Workers feel impact of government shutdown - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Workers feel impact of government shutdown

Updated:
The IRS office in Indianapolis was shut Tuesday. The IRS office in Indianapolis was shut Tuesday.
Federally-run tourist attractions around DC are shut down. Federally-run tourist attractions around DC are shut down.
WASHINGTON, DC -

It's been 12 hours since the U.S. government shut down and the impact is being felt across the country. More than 800,000 federal employees are now on furlough while thousands of national parks, museums and even parts of military bases are locked shut.

Hours after government agencies began the first shutdown in seventeen years, lawmakers were no closer to reaching an agreement.

Republicans insist on defunding or delaying the Affordable Care Act, but President Obama and Senate Democrats say they won't negotiate on those terms.

"Speaker Boehner and his band of Tea Party radicals have done the unthinkable. They have shut down the federal government," said Sen. Harry Reid (D-Senate Majority Leader).

"They'd rather shut down the government than protect people from Obamacare," said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Senate Minority Leader).

The House passed an early morning resolution to send the fight to a conference committee, but Democrats refuse to continue debate on a law passed three and a half years ago and upheld by a Supreme Court challenge.

Tuesday, the health care exchanges opened to uninsured Americans as scheduled.

What's not open today are non-essential government offices and agencies to Washington's National Zoo, national museums and parks, and 800,000 federal workers are off the job until further notice. Several government agencies including NASA have posted messages on their websites explaining that they won't be able to answer user questions until the furlough ends.

Indiana impact

The partial federal government shutdown is sending hundreds of workers at north-central Indiana's Grissom Air Reserve Base and the state's national parks onto unpaid furlough.

Grissom spokesman Lt. Col. Gary Lockhard says about 600 full-time civilian employees and Air Force reservists were furloughed Tuesday after Congress failed to break a budget impasse. About 25 air traffic controllers and 50 base security staff will remain on duty.

The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is closed and 50 staffers are furloughed, but park deputy superintendent Garry Traynham says police and fire staff aren't affected.

The Hoosier National Forest has starting shuttering its campgrounds at the 200,000-acre southern Indiana forest and 45 staffers are now furloughed.

Property spokeswoman Judi Perez says people will still be able to access the forest because it isn't fenced.

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