ANGELA [forcefully] We have to get them back in. BARTLET Not tonight. [checks his watch] Damn! I probably missed the first half. Providence is going to get a whopping from my fighting Irish. Bartlet exits via the portico. Charlie enters from the outer office. CHARLIE [to Leo] Is he coming back? LEO What do you need? CHARLIE Toby and Josh are here. Leo nods, and Charlie allows Josh and Toby to enter the Oval Office. JOSH What the hell happened? ANGELA Haffley asked for three percent. TOBY Now what? LEO We shut it down. SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES. END TEASER * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: INT. HALLWAY - DAY MAN [on T.V.] I went to the White House to pass a continuing resolution while we work through our differences. But this President couldn't find three percent of a 1.2 trillion budget to cut to keep the government open and working. Leo sees the T.V. but keeps walking. He enters a room where many West Wing assistants are, including Charlie, Margaret, and Donna. LEO Listen up. Hey. Everyone keeps talking. CHARLIE [yelling] Hey people, shut up! The room quiets. LEO [to Charlie] Thank you. [to the room] Effective immediately, the U.S. government is shut down. We have no operating budget, so all non-essential personnel, anyone below special assistant, non-national security and public safety, go home until further notice. The President thanks you for your hard work and service. Questions? Several people raise their hands. Leo nods at Donna. DONNA How long do you think it will last? LEO Hours, probably, maybe a day. MARGARET Maybe a couple days? LEO Maybe. MARGARET Maybe a couple weeks? LEO It will last as long as it lasts. Listen guys, I'm sorry. C.J. and Toby pass in back of the group. Leo's talk continues in the background as we follow C.J. and Toby. Carol joins them, walking behind them as they walk towards C.J.'s office. C.J. Are they coming back tonight? TOBY I sure as hell hope so. C.J. Amtrak, the courts, federal prisons, border patrol, national weather service, all open, and meat inspectors will remain on the job. TOBY [sarcastic] Nothing jeopardizes the sanctity of the American hamburger. They enter C.J.'S OFFICE. C.J. The EPA is suspending 60 percent of factory inspections. Good news for polluters. TOBY Now tell me. C.J. [putting on her suit jacket] We had agreed to a one percent cut on a 30 day continuing resolution, but the Speaker pulled a bait-and-switch. TOBY [pretending to be a reporter] One percent, two percent, what's so unreasonable about three percent? C.J. Three percent equals X dollars, which is Y flu vaccinations, Z school lunches. Toby looks skeptical. C.J. It's more convincing with numbers. Carol! CAROL It's going to take me a minute, because we just sent research home. And... you just sent me home, too. TOBY [sighing] I'll get you the numbers. C.J. watches the T.V. in her office, where the Speaker is still talking to the press. C.J. [incredulous] He's on the front lawn?! CAROL He wrangled the reporters from our room. C.J. Is there anyone left? CAROL A couple. C.J. Should I wait for Haffley to finish? TOBY We gotta start reclaiming some ground. C.J. Okay, but I need some numbers fast, maybe some garlic and a crucifix. She leaves her office. CAROL [to Toby] What should I...? TOBY [following C.J.] Go home. The camera follows C.J. as she enters the PRESS ROOM and stands at the podium. Only a few reporters are in the room, and they are gathering their belongings. C.J. Good evening everybody. Katie, get back here. Let's start with the good news. National security and public safety will not be affected. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY Josh and Donna are walking. DONNA This is so unfair. We're already understaffed. JOSH Yeah. DONNA I cancelled tomorrow's meetings with SBA and the SCC. JOSH You do realize you're not a special assistant. DONNA Thanks for reminding me. How far out do you want me to...? JOSH [interrupting] Donna, listen carefully. You have to go home. DONNA [surprised] Seriously? Josh nods. DONNA So, Leo said everyone below special assistant. JOSH He meant you. Donna looks disappointed. Josh enters his office. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY Haffley is still on the T.V. as Toby walks into LEO'S OFFICE. A phone is ringing at Margaret's desk. TOBY Your phones are ringing. LEO Yeah. Margaret went home. TOBY What's the President doing? LEO Watching basketball. TOBY Does he have a plan? LEO I think it was pretty spontaneous. TOBY [sounding frustrated] If it doesn't end now, it'll become a referendum on the Bartlet Presidency. LEO [sounding unconcerned] Yup. TOBY Do you want me to talk to him? LEO No, I've got it. CUT TO: INT. PRESS ROOM - DAY C.J. is still briefing the press. REPORTERS C.J.! C.J.! C.J. George. GEORGE Isn't this a bluff? I mean, there's going to be a deal reached by midnight like there is every year, right? C.J. Well, I can't speak for Congress, but the President will not cut essential services, which is what their CR does. C.J. points to Katie. KATIE Isn't it irresponsible of the President to refuse to sign, disrupting people's lives and paychecks, over three percent... C.J. [checking her notes] Three percent equals more than a billion dollars in education funding, clean energy funding, highway safety, to name a few. I'll get you exact figures. C.J. points to another reporter. REPORTER The speaker said this continuing resolution was the express will of both the House and the