Politics

Delayed marriage, closures and lots of garbage — what the U.S. government shutdown looks like

The partial U.S. government shutdown is causing trouble in several ways as it approaches the two-week mark without an end in sight.

The closure was prompted by U.S. President Donald Trump‘s demand for billions of dollars to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Newly minted Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said Congress will quickly pass legislation to reopen the government without funds for the border wall, but the exact plans remain unclear. Congressional leaders are set to meet with the president for negotiations Friday.

Trump has insisted that the government will be closed for “as long as it takes” in his fight to get funding.

Meanwhile, the government’s closure has led to real problems for average citizens as federal agencies have stopped all non-essential work. Many have taken to social media using the hashtag #ShutdownStories to share their grievances.

No garbage pickup

One of the most obvious is the lack of garbage cleanup. Photos have popped up of overflowing garbage cans in Washington and beyond.

At the country’s national parks, non-emergency services have been halted — meaning garbage disposal, no clean washrooms, no snow plowing and more.

Garbage overflows a trash can on the National Mall across from the White House on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.

Trash begins to accumulate along the National Mall near the Washington Monument due to a partial shutdown of the federal government on December 24, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

The National Parks Services issued a statement about the shutdown, saying the parks remain open but aren’t at their optimal status.

Yosemite National Park announced on Wednesday new access limitations during busiest hours due to problems with human waste and damage to resources during the shutdown.

Some states have stepped up to pay for the parks to operate. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the Statue of Liberty will be cleaned and open to tourists as normal.

No marriage license

One Washington, D.C.-based couple took to social media to share that their wedding plans were slightly dampened when they weren’t able to get a marriage license.

Dan Pollock shared a photo of himself and his fiancee on Twitter, writing the D.C. marriage bureau was closed. The couple held their wedding anyway — without getting legally married.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsG5JpUhB6Q/

Can’t call it an official wedding until the gov reopens, so until then, I leave you with this: we closed out 2018 with a really really really good party with those we love most. Thankful beyond measure to enter 2019 with the love of my life and brand new husband (!) @danpollock. #mybigfakegreekwedding

A post shared by Dani Geanacopoulos (@danielleyvette) on

Museums, research centres closed

Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., such as the Natural History Museum and National Museum of African American History and Culture, are closed amid the government shutdown.

The National Archives and Records Administration and the National Arboretum are also closed. Staff are still present to care for animals at the National Zoo, but it is closed to visitors.

“We plan to maintain the current level of care for the animals, and that’s not going to change no matter what,” said National Zoo spokeswoman Annalisa Meyer.

The figure of a panda is seen behind a sign telling the public that the National Zoo is closed due to the partial government shutdown in Washington, D.C., Jan. 2, 2019.

In a statement, the American Association for the Advancement of Science explained that federally employed scientists and researchers are also unable to continue their work.

“Any shutdown of the federal government can disrupt or delay research projects, lead to uncertainty over new research, and reduce researcher access to agency data and infrastructure,” the statement read.

A sign declares the National Archives is closed due to a partial federal government shutdown in Washington, U.S., Dec. 22, 2018.

Delayed paycheques

Several more #ShutdownStories were shared on social media, with some government employees saying they won’t be paid on time.

CBS News explained that some federal employees are showing up to work without pay, while others are not working at all.

The news outlet said the partial shutdown puts as many as 800,000 workers at risk of not getting a paycheque.

Randy Erwin, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, told CBS News that some workers are taking extra measures to save money amid the uncertainty.

“We had federal employees who were literally taking Christmas presents that were wrapped and ready to give, and taking them back to the store. They were hunkering down for lean times,” Erwin said.

— With files from The Associated Press

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