Fox News has learned that Senate Chiefs of Staff were assembled for a meeting Tuesday afternoon to walk through the specifics of a government shutdown.

The meeting was held specifically to talk about which staff in their offices would be considered "essential" - or in proper shutdown terminology "excepted" --- and what happens with communications and other office functions.

Those staff not deemed "excepted" are not able to use their Blackberries or any other government property during the furlough.

Fox News was told by several aides that the offices now have fairly wide latitude as to who can be deemed "excepted" - though the number of staff remaining at work is to be small, such as Chief of Staff, Legislative Director, and possibly Communications Director and/or Scheduler.