Senate. C.J. It wasn't the will of the 196 congressmen and 16 senators who voted against all 14 appropriations bills. REPORTER If these services are so vital, why isn't the President still negotiating? CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY Donna is putting items in a box. Josh is seated on his desk, watching. DONNA I'm taking stationery, a stapler, three pens of various colors, the budget files. JOSH Why don't you just take them on disk? DONNA Because I don't have a computer. Can I take a computer with me? JOSH Not unless you want three federal agents trailing you home. DONNA Do I get to pick which three? JOSH I can survive for a day. DONNA Is that all it's going to last? A day? JOSH Okay, take my laptop. He jumps off his desk and goes to get his laptop. JOSH Start a tally of programs affected by the shutdown, and email it to me as you go. Don't read anything in the folder marked "private." Donna stares at him. JOSH Don't take my laptop. [puts it back down] WILL [sticking his head in the office] You coming? War room. [exits] DONNA What's happening? JOSH You remember when we went to Atlantic City? DONNA We never went to Atlantic City. JOSH Remember when I went to Atlantic City and I came back complaining that all the pro poker players suck all the fun out of the game, no cigars, no pizza, no beer. DONNA You played one hand. JOSH Those guys, they bet the bank when they have a good hand. And you either fold, or you go in all the way with them. I think the President's gonna stay in. DONNA And how good is Haffley? JOSH He's better than anyone we've seen on the other side of the table in a long time. He leaves his office to go to the war room. Donna picks up her box of stuff and leaves. CUT TO: INT. REPUBLICAN WAR ROOM - DAY Haffley, other GOP Congressional representatives, and aides are working. HAFFLEY I figured they'd negotiate us down to two, but a shutdown? They're not prepared for this. WOMAN Are we? HAFFLEY We didn't shut down the government, Bartlet did. He's the one who's going to have to explain it to the country. ROYCE [entering] Sorry. Took me a while to figure out how to un-jam the copier. If they come back with two percent, we can pass the CR tonight. HAFFLEY Why would we? He thinks people want big government. Let's show them how well the American people can get by without the deputy director of regulatory intrusion. ROYCE They'll call tonight. They won't want it to drag on. WOMAN You've spoken to Russell? ROYCE Not yet, but that's who they'll use. HAFFLEY [rolling up his sleeves] So long as they blink first, it doesn't matter who calls. MAN In the meantime we have congressmen looking for toner cartridges, and I have 35,000 federal employees in my district out of work. HAFFLEY [leaning on the table] Get on the phone with your local media. Make sure they know who threw us out of the White House. Make sure those 35,000 people know who sent them home. Royce looks skeptical as Haffley starts looking through papers. CUT TO: INT. WHITE HOUSE HALLWAY - DAY Angela Blake is walking with a large pile of papers. She enters THE WAR ROOM. Leo, Josh, Will, and Toby are already there. JOSH Hey, advisory board still at ten tomorrow? LEO Yeah. Treasury is worried about the debt ceiling. JOSH I left word with violence prevention and business roundtable, but what about the address to the NAACP tomorrow? Should we cancel? It's non-governmental, we'll need advance. LEO Don't cancel anything yet. Angela thinks we'll get an agreement tonight. TOBY [rolling up his sleeves] What kind of agreement? ANGELA My guess is he would have settled on two percent had the meeting continued. It's probably still available. LEO And tomorrow? ANGELA Depends on how it plays in the morning papers. JOSH [forcefully] We have to call Haffley out for what he's really doing. It's a coup. He's trying to de-fund every Bartlet initiative we passed in the last two years. LEO [evenly] The President has a full schedule tomorrow, Josh. Go make sure everyone knows he intends to keep it. Josh looks disappointed and a little hurt at the dismissal. LEO Can we downplay this to the press? TOBY That's what Haffley wants. 940,000 federal employees out of work, but we say, no worries, doesn't matter. Josh gathers his papers and leaves the room. Toby looks like he disagrees with Leo's treatment of Josh, but he doesn't say anything. We hear the following discussion as the camera follows Josh out and down the HALLWAY. WILL I may be having some kind of mental logjam, but why did the President snap? LEO Angela had the thing wired and Haffley tried to roll us. It was a mugging. WILL But it's also a negotiation. You don't shoot a duck for quacking. LEO Are you speaking for the Vice President? WILL The quacking thing kind of gives it away, doesn't it? C.J. enters the room. C.J. Help. LEO Don't go out there again until morning. C.J. Okay, but the enemy's advancing, and you better give me more than a squirt gun before the sun comes up. WILL We need some coffee. Anyone know where we can get coffee? TOBY The mess is closed. There's no coffee. C.J. Starbucks closes at 7:00. Try Swaine's at 17th and G. Will leaves. LEO What else? C.J. The British Prime Minister... LEO Isn't visiting for four days. One day at a time. C.J. It's a state dinner, 216 guests, formal attire... LEO Josh can handle it. What else? TOBY We can put together a strategy, but Leo, there isn't anything else until we sign a deal. ANGELA You have to talk the President down of the ledge tonight. If