Season 5 – Episode 8 – “Shutdown”

Episode Summary:

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.

Script:

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

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