Business lost, research halted: Immediate impacts of government shutdown

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by Chris Patterson

 (CNN) -- With the government shutdown in effect, CNN is following stories of Americans in different walks of life and how they are affected.

 
Business owner, father of 6: 'It has a great impact'
 
Brad Hill operates a gift shop and food service at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island -- both closed in the government shutdown.
 
"We just today laid off 110 employees, including myself," he told CNN's "New Day" Tuesday.
 
This comes after Superstorm Sandy, which closed the site for eight months. During that time, 170 employees were let go.
 
That was "a devastating experience," he sad. "I have six children and it took a lot to go for eight months with little pay."
 
"We are all hoping this is a very short layoff," he said of the government shutdown.
 
As for lawmakers, Hill has a message: "This is the wrong forum to be doing these kinds of activities. They had 364 days to get together on this. This is a time to pass a budget."
 
Government employee: Don't hold the budget hostage
 
Larry Hirsch, a federal employee, already took a financial hit from five furlough days during the summer, which were part of the so-called "sequester."
 
The shutdown means another "reduction in the funds I take home for my family," he said. Despite word that federal employees might ultimately be paid for their time during the shutdown, Hirsch said the uncertainty remains. "It would be nice to know to plan for our family."
 
"We're federal employees. Our job is to implement laws and not to hold budget hostage to a law that's already the law of the land," he said on "New Day," referring to lawmakers.
 
"They have to do their job, get a budget passed, to fund the government and do the services that we're paid to do and American people need."
 
Military wife: We're being used as pawns
 
Janet McIntosh wants Congress to take a salary hit. Under current law, Congress continues to be paid during a shutdown.
 
"See what it feels like to be us, rather than just being up on Capitol Hill, claiming that you're sticking to your values and standing your ground rather than looking for a compromise that helps us, the American people, who put them there," she said on "New Day."
 
Asked whether she feels that she and other members of military families are being used as pawns, she replied, "Yes, I think the government to a certain extent uses the military and our veterans as well as a pawn while playing this game ...It's tiring for military families. The stress and anxiety being brought so close and worrying about what are we going to do."
 
While a deal was reached to ensure members of the military are paid, the shutdown is still affecting military families "in other ways, on top of dealing with sequestration" in recent months as well, McIntosh said.
 
"It makes you question how much they do care about their military and how it is affecting us. It's kind of like they look at us more of like, 'How can we use them for our gain rather than really worrying about the impact it's having on families and service members?'"
 
McIntosh added that her faith in government "takes a hit, definitely."
 
The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America said that while veterans "may be more protected than other constituencies, a government shutdown does not bode well for top priorities within the veterans' community."
 
Business owner: Take away lawmakers' perks
 
John Farr owns a lighting company, which has already taken a financial hit from the government shutdown.
 
"We had an event scheduled at one of the museums in DC today, and it is already canceled. Because of the nature of the event, we don't know if it's coming back," he told "New Day."
 
A lot of his Washington-area business is at the Smithsonian museums. The shutdown, he says, will "impact my business, my employees, caterers, decorators, florists," and numerous others who take part in events at those locations.
 
Some employees might not get any other work, he said.
 
A newlywed, Farr says the shutdown will prevent him from having the funds to make improvements in the company.
 
Asked whether lawmakers should focus on compromise or standing firm on principle, he said, "definitely focus more on compromise. Congressmen and senators have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, and they're not doing it. They're not meeting across the aisle."
 
"Lawmakers should take significant cuts," he added. "Unfortunately, a lot of them are already (so) financially well off that it won't matter to them. But take away their perks, take away their security details, take away their cars, their company parking spots, anything to make them realize that what they're doing is having an impact on them as well as the public."
 
'Incredibly frustrating... public servants aren't serving'
 
Actress Joanna Carpenter has a message for Congress: "Stop wasting my time and my money."
 
"I work very hard and I don't have a lot of money to show for it," she said on "New Day."
 
"Living paycheck to paycheck for the majority of my adult life, it's incredibly frustrating to see people that are in public service that are not serving the public. My taxes are going to your salary. You're still getting paid, taking your family out to dinner. I'm figuring out what I'm going to do next week."
 
'Squabbling like children'
 
C.C. Stinson, an IT consultant, lives with chronic illness. She wants her medications to be more affordable -- and doesn't want Congress bickering over the law.
 
"I kind of feel like it's, essentially, when you go to day care and you pick up your children and you see toddlers, you know, squabbling over a toy," she told "New Day."
 
Scientist can't research
 
Reheem Bello didn't see it coming.
 
He studies aerospace engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington.
 
On Tuesday, due to the shutdown, he found that he couldn't do his research computations, because all NASA websites were down, he told CNN on Facebook.
 
'No difference from any other day'
 
But some Americans say they are not immediately feeling any repercussions from the shutdown.
 
"I can tell absolutely no difference from any other day," Darren Gaskin wrote on Facebook. "Now that the government is shut down, can you make them shut up?"
 
"It really does not affect me in any way," echoed Andrew Pogue.
 
As CNN has reported, the government shutdown will affect Americans' daily lives.
 
Still, some Americans say that so far, the primary impact they're feeling involves their understandings of the government.
 
"I no longer have even an iota of faith in the US congress," Nicole Davis said on Twitter.

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