I go back and hammer out a deal at two percent, he has to sign it. CUT TO: INT. ELEVATOR IN THE RESIDENCE - NIGHT Leo steps out of elevator and walks down the hall. CUT TO: INT. THE PRESIDENT'S STUDY - CONTINUOUS We see the President eating peanuts and watching his basketball game on television. Someone knocks on the study door. BARTLET Come in! Leo enters the room. LEO Good evening, sir. BARTLET Hey, grab a seat. LEO What's the score? BARTLET Doesn't matter. The game is won or lost in the last five minutes. LEO So the Irish are down. Bartlet just looks at him. Leo sits. Bartlet continues to watch the game. Leo hesitates, then finally begins a bit hesitantly. LEO Sir, I've got Angela running the war room, but we don't have a lot of support inside or outside the building. The President continues to watch the game. LEO Angela feels they'll close at 2 percent. BARTLET I took his Vice President, I dropped my stimulus package, my college tuition tax credit, and now we're haggling not over the budget, but over how much to cut. LEO It's a bad deal, a bad week, a bad year. But our approval's in the 30s and we're out of allies on the hill. Let's get past this budget cycle, make a deal at 2 percent tonight, not let it become a noose around our necks. Then, we can get back on message, be bold at the State of the Union, take back Congress. BARTLET Dammit! They've got a seven foot center and best power center in the game. Why zone? LEO It's not always enough to be right sir. Bartlet looks away from the game and stares at Leo for a moment before returning to the game. FADE OUT. END ACT ONE * * * ACT TWO FADE IN: INT. WEST WING OFFICE - DAY DAY TWO We see a child with a very whiny voice on television. CHILD It's not fair! We drove all the way from to see grandma and the Constitution. Now we only get to see Grandma! The camera pans down and we see Leo and C.J. walking down the HALLWAY. LEO How'd the press react to your closing down the briefing room? C.J. Let's just say it hasn't won me any new friends in the media. LEO This thing will be won or lost depending on how it plays on TV. C.J. They're blaming us. LEO Any change in the overnights? They enter LEO'S OFFICE. C.J. They keep saying they're Scrooge, denying the needy. They say we're addicted to spending. Both our negatives are up, but ours more. C.J. You see Newsweek? LEO Beats the cover of Time. C.J. The Post is reporting 193,000 veterans can't get their home loans processed. We can't be doing this over the holidays. LEO We won't be. C.J. So what's the plan? LEO Plan? Who said we had a plan? Leo throws Time down on his desk. It has a picture of Haffley with the headline, "The New Boss?" Leo hangs up his jacket. RUSSELL [OS] Got a minute, Leo? LEO Of course, Mr. Vice President, please. [to C.J.] I'll see you at the thing? C.J. nods and leaves. Russell enters the office and takes a seat in front of Leo's desk. Leo flips over Time. RUSSELL How's the President doing? LEO He's fighting a cold. RUSSELL Think it's about time for me to talk to a few of my former colleagues in the House? LEO Mmm, not yet sir, no. RUSSELL I served on energy with Haffley. LEO I appreciate that. RUSSEL I sang in the Congressional Quartet with the majority whip. I've gotten drunk on fact-finding with most of the guys... LEO [interrupting] With all due respect sir, we can't send mixed signals. RUSSELL You saw their deal two days ago and turned them down. If you're waiting for Haffley to call, you've misjudged your man. You can't treat the Speaker like... LEO [interrupting again] The President will decide the terms. RUSSELL No, he won't! Like it or not, we have a Republican Congress. They get to write the budget. The President only gets to edit it a bit. You want to blame someone, call James Madison. LEO [politely sarcastic] Thanks for the history lesson, sir. I'll be sure to pass it on to the President. Leo sits and puts on his glasses. Russell sighs and stands. He moves to the door, then turns. RUSSELL You know what they call a leader with no followers? Just a guy talking a walk. Russell leaves. Leo stares after him. CUT TO: INT. WHITE HOUSE WAR ROOOM - DAY Will, C.J. and Toby are seated at a very messy table. A young girl in a low-cut shirt and short skirt enters, carrying a plastic trash bag. She picks up empty coffee cups and food containers and puts them in the bag. MARINA [to Toby] Need any help with that? TOBY Excuse me? MARINA I compiled clippings over at Energy. TOBY [laughs in surprise] No, thank you, I've got it. She leans in very close to Will to gather more trash. WILL Sorry, we should have cleaned up the room yesterday. MARINA Oh, no no. it's not a problem. Leo enters the room. LEO So, where are we? TOBY Did you see the Post/ABC poll this morning? LEO Yeah. MARINA Um, excuse me? Do any of you know where the dumpsters are? No one answers. MARINA Yeah. It's okay. I'll find them. [leaves] LEO Who's that? TOBY [whispering] A walking lawsuit. C.J. Where are we on the state dinner? LEO Still on for the schedule. C.J. Except we don't have food, chefs, or help. LEO Josh is coordinating with the British. We still have another day before we have to decide. ANGELA [entering] Any change? C.J. Not according to Time. LEO How'd it go with the minority leader? ANGELA Still got her for one more day but she's threatening to cut bait. WILL If we lose her the House Dems will start lobbying the Speaker instead of us for table craps. TOBY And Haffley is running the government. LEO Okay. Today is the day. [to