Bartlet and the Speaker of the House continue to disagree about the budget, and the fiscal crisis results in the federal government being shut down. Opinion polls show that Americans blame the Democrats for the halt within the government, damaging the administration’s approval ratings. Josh, Leo, and Toby send the rest of the staff home while Bartlet unfolds a bold plan to challenge the Republicans and get the administration up and running once again. Meanwhile, Abbey emerges from her brief self-imposed hiding for a state dinner that she may have to cook for.
Episode number: 5x8 Production Number: 176058 Airdate: Wednesday November 19th, 2003