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White House lines of communication shut down, literally, as stalemate continues

Those looking to vent frustration at the White House about the partial federal shutdown have two fewer ways to complain as the executive branch's switchboard and phone line for comments have been taken offline while the stalemate continues. 

"Hello, you have reached the Executive Office of the President," a recording says. "We apologize, but due to the lapse in federal funding, we are unable to take your call ..."   

The message adds that the lines will resume operation once a budget agreement has been reached and funding returns. "Please call back at that time.  Thank you," it says. 

The phone system isn't the only communications tool not being maintained by the White House during the stalemate that's well into its second week.  Soon after federal funding lapsed on Oct. 1, the White House website displayed a pop-up message claiming information on the site may not be up to date due to workers being furloughed. 

The Office of Management and Budget says of the more than 1,700 White House employees, around 450 are deemed essential and remain on the job. Senior aides who remain in the West Wing are handling day-to-day tasks and scheduling normally done by lower-level staffers. 

The White House canceled President Obama's planned trip to Asia for a series of trade summits and the vice president has canceled several domestic events including a campaign trip to stump for New Jersey Senate candidate Cory Booker. 

Congressional Republicans say the president should use the time at home to talk to them about how to move forward but an aide to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Tuesday that Obama reiterated he won't negotiate on federal funding or a debt ceiling increase. 

The White House says the president is willing to negotiate after the threat of the partial shutdown and default are taken off the table. 

The Associated Press contributed to this story.