Will] Work the V.P. [to Angela] and the minority leader and contact Haffley to make sure we can still get a deal at three percent. WILL What happened to trying for two percent? LEO 12 hours passed, that's what happened. [to C.J.] Tell the speaker we're taking their temperature but the President isn't involved yet. TOBY And that has the rare quality of also being true. LEO I want a continuing resolution by the close of business. Leo stands and leaves the War Room. CUT TO: INT. CAPTIOL HILL HALLWAY - DAY Senator Royce and Speaker Haffley are walking down a corridor with various aides. ROYCE They blinked? HAFFLEY Yup. The Vice President is working with the minority leader. We're going to get a CR today. ROYCE The President's not on board yet. HAFFLEY That's just a tactic, So Bartlet doesn't look weak. MAN They're going to swallow three percent? HAFFLEY Right now they'd swallow five, but we're going to be magnanimous. ROYCE We're only 50 billion apart on the final budget. Why don't I call Russell, suggest we skip the continuing resolution and cut a budget deal? HAFFLEY We can get a much better deal on the budget if they sign our CR. ROYCE They caved, we won. How much more leverage do we need before we start governing again? HAFFLEY We are governing. We're slowing the rate of federal spending increases, we're stopping this President from driving this country deeper into debt and leaving our children to pay for it. We're doing what we told the voters we would do if they elected us! MAN Cover of Time, huh? Haffley chuckles. CUT TO: INT. RESIDENCE STUDY - DAY BARTLET [forcefully] No! LEO It's a good deal. Three percent on the CR, and we live to fight another day. BARTLET One percent like we'd agreed. LEO Sir, we're not going to get one percent. We need to get past this. Focus on the future. House Democrats aren't gonna stick. They have to head home for the holidays and defend why we shut down the federal government... BARTLET No. Leo sighs and looks frustrated. Bartlet sits at his desk and continues working. LEO Sir? You're putting all our chips down on a single hand we can't win. Bartlet slams his hand on the desk and takes off his glasses to look up at Leo. BARTLET We had a deal, Leo. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY Josh is working at his desk. The light bulb in his desk lamp blinks, then goes out. JOSH Whoa. He leans over to tap the bulb. MARINA Need a new bulb? Josh looks up, startled. Marina is standing at the door to his office, trash bag in her hand. JOSH Sure, thanks. Rina, right? MARINA Yeah, it's short for Marina. She picks up empty containers from his desk. JOSH You Greek? MARINA No, I was born on a boat. JOSH How'd you get here? MARINA Bus. JOSH No, I mean why weren't you laid off like everyone else? As he speaks, Josh picks up his phone and hits a preset number. MARINA Oh. My program wasn't affected. [pointing to the lamp] I'll see what I can scrounge up. She winks at him, and leaves. CUT TO: INT. BAR - DAY Donna answers her cell phone. DONNA Josh Lyman's office. JOSH [VO] Where are you? It's really loud. DONNA I went to that shutdown party. CUT TO: JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY JOSH So that list of shutdown effects you faxed? DONNA Yeah, the one about the elks over-populating is true. They stopped issuing hunting licenses. Josh walks into the BULLPEN AREA to get more coffee. JOSH Why'd you put social security on the list? It's an entitlement. DONNA Yeah, but we sent home the people from the social security administration who run the machines that cut the checks. JOSH The checks won't go out. DONNA Not unless we get the GAO to issue a ruling to bring those guys back in. What'd Counsel say about the other thing? JOSH It's considered coercion if you come back to work as a volunteer. DONNA Oh, but it's not coercion to work on a cell phone and run to Kinko's every ten minutes to send you faxes and emails? JOSH AARP considers you essential. DONNA When do you think I'll get my essential paycheck? Rent's due at the end of the month. JOSH I'll lend you money. DONNA Yeah, but wouldn't that just be emblematic of all these stop-gap continuing resolutions, taking out a loan, begging for an extension rather than grappling with the hard reality of... JOSH You're right. Get a cheaper apartment. DONNA I want to come in and do my job. JOSH Tell me about it. DONNA Stop being a baby and just go. Leo's not going to send you an engraved invitation. JOSH I don't need calligraphy. He knows where my office is. DONNA Well, yeah. Bye. CUT TO: INT. WAR ROOM - DAY C.J., Will, and Toby are gathered around a pizza box and a white board. WILL Social security's an entitlement. TOBY That's what the people who get their checks every month think. C.J. Well, that's one way to make the shutdown seem real to the country: don't mail 11 million checks. WILL It'd be catastrophic if we don't fix this. TOBY FDR will rise from the dead. WILL Millions of angry grandparents are going to march on Washington, burn us in effigy. TOBY Josh is on it. WILL Thousands of grannies in walkers, tens of thousands of ancient veterans on oxygen, singing "We Shall Overcome." TOBY Josh is taking care of it. Leo and Angela enter. LEO We still have their offer. ANGELA They're holding at three percent. WILL Will the President accept it? LEO He has to. TOBY Yeah, but will he? LEO Desperate times call for desperate measures. I made a call. WILL To whom? Leo looks at C.J., who raises her eyebrows. C.J. glances at Toby, who