Sunday, December 21, 2014

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Statue Of Liberty Reopens Under State Funded Deal

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TWC News: Statue Of Liberty Reopens Under State Funded Deal
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The Statue of Liberty reopened to the public Sunday morning after the state agreed to shoulder the costs of running the site during the government shutdown.

The state will pay nearly $370,000 to allow National Park Service employees to get back to managing the landmark monument until October 17.

Ferry trips from Battery Park resumed at 9 a.m.

Tickets went on sale at 8:30 a.m.

"It's just a really big monument, big part of New York so I was really happy just to be able to come," said one young tourist.

"I was kid of upset when I found out I might not be able to go inside," said another young tourist.

It's also welcome news for ferry operators and park rangers who have been affected by the shutdown.

"Folks think that perhaps, 'Oh it's great the government can have a vacation for a little while and stuff.' Not this staff. My staff we're dedicated, we love this place," said Statue of Liberty Superintendent David Luchsinger.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the statue and the millions of dollars in tourist revenue it brings in are critical for the economy.

"It makes obvious sense for us to pay for the cost of operation which pales in comparison to the amount of money we're now losing," Cuomo said.

Some visitors to the landmark even said the Republicans and Democrats in Washington could learn from the ideals embodied by the Statue of Liberty.

"They just need to talk to each other and work it out. I mean, start cooperating with each other, quit arguing like we're separated. We're supposed to be connected and united together," said one tourist.

Governor Cuomo says he worked directly with the White house to reopen the monument. And even though the initial deal is only for six days, he's vowing to keep Lady Liberty open no matter how long the shutdown lasts.

Meanwhile, it was the Senate's turn Sunday to try to break the budget gridlock on Capitol Hill.

President Barack Obama was scheduled to meet with Senate leaders again as lawmakers work to try to end the partial government shutdown and avert a U.S. default.

On Saturday, a test vote in the Senate failed on a measure that would have extended the debt ceiling through next year.

Majority Leader Harry Reid says there's a long way to go in fiscal negotiations.

Leaders in the House also are not getting any closer to a deal.

House Speaker John Boehner says talks with President Obama have stalled.

Congressional leaders left the Hill early, so a vote in the House won't come until Monday night.

The partial government shutdown is now entering its second week, and the nation will hit the so-called debt ceiling on Thursday.

If Congress doesn't raise the limit by the 17th, the country will default on its payments for the first time. ClientIP:,, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP