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The Call Blog: Government Shutdown Taking A Toll On Many New Yorkers

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Have something to tell us at The Call? Drop us a line at thecall@ny1.com and we'll post it to our blog.



That sound you hear is laughter coming from around the world. How can it be that America sends billions of dollars in aid to other countries every year, yet we can't pay our own workers? And soon, we may not be able to pay our debts. It's a sad state of affairs.



Day two of the partial federal government shutdown showed small signs of movement today, but no budget deal was reached. President Obama summoned Congressional leaders to the White House, but said he will not negotiate heath care in return for a deal. Some 800,000 employees are out of work because Democrats and Republicans cannot reach an agreement on next year's fiscal plan.

Here in New York City, furloughed workers facing the prospect of going days or weeks without a paycheck vented to NY1 News. Earlier today, an engineer for the EPA said he felt federal employees were "being treated as pawns" in a political game. Do you agree?

If you are directly affected by the partial government shutdown, what has this week been like for you? Should President Obama and the Democrats consider delaying the Affordable Care Act so the government gets up and running again? When and how do you envision this stalemate ending?

Send your thoughts using the link above.



My boyfriend and many of my friends work at the Statue of Liberty for a company called Evelyn Hill, Inc. The company is responsible for the food and retail services on the island. The government shutdown closes the park, which in turn means my boyfriend and my friends are unable to work. This, after both Ellis Island and the Statue were closed for many months following Super Storm Sandy, is having a huge negative impact on Evelyn Hill and it's employees. Many of the employees that work for EHI are hourly workers who depend on every penny from their paychecks to support themselves and their families. At this point I am not so interested in the politics of the shutdown, but more the fact that my family and friends are being hurt financially. I hope that some sort of resolution can be made so that these people and many others may return to work.

A major difference between the EHI employees and the federal employees is that the federal employees have the opportunity to receive back pay once the shutdown is over. Every day that the government remains closed is another day that these particular workers won't earn wages. My boyfriend and I have a three year old daughter and he helps to support us. I personally have a job elsewhere (although I used to work on Ellis Island several years ago) so our income is not completely cut off. I am very angry that this is happening and wish there was a way to stop it, it is painful to know that the government employees who are causing my family to suffer will not incur any kind of penalty.

I'm sure there is so much more that I can share, but I will cut it off here. The Statue and Ellis are very important to my life and hold a special place there. I only want to get this story out for awareness. I'm pretty sure there isn't much that can be done to resolve this other than the government working out their differences.

Thanks for reading!
Lindsey



I really empathize with the furloughed workers and to think that this could end promptly if speaker Boehner had the fortitude to stand up to Ted Cruz and his contemptuous tea party band of anarchist.

Felix
Bay Ridge



I will not be supporting a single seating representative come election time. They have played us like fiddles and I for one think it is time they go. This applies to NYS as well as the Fed...

Roscoe,
Park Hill



If the President or the Senate give in to these blackmailers -- and that is what they are, hostage-takers who are holding the government for ransom -- on this, then this will be the "new normal" for operating the government, and it will be the end of the government as we know it. And for THAT reason, they cannot compromise. It's as simple as that.

Bruce
Upper West Side



John,

With 800,000 government workers idled and with no ill effects on the nation, the conclusion is they are not needed. Let them go permanently.

Don't delay Obamacare, kill it before it poisons the nation.

Joe W.
Port Richmond, SI



This whole business is making me sick and disgusted.

Woo
Canarsie



John,

This shutdown is really disgusting. Federal employees have families to feed, bills to pay not to mention the stress they are dealing with knowing that their future is uncertain.

We really need term limits for congress..john boehner and his cronies on both side of the aisle are the same old faces Americans have been looking at for years. Personally I get sick to my stomach looking at them as they ruin the lives of working class people.

Federal employees should be put back on the job immediately.

Kate
Midtown East



“THE ONLY WAY WE ARE GOING TO GAIN CONTROL OVER OUR GOVERNMENT IS TO TAKE THE MONEY OUT OF IT. SERVING IN GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE A CALLING TO SERVE THE PEOPLE OF OUR GREAT NATION AND NOT A CAREER FOR ONES OWN PERSONAL GAIN. WHEN, I WAS IN THE ARMY, I WAS TOLD,” ‘ THE REASON SOLDIERS DID NOT MAKE MORE MONEY THAN POLICE-OFFICERS WAS THAT WE WERE PERFORMING A SERVICE FOR OUR NATION. WHY SHOULD SERVING IN OUR GOVERNMENT BE ANY DIFFERENT. GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE A NONE PROFIT ORGANIZATION.

AFTER SUFFERING 911, IT IS NOT ONLY IRRESPONSIBLE TO SHUTDOWN OUR GOVERNMENT, IT IS BORDERING ON TREASON.

JEFF, FROM HARLEM.



Hi John,

Of course this is hurting many people and I fully understand that since I as many others have been put in this predicament at one time or another. I believe that it is the responsibility of both Republicans and Democrats. What validated my conclusion is the best test was when Sandy hit our shores. Local politicians all from New York City and State. Just what have any of them accomplished? They trip over one another to get a photo op and that’s the extent of them even caring one iota as to what happened to all of these people that had to live in all the squalor and some are still having problems. There is definitely to much government and to much of tax and spend. All of these politicians never fell as though they need to give an answer to any of us other than if they start to feel the heat a little and then they all play the BLAME GAME!! [WELL THE HEAT IS ON NOW] [WE NEED ANSWERS]

Thank you John,
maxxiee
mp



I came from Brazil for the first time to NY and a bought the NY City pass to see the museums. They are all closed and this is frustrating. I don't now when I am going to came back and I'll miss the chance to see the things I've planned for a year. I'm going to lose money and leave NY feeling sad. They could open only for turist at least. We shouldn't be punished for these disagreement. It's just sad!!!