glances at Will. C.J. and Toby look knowing. Will just looks confused. C.J. Really? LEO Yeah. WILL Who? Who'd he call? CUT TO: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - DAY We see the profile of Abbey Bartlet as a car pulls up to the White House. Abbey gets out of the car and walks inside into the WAR ROOM. ABBEY What the hell you all been doing around here while I've been gone? CUT TO: INT. RESIDENCE KITCHEN - DAY Bartlet is making himself a sandwich. Abbey enters the room. ABBEY A bit desperate, Jed. Shutting down the government just to get me back here. BARTLET Apparently it worked. ABBEY Peanut butter and jelly. That's what you're having for dinner? BARTLET The mess is closed. When this is gone, I'm going to have to start in on the grandkid's elbow macaroni. Abbey goes to the fridge and takes out a container of yogurt. ABBEY You sound stuffy. BARTLET Yeah, there's something going around. They said your motorcade arrived an hour ago. Where you been? ABBEY Downstairs, in your war room. BARTLET Oh? ABBEY Which, I noticed, you were not in. What happened? Lose your temper? BARTLET Haffley reneged on the deal. Abbey sits down at the kitchen table. ABBEY So, now you're just sitting up here, waiting for what exactly? Bartlet doesn't answer, ABBEY Your staff wants to bring you an offer. BARTLET [sounding excited] Haffley came to us with a deal? Abbey doesn't answer. ABBEY Dammit, I told Leo no! Did he go ahead and contract the leadership? ABBEY Don't be so melodramatic. They don't understand what you want them to do. Do you know what you want them to do? Bartlet joins her at the table. BARTLET Staying through the holidays? ABBEY Depends on how long it takes your damn government to get back up and running. There's a pause while they eat. ABBEY Jed, where's Josh? CUT TO: INT. WHITE HOUSE CORRIDOR - DAY Leo walks down the hallway towards Josh's office. The hallways are nearly empty, as are the bullpens. In the background, a phone rings, but no one answers. Leo sticks his head in JOSH'S OFFICE. Josh looks up from his desk. LEO The President wants you back in the war room. Josh gets up from his desk, grabs his jacket, and follows Leo down the hallway, hurrying to catch up. FADE OUT. END ACT TWO * * * ACT THREE FADE IN: INT. COMMUNICATIONS BULLPEN – DAY DAY THREE A couple on television stand outside in the cold. The man is speaking to an interviewer. MAN Well, we're supposed to get a $200 fuel subsidy from the government. I called the hotline. Nobody answered. WOMAN I never thought this administration would abandon us. I mean, it's going to be 10 degrees tonight, and we have three kids. C.J. walks across the bullpen towards TOBY'S OFFICE as she puts on her jacket. She is carrying briefing papers. C.J. I'm on my way outside for the briefing. Anything new? TOBY Time/CBS has us down another six points. C.J. I don't think I'm going to bring that up. Josh still in there with Leo and Angela? TOBY Or maybe it's twelve or thirteen, I've lost count. C.J. Toby, we've all been assuming this is the President not understanding what's really going on. He's been so out of it since Zoey, you know, and we've all been protecting him, you, me, Leo. But what if it's something else? They exit Toby's office and begin walking down the HALLWAY. TOBY It's not. C.J. But what if it is? TOBY Republicans have us and they know it. He and Josh are the only ones who don't. Okay, it's something else, like what? C.J. Leadership. C.J. turns to go outside for her briefing. Toby walks into THE WAR ROOM, where Will, Josh, Leo, and Angela are arguing. JOSH The President's already said that three percent is unacceptable. ANGELA That was three days ago! JOSH Three days, three years, it's still unacceptable! ANGELA The Speaker of the House was elected by 115,000 residents of Spokane, Washington. The President was elected by 51 million Americans. TOBY One percent, three percent, five percent, the CR is nothing if we never get around to passing a budget! JOSH We can use Royce... WILL Royce is never going to take on Haffley and Haffley is convinced he's already won. Only because we blinked! [angrily] Of course we blinked, we lost all meaningful support in Congress. And the public is blaming this mess on us. [lowers his voice] The President is going to be down here any minute, Josh, I need unanimity, this is the "come to Jesus" meeting. Josh looks past Leo and sees the President's silhouette on the door. BARTLET Who's coming to Jesus, Leo, me or you? Everyone says "good morning, Mr. President" as Bartlet enters the room. BARTLET Three percent. 60 days. [looks pensive] ANGELA Mr. President, it's a gift. BARTLET Toby? TOBY People are frustrated with both parties. It's a plague on both our houses. LEO We gave it three days to turn in our favor, sir. It didn't. BARTLET Josh? He looks at Leo, who looks back sternly, before answering. JOSH What do you want, Mr. President? BARTLET I want to be able to govern. ANGELA Our bargaining position is weakening every day. There's a deal on the table, Repbulican leadership are in their conference room, waiting for our reply. JOSH Let's go up to the Hill to see them. TOBY We can't go to the Hill. We'll look even more desperate. JOSH The country's waiting for someone to step up. It should be us. LEO Sir, if we go to Haffley's office it will set a dangerous precedent for future negotiations. BARTLET [smiling at Josh] Let's go. LEO Mr. President, you have a video conference with Admiral Vackey of Pac-com at 5:00. Josh puts on