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Shutdown: 8 things you can’t do

By Mark Hamrick · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Posted: 2 pm ET

With the failure of Congress and the president to come to an agreement on a budget, the federal government began a partial shutdown as the new fiscal year began Oct. 1. "Nonessential" federal workers have been furloughed, and many services Americans rely upon are affected.

But what are some of the things you won't be able to do? We've compiled a short list.

  1. You won't be able to visit a national park. Not only are the parks closed, but the National Park Service website has been taken offline. This includes monuments such as the Statue of Liberty, others in Washington, D.C., as well as parks across the U.S. such as Yosemite, which is celebrating its 123rd anniversary as a national park.
  2. No national museums either. Had you planned on visiting the the Smithsonian Institution this weekend? Think again. Although billed as the world's largest museum and research complex, including the National Zoo, its facilities around Washington, D.C., as well as two facilities in New York, are all closed.
  3. You won't be able to watch the panda cam! Thanks to the shutdown, your daily afternoon pick-me-up of watching baby pandas waddle around has been taken away. While some members of Congress joked that the National Zoo's panda cam live stream will be a casualty of the government shutdown, it actually is offline. If you have your heart set on watching animals in real time, the San Diego Zoo has several available to fill the void.
  4. No calling the Internal Revenue Service for free income tax help. "Hi, you've reached the IRS call center. Sorry we're not here to take your call right now; our government arm has been shut down." While this isn't the exact message, the Internal Revenue Service does have a recorded message indicating that all IRS offices are closed. At last check, the IRS website was operating.
  5. Good luck getting a new or replacement Social Security card. Want to replace your Medicare card? Sorry, you can't get that either. Thankfully, Social Security payments will continue as before -- at least for the time being.
  6. That first trip overseas may need to be postponed. If you'd planned on stopping by a local passport office to submit a new application, you're out of luck. While expedited passports already in the system are still being processed, new applications aren't being taken. You're stuck stateside till all this passes.
  7. No business loans from the Small Business Administration. Would-be entrepreneurs will have to look elsewhere because the SBA is one of the government arms that have closed.
  8. That research paper on Abe Lincoln will have to wait. All of the locations associated with the National Archives, including presidential libraries, are closed.

Follow me on Twitter: @hamrickisms.

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29 Comments
Charles
October 13, 2013 at 8:13 am

The Congress and senate, as well as the President should not get paid, if they can not do their work!

Patrick Murphy
October 13, 2013 at 2:57 am

and after all of this is done and settled you, the voters, will "PUT THEM RIGHT BACK IN OFFICE AGAIN!!!"

George
October 13, 2013 at 2:27 am

Donna, you are right on point! How many of us could just keep on spending more than our income and borrowing money to cover the deficit. Well, that is what is happening in Washington DC.

The struggle over the budget is between those who would look to cut the government spending on nonessential services so at least to being the process of cutting down the building deficit. Obama and his cronies want unlimited spending with no strings attached. If Obama gets his way, the Chinese and the Arabs will own the rest of this country by the time Obama leaves office ... if he does.

mrs. marta tennant
October 13, 2013 at 1:55 am

THIS SHUTDOWN IS REALY MAKING A SEVERE HARSHIP NOT BEING ABLE TO GET THE SERVICE WE NEED FROM GOVERNMENT AGENCIES LIKE SOCIAL SECURITY, NOT EVEN GET NECESARRY FORMS TO FILL OUT ON LINE.

patty rupp
October 13, 2013 at 1:27 am

The behavior of the people we voted into office is disgusting. They act like a bunch of kindergarten children....if you don't give me this I won't give you that! Grow up is what they need to do and quickly before we are completely down the tubes. They all need to be fired, that is right fired! Obviously they have forgotten they work for us. There will be a revolt in this country before too long. People are only going to take just so much of this from Washington before they explode. I may not be around to see it but it will happen and yes they still get their paychecks so the shutdown isn't important to them, their children get to eat and they can pay their bills. If they thought foreclosure of a few years ago was bad just wait!

Kyle
October 13, 2013 at 1:05 am

everyone's so much cooler online....

FAYE
October 13, 2013 at 12:04 am

I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW, IF CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT ARE GETTING PAID. I WOULD LIKE THEM, TO TAKE A LOOK AT ALL THE CHILDREN THAT ARE GOING TO BED EVERY NIGHT HUNGRY, ALSO THE SENIORS THAT CANT AFFORD FOOD OR THEIR MEDICINE. WHY CANT THEY GET THERE ACT TOGHTER, AND STOP ACTING LIKE CHILDREN.

Jonathan In the Big Sky
October 12, 2013 at 11:45 pm

There is only one question I want answered and that is: Who do the men and women of the United States Government work for? Because it sure as hell isn't the people who voted them into office. I think it is high time they be held responsible for the inactivity they have perpetuated over the last 5 years. Either quit squabbling across the aisle or turn in your resignation and allow somebody who wishes to work for the people of this country to get in and do the job.

Donna
October 12, 2013 at 11:31 pm

The closing a few gov. offices and web sites is a small price to pay if it will help our elected officials stop spending our children's and grandchildren's future. When is Washington going to stop spending money they don't have. When is Congress and the President going to be responsible and make a budget and live by it????????????

Kathy in the Wallowas
October 04, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Note - just heard from a current fed that you cannot get a loan from your TSP account. Congress has shut down access to the money YOU contributed. (And when they want to, they borrow from it.)

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