Gridlock in Washington has created some headaches and disappointment across the country, including in New York City, where national parks and federal offices were closed Tuesday. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
Give me your tired, your poor. Just not today. The shut-down federal government has shuttered the Statue of Liberty.
It's the same situation at other national parks in the five boroughs. At Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island, a closed sign had many people turned back at the gate. In Queens, Don Riepe of the American Littoral Society said that a rare tour of migrating hawks at Fort Tilden this weekend is likely off.
"I think it's a shame," Riepe said. "All these people looking to get out in the national park and recreate, and now, they can't. We'll have to wait and see. Hopefully they will resolve the issues and be back on track."
It's not just national parks that are closed. A number of federal offices are, too, or parts of them deemed non-essential.
Larry Hirsch, American Federation of Government Employees: We cannot work. There are some employees that are deemed essential that can come in to work. We are not allowed to work.
Q:What happens if you do?
Hirsch: It's a violation of law.
George Venizelos, a top local FBI official, said that agents are working, but without pay, for now.
"It's going to be a struggle for most people, with the uncertainty of a paycheck, and people have rent payments, mortgage payments, so there's a lot of uncertainty," Venizelos said. "But we're professionals. We stay focused. We have a job to do."
For now, you can still get passports and food stamps, and social security benefits still flow. Housing funding, though, is jeopardized. So is money aiming to recover after Hurricane Sandy.
The only thing in ample supply is confusion.
Don't try to find someone on the phone. You may get a message like, "During the federal government shutdown, staff will not be available to answer your inquiry."
Then, there's the trickle-down effect. Federal employees not coming to work means fewer coffees ordered from vendors.
"Our business is going to lose money. New York City's going to lose money," said one vendor. "So they need to come to some kind of conclusion."
When that will be, no one is saying.
Gov't Shutdown: What's Affected?
Nearly 1 million and a half active duty personnel will now have their paychecks delayed, including those serving overseas.
Close to 400,000 civilian contractors are furloughed effective immediately.
Veterans Affairs services will stay open.
Air traffic controllers will also remain on the job.
The TSA and the Department of Homeland Security are open.
The State Department will continue to process visa and passport applications, and immigration services will continue to handle green card applications.
Federal courts will continue normal operations for 10 days. After that, they will start to furlough non-essential staff.
The Justice Department will keep prosecuting criminal cases.
Social Security and Medicare checks will still go out as would unemployment checks.
Food stamps and school breakfast and lunch are unaffected by the shutdown.
The Food and Drug Administration will suspend routine safety inspections, except for the highest-risk cases.
The Centers for Disease Control is drastically scaling back their ability to investigate outbreaks, including the flu virus.
The U.S. Postal Service will continue day to day mail delivery.