his jacket and follows Bartlet towards the door. BARTLET Then I suggest we get a move on. ANGELA They're leaving. LEO Go. She grabs her purse and follows Josh and Bartlet. Leo and Toby look nervous. CUT TO: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - DAY C.J. is doing the press briefing outside. The reporters clamor. C.J. Sharlene. SHARLENE Is there going to be any movement on the part of the President toward a compromise? C.J. I want to reiterate that the talks are ongoing; just not formal negotiations. SHARLENE So you're talking about talking. C.J. We're talking about negotiating. George? GEORGE Is the President going to cancel the state dinner tomorrow night? C.J. I certainly hope not, I bought a shiny new Donna Karan and I'll be very disappointed if it has to stay in my closet. Mark? MARK It's cold out here. C.J. You want me to comment on the weather? Her cell phone chirps. She reaches into her pocket to answer it. MARK I want you to open the Press Room. SHARLENE C.J., where will the President and the Prime Minister be dining then? C.J. I don't know, IHOP? Thank you, everybody. She steps away and answers her phone. C.J. [into phone] Yeah? JOSH Hey, where are you? C.J. I just finished the gaggle. CUT TO: INT. LIMOUSINE - DAY Angela and Josh are sitting next to each other in a limo with the motorcade. JOSH Get back to the press corps. POTUS is going up to the Hill. We're gonna pay a surprise visit to Haffley. C.J., did you hear me? C.J. Okay, I got it. We see the Presidential motorcade drive by tour buses. ANGELA If I have to suffer through Haffley pontificating on Congressional powers and the role of federalism... JOSH He's only been speaker for a few months. He's in over his head. ANGELA Every thing this guy has done has taken us by surprise. JOSH And nothing we've done has surprised him. Bartlet is looking out the window. BARTLET [yelling] Stop the car please! [to Josh and Angela] Kansas plates. That's a long way to travel to find a "closed" sign. The motorcade stops. Secret Service agents get out of the car. Bartlet also gets out and walks over to a group of tourists. BARTLET [smiling and waving] Hello! He shakes hands. Josh walks over to Anglea. ANGELA They'll have a few things to talk about when they get home. Josh's cell phone rings. He answers it. JOSH Yeah. C.J. You there yet? JOSH We stopped to address a group of tourists. C.J. The President is talking to tourists? JOSH Yeah, the bus says Kansas... Blue Jays, Jayhawks, whatever the hell. C.J. You wait another 30 seconds and he'll also be addressing NBC, ABC, and CNN. JOSH Yeah? C.J. Next to you, they're going to interrupt "Days of our Lives." JOSH Thanks. [closes his phone and turns to Angela] How long a walk would you say it is from here to Haffley's office? ANGELA Five or ten minutes. JOSH Secret Service's going to love this. Josh walks up to Bartlet. BARTLET [to the tourists] During the campaign, I visited the Westford Rehabiliation Center there. They're closed today, too because of the shutdown. But if Congress has their way, it will lose 40 percent of it's funding. I'd rather see it shut down for a week than for good. JOSH Mr. President. BARTLET Excuse me. JOSH The Capitol is just a five or ten minute walk from here. Care to stretch your legs? BARTLET I'm sorry folks, I've got a meeting on the Hill. TOURIST You go get them, Mr. President! BARTLET You bet! [to the Secret service agent nearby] Granville? GRANVILLE Sir? BARTLET What do you say we walk the rest of the way? GRANVILLE Yes, sir. [into his walkie talkie] Counter-assault team deploy east. I need two forward positions along Pennsylvania. POTUS is on foot. They all begin walking down Pennsylvania. The President waves to tourists lining the street. The Capitol is ahead in the distance. CUT TO: INT. C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY C.J. is watching the news in her office. Toby joins her. ANNOUNCER The crowd has grown considerably since the President stepped outside of his car to address a group of tourists in front of the National Archives. It appears the President is walking to the Capitol to meet with the Speaker of the House. I have never seen a President walking down the street in my 25 years in Washington. Toby and C.J. smile at each other. CUT TO: INT. CAPTIOL HALLWAY - DAY Bartlet leads the parade of aides and Secret Service. Josh and Angela are right behind him. Photographers snap pictures of him. They pass through the Rotudna. More media join in. Bartlet waits in the hallway as Josh goes to the door of the Republican cloak room and knocks. Royce answers the door. JOSH Hello. President Bartlet is here to see Speaker Haffley. ROYCE We're wrapping up. Please bear with us a minute. We'll be right there. He closes the door. Josh looks surprised. He walks back to where Bartlet and Angela are waiting. JOSH They're finishing something up. BARTLET Then we'll just have to wait. Bartlet walks over to a bench and sits down. Reporters are still snapping photos. CUT TO: INT. REPUBLICAN CLOAK ROOM - CONTINUOUS HAFFLEY It's a stunt! People will see through it, give them some credit! ROYCE The President has come to us. We don't keep him waiting. MAN He's desperate, he wants a deal. Let's bring him in, see what he's got. HAFFLEY We exchange niceties and then what, he counters our offer? We're missing something. The other people in the room are putting on the suit jackets. Royce is about to open the door. HAFFLEY Hold on! Wait! Dammit! We don't go out there until we agree on a game plan! CUT TO: INT. CAPITOL HALLWAY - DAY The President is still sitting on the bench. Photographers continue to snap pictures. Josh and Angela are standing off to one side. ANGELA Seven minutes. We've been waiting seven minutes. This is a disaster. JOSH No. This is great. Josh walks over to Barlet and sits next to him. JOSH Mr. President. BARTLET Hmm? JOSH Let's go. Right now. CUT TO: INT. REPUBLICAN CLOAK ROOM - DAY HAFFLEY Okay, so we stick at three percent, and if he also wants to do the final budget, he finds the 50 billion on his side of the aisle. Agreed? Royce nods. HAFFLEY Then let's get the leader of the free world. Haffley and Rocye walk into the hallway. They look alarmed when they don't see anyone. They walk to the main corridor just in time to see the President's entourage leaving the building. Royce looks annoyed as he stares at Haffley. FADE OUT. END ACT THREE * * * ACT FOUR FADE IN: INT. REPUBLICAN CLOAK ROOM - DAY DAY FOUR Haffley, Royce, and others are watching the television. WOMAN [on T.V.] ...marched to the Capitol while the Republicans cowered in the Speaker's office. MAN [on T.V.] Yeah, but I've got to ask, why was he walking? HAFFLEY Because it was a stunt! WOMAN [on T.V.] ...consoling fellow Americans who had hoped to see the grandeur of their nation's capital, and let me tell you, they did. MAN [on T.V.] It was a stunt, a beautiful, symbolic, crowd-pleasing stunt. Haffley looks pleased. MAN [on T.V.] And I have to admit the Speaker made a huge tactical error by refusing to see the President. Haffley looks chagrined. ROYCE I'll call Russell. HAFFLEY This doesn't change anything. We still get our budget, our caps gain cut. ROYCE You better hope so. CUT TO: INT. WHITE HOUSE CORRIDOR - DAY Abbey walks towards C.J., who is putting on her jacket. ABBEY C.J.! C.J. Mrs. Bartlet. ABBEY On your way to the morning briefing? C.J. Yes, ma'am. ABBEY Can you tell them the First Lady's making chicken? C.J. Ma'am? ABBEY Tonight's state dinner will be just the British Prime Minister and his wife, joining us in the Residence. Coronation chicken, the Queen's own recipe. I thought someone in the press pool might want to watch me dress a nice bird. C.J. Yes, ma'am. Mrs. Bartlet, it's good to have you back. CUT TO: EXT. WHITE HOUSE LAWN - DAY C.J. [to the press pool] The Bartlets will also be serving their guests a Colorado beet salad and California green beans. REPORTERS C.J.! C.J.! C.J. Yeah, Mark? MARK A new Gallup/CNN poll shows the President's popularity ticked up slightly overnight. Do you attribute that to his visit to the Hill? C.J. I attribute it to the President's sincere desire to reach a settlement. Shirley? SHIRLEY Is the President concerned that the shutdown will last through the holidays? CUT TO: INT. WHITE HOUSE WAR ROOM - DAY Marina is cleaning up trash. C.J.'s briefing continues on a television in the background. C.J. [on T.V.] The President is more concerned that special programs will be shut down through holidays to come. Thank you. Toby enters the room, slurping a frappucino. MARINA Oh, sorry, I was going to try to clean up a little before any one got here. TOBY Go ahead. Toby gets out a pen and paper. Marina goes to leave, but pauses as she reads something on a white board near the door. MARINA AmeriCorps, that's that program where they pay you to volunteer, right? TOBY Yeah. MARINA That seems weird. I mean, paying you to volunteer? Isn't it just a job if you get paid? Toby smiles. MARINA It went over something like 50 million bucks, didn't it? TOBY They got more volunteers than they expected. MARINA So you guys can just write a bigger check? I wish my bank would let me do that. TOBY It's a successful program. That's what happens when something succeeds. MARINA 200 billion dollar deficit. You guys must have a lot of really successful programs. TOBY People should get combat pay, they go into inner cities to teach children, with no parents, work in soup kitchens, try to get addicts off the streets. MARINA [nods] You're Toby Ziegler, right? It would be great if you could write me a recommendation for my personnel file. She smiles and leaves. Toby stares after her disbelievingly. Josh, Angela, Leo, and Will all enter the room. LEO Royce isn't coming. TOBY Are you sure? WILL He told the Vice President it would be more productive if Haffley met with the Vice President one on one. TOBY What are they offering? ANGELA Don't know. But Haffley's not going to surrender just because we walked to his office. Leo, is the President up for this? LEO I don't know. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - DAY The President is sitting with Abbey. There is a knock, and the door opens. LEO Excuse me, Mr. President. Hello, Abbey. ABBEY Leo. LEO The Speaker is here. BARTLET Okay. Abbey and Jed get up from their chairs. ABBEY Time for me to go get dressed for dinner. They'll be coming in two hours. Jed, try not to be late. BARTLET I won't. Abbey leaves via the Portico. Bartlet puts on his suit jacket. LEO You sure you want to do this one on one? BARTLET I'll be fine. LEO You can expect him to be very... BARTLET [interrupting] I'll be fine. Leo nods, half-smiles. He turns to leave. BARTLET Leo? These last months, thank you. Thank you for everything. LEO [nodding] I'll send him in, Mr. President. [opens the door to the outer office] Mr. Speaker, please. Haffley enters the Oval Office. Leo leaves, shutting the door. BARTLET Mr. Speaker! HAFFLEY Mr. President. BARTLET [gesturing] Have a