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Here's What's Open During the Government Shutdown - And What's Closed

Here's What's Open During the Government Shutdown - And What's Closed”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed to find the money to reopen the Statue of Liberty as soon as possible, but it remained closed Saturday.

An earlier version of this story misstated the details of a 2013 deal between New York State and the Interior Department.

A USA government shutdown amid a congressional dispute over spending and immigration has forced scores of federal agencies and outposts to close their doors and triggered furloughs for Air Force civilian employees but won't keep Lady Liberty shackled.

According to the National Park Service, 4.5 million people visited Liberty Island in 2016.

Symbols of American promise became emblems of American dysfunction on Saturday when a dispute in Congress over spending and immigration forced scores of federal government agencies and outposts to close their doors.

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is open for visitors Monday, with NY state picking up the tab for the federal workers.

The agency's plan then lays out a schedule for an additional tapering of labor: all employees are called to work for the first half of the first day of a shutdown, and then over the next 20 days, the plan dwindles the workforce down to 120 by the second half of the first day, and all the way down to seven people by day 20.

Yet congressional Republicans and Democrats appeared no closer Saturday to settling their differences over immigration policy and striking an agreement to fund the government.

An extended government shutdown would cost the US economy $6.5 billion every week it lasts, according to an estimate from Standard & Poor's in December. Funds ran out at midnight Friday, leaving 48 hours before the most dramatic effect — the furloughing of almost 1 million federal employees — takes place.

Republicans are insisting the shutdown is less "weaponized" than the last time this happened, in 2013 under President Obama, but it's still sure to have a broad effect across the country and get worse the longer it goes. "And symbolically, you can shut down the government, but you can't shut down the Statue of Liberty".

Most landmarks, such as Independence Hall, which houses the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, will be closed.

As in past shutdowns, federal services were carved into two categories, essential and non-essential, with the essential services set to carry on as normal.

In an unusual move, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, whose department oversees the parks service, said on Twitter that he had personally helped welcome visitors to the World War II memorial on the National Mall in Washington.

"From our point of view, it is a good investment because the revenue we gain from the tourists is multiples of what it will cost to actually pay to open the Statue of Liberty", he said. "But now, we're not allowed to go out there and see it". And Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades National Park and other federally managed natural areas in Florida were partially closed.



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