October 1st, 2013
07:31 AM ET

Government Shuts Down: What’s Open, What’s Closed?

It’s official, more than 800,000 thousand federal employees are furloughed as a result of the government shutdown in effect as of today.

During the last shutdown 17 years ago, Congress approved retroactive pay for employees facing furlough status, but there's no guarantee it will happen again. Meanwhile Social Security checks are still going out.

But the question many are asking this morning is, what stays open and what closes during the shutdown?

While the post office will still operate, passport offices will continue to function, air traffic control, border protection, and the Department of Defense will also remain active, all 401 national parks are closed for business.

National monuments, archive museums as well as many zoos and most presidential libraries are also on the list of closures. This includes the Statue of Liberty,  Smithsonian's National Zoo and the Grand Canyon—a groan for millions of tourists vacationing here in the U.S. who are being greeted by CLOSED signs at the country’s biggest attractions.

“Not only will the states lose millions of tourist dollars daily, but for the tourists, this disruption in their vacation plans, likely not covered by trip insurance,” reports CNN’s Christine Romans.

The shutdown is sure to take a toll on the employees at these iconic sites as well, like those who work on Liberty Island.”

Liberty Island employee Quinn Agard says, "It has a big impact on the check."

“And not only are employees at national monuments staying at home today, 97% of NASA employees are closing the office doors on the agency's 55th birthday,” Romans says.

Even locally-owned businesses around in the nation’s capital are concerned that the lack of tourists will dry up their income as well.

Tripp Burdett, a bartender at Kelly's Irish Times says in D.C. says, "...when half the city is unemployed or doesn't have a paying job, this could become Detroit in close to two months."

Americans are clearly feeling the brunt of the shutdown from coast to coast.

"Our economy is going to be affected by it and that is scary,” says Diane Schwenke, CEO of Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce. “It's too much for normal middle and lower class people to deal with right now."

Romans says that if the shutdown continues for a month or longer, it means “a $55 billion hit to the economy from lost wages, contracts, unfilled orders, uncollected fees.”

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  1. Barbara

    Enjoyed Chris' interview with Rep. Issa. How about trying to equate the reactionary Republicans to the Southerners who tried to nullify laws in the years leading up to the Civil War.

    October 1, 2013 at 8:23 am | Reply

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