Karen.
Turist from Brazil



Racism and poverty are deeply entrenched in the Deep South which is where these republican derelicts come from. They (rich, white, powerful people) are deathly afraid of any changing of the status quo in the states they represent. They are what is holding this country back from being on parity with other Western industrial nations.

Frances
East Village



It's too late for the tea bubbas and the GOP to make Obama a one-term President, but it's not too late for America's voters to make Congress a one-party legislature. The Republican Party is so over, and it, its agenda, and its tactics have become unacceptable in a democracy governed by the rule of law.

These self-styled "patriots," by causing damage to our economy and to the health, safety, and welfare of the American people, have committed an act of terrorism as defined by international law, and, by using procedural technicalities to undermine the U.S. Constitution, have violated their oath of office. And, of course, these are the same people who believe, erroneously, that the Second Amendment empowers Americans to keep and bear arms so that, when their duly constituted government [ticks] them off, they can overthrow it as if it was some occupying colonial power.

Whether these Teapublicans are evil, or just plain crazy, they are dangerous to the American people and to the American way of life. Yes, even complete idiots should have a voice and a seat at the table, but these buffoons have had too much power for far too long, have abused that power by threatening to destroy our legislatively mandated governmental processes, and must be stopped.

We must teach these terrorists and their party a lesson, both in the next Congressional elections and in State and local elections across the country. When this cabal of petulant, ignorant, elitist, bigoted, fear-mongering, bible-thumping, sabateurs is on its knees, perhaps they will come to realize that public service means to serve the public and not victimize it, to respect the rule of law and not thwart it, and to do what is right, just, and humane for those of us lucky enough to live in what I still believe to be the greatest country in the world.

BIG ANDY
Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn



Its disgusting, and the congressional members should be the first on the furlough chopping block not the people who elected them to do a JOB, which each year they have systemic ally failed at. Romper Room is over, the tantrums need to end. These are peoples livelihood you are held responsible for. Stop your nonsense and get back to work NOW!

Nancy, Lower Manhattan



Maybe if we give our "leaders" minimum wage and no health care they'll work harder. America has been not a super power but a big super joke.

Let's stand together and actually be united.

Daniel



If Schumer is so concerned about Obamacre for the public , why is he not eliminating the waver for members of Congress. Good for the public, but not for them. Why should we pay for them.

Pearl from Queens



They had to close The National Zoo because it couldn't compete with the Congressional Circus.

Michael In Greenpoint



why don't the republicans get it? they lost. we voted for Obama on this platform. the people have spoken.

Kevin
Chelsea



I am a Vietnam era vet, i receive a non service connected pension, igot my ch eck this month but who know's what w ill happen next, these guys have to kno w that anybody darker than a glass of water will never vote for them again e ven after death,

Frank in Harlem.



Hi John,

I think this will end when the lobbyists and the corporate donors start to feel the pressure of a default. Corruption got us into this mess; maybe it can get us out of it.

Jordan
Flushing



I think the crux of the Republican argument is that they want to reduce spending and stop the borrowing from China. Problem is all of American jobs have been shipped overseas and there is nothing left in the budget to afford O'bama- Care.

Steve
Malone. N.Y.



I am a Federal employee. I also work with the Social Security Administration. I was told to stop work and do not return to work until the stop work is over. Although checks will go out this month, there are many services that will not be available or processed. I do not know if I will be paid retroactively. This is a minor concern when you consider all of the services from various agencies that are held hostage. I hold the Cruz Crew responsible. He wasted the tax dollars of the American people when he stood and "Green Eggs and Ham" as his reference point. I hope that the Majority Speaker develops a back bone and stands up to the few that are the cause of this shut down. When I recited my oath, I pledged allegiance to the United States of America, not the PAC or constituents that are voting for me. Perhaps Cruz should read the Pledge he recited and reacquaint himself with patriotism.

Lynn
SSA



Since when do the elected officials - elected by the people, to work for the people - stop representing the people. By the way-where in the world is Cruz? Dropped the ball and ran.

Remyss, Lower East Side



The Republican Party has bad ideas or no ideas, yet they are standing together creating a stalemate for president Obama. They are disrupting peoples lives and livelihood! We are not a democratic country after all.

Sue
Astoria NY



Boehner Should stop insisting on the the republicans not to pass/approve health plan for all. republicans should not be on Boehner side and should vote on what is best for the country which is Obama Care. health insurance for all.

Carmen P.



This isn't a stalemate by which progress is the first word, this action by right wing conservatives, is a stinging example of fiscal cowardice, and a desperate attempt to play political poker as a last resort. The only way this shutdown will really end, is when the "greed is good" mentality is washed away, and replaced by a merging interface of comprehensive directives.

Michael in Woodside



People be scared, very scared........

Carmen
Bay Ridge



This is payback for when the president and congress passed Obamacare without the Republicans. I hear the Democrates complaining on your program but remember there are representatives from another 49 states that might see it alot different from us New Yorkers.

George from Brooklyn



We elect divisive politicians so we asked for it. Shame on US.

Anonymous

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