seat. Bartlet sits behind his desk. Haffley sits in the chair to his left. BARTLET How are you? HAFFLEY [coughing] I think I'm coming down with a cold. BARTLET Yeah, it's been going around. BARTLET Well, we should get started. Abbey's having the Prime Minister and his wife over for dinner, and I promised to be on time. HAFFLEY Yes, I saw her cooking on CNN. [beat] So. Three percent for 60 days, on a continuing resolution... BARTLET [interrupting] We're not doing another CR, Mr. Speaker. HAFFLEY This room was designed to throw people off-balance. Wyeth's intent was to inspire the English notion of... BARTLET [interrupting] To remind guests that this is the office of the President of the United States, and that the person on this side of the desk [gestures to himself] is the President. HAFFLEY Historically, the Commander-in-chief's purview is foreign policy, while Congress attended to their constituents at home. That's why the Constitution put Congress in charge of the budget. BARTLET [looking amused] And gave the President the veto. Fortunately, your Congress put together a budget. I understand more than 2000 people worked with interest groups, unions, industry, and 535 elected officials to arrive at that 15,000 page document over there. [gestures to the huge budget appropriations bill at the other end of his desk] All 14 appropriations bills, exactly as we left them four days ago. It took us what, ten months to work out our differences on those bills. HAFFLEY We still haven't cut enough spending. BARTLET I agree. I want you to cut agriculture subsidies, and you want me to cut Medicaid, again. You know I'll veto any Medicaid cuts, and I know you won't give me any agriculture cuts. So, here we are. HAFFLEY Then we're back to a continuing resolution, sir, which I can probably pass with a two percent... BARTLET [forcefully] No. We were 100 billion apart, and I met you halfway, at 50 billion. Then we were 50 billion apart, and I suspect if I'd gone down to 25, we'd be 12 billion apart. HAFFELY A billion here, a billion there. We dole it out like candy to children. Welfare paternalism, regulation, taxes, and quotas are why people can't find jobs. BARTLET This administration has created the greatest amount of wealth in history. HAFFLEY Which is a testament to the resilience of the American spirit! Not Washington bureaucrats. BARTLET Not everyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps, Mr. Speaker. HAFFLEY I couldn't agree more. But the solution is for government to get off of people's backs! We could give every student in America 10,000 dollars a year, but instead, we fund the Department of Education. BARTLET [angrily] You're not going to demonize the millions of selfless teachers and public servants who are... HAFFLEY They're trapped in failed system! I can't stand by... BARTLET Well, I'm not going to negotiate with anyone who holds a gun to my head! We had a deal! I don't care if my approval ratings drop into single digits. I am the President of the United States and I will leave this government shut down until we reach an equitable agreement! CUT TO: INT. WHITE HOUSE WAR ROOM - DAY Will is sitting at the table with Josh, Toby, and Angela. They are all slouching in their chairs. No one is doing anything. All are bored and/or nervous as they wait for the President's talk with Haffley to finish. WILL A hundred and ten minutes? TOBY Could mean anything. JOSH It's a good thing. Donna enters the room. JOSH Hey. DONNA Don't call the Feds. I'm just dropping off forms for the Treasury employees. ANGELA So you're the one who saved Social Security. WILL Nice catch. DONNA Thanks. I just wish... There's so much going on, I just wish I could help more. JOSH You hear about the NBA rookie who pulled his first rebound the night Wilt Chamberlain pulled 55? DONNA Mm-mmm. JOSH Said it was the proudest day of his life. Together he and Wilt went for 34 points and 56 rebounds. DONNA I pulled a rebound? JOSH You pulled 11 million. DONNA I'm Wilt Chamberlain? JOSH No, you're the rookie. TOBY It is worth noting that Philadelphia lost that game. Leo enters the room. LEO Haffley just left. Everyone gets up and files out of the room. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - DAY Leo opens the door and enters the room. Angela, Josh, Toby, C.J., and Will follow. President Bartlet is seated at his desk, looking very serious. JOSH What did we get? Another continuing resolution? Bartlet stands. BARTLET No. [beat] A budget. He looks pleased. Leo smiles. C.J. Their cap gains tax cut? BARTLET No. TOBY What about our college tuition tax credit? BARTLET No, but it's a tax cut. Republicans are always in favor of tax cuts, so if we can find a way to make it revenue-neutral next year, it stays. Toby pats Josh on the back. ANGELA The 50 billion gap? BARTLET We'd already done our part, so the Speaker graciously agreed to do his. JOSH Yee-ah! Josh and Toby hug. There's clapping, and everyone is smiling. Bartlet checks his watch. BARTLET Okay, Abbey says I have about five minutes before dinner. What's next? Everyone takes a seat on the couch as they begin talking. The camera pulls back. DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES. FADE TO BLACK. THE END * * * The West Wing and all its characters are a property of Aaron Sorkin, John Wells Production, Warner Brothers Television and NBC. No copyright infringement is intended. Episode 5.08 – "Shutdown" Original Air Date: November 19, 2003, 9:00 PM EST Transcibed by: The Vault