Natalie Rosenfelt, who was also passing time at the Sixth & I synagogue, is a furloughed attorney for the Justice Department, where about 15.5 percent of workers are deemed non-essential.
She said it is "unfortunate that we had to get to this point," but she's "very hopeful that in the coming days, things, they will be able to come together and realize that having the government shutdown is not a great thing for the country and they will come to a resolution."
T.J. Pepping, a post-graduate intern at the Environmental Protection Agency said it's "irresponsible" of Congress and "unsettling," because there is "not a guarantee" that he and his colleagues will be "retroactively paid as they were in the past."
"A lot of my friends who aren't in DC have been asking how the vacation is going to be, but it's not a vacation, even though we have the time off so to speak, it's kind of unsettling, that there is just not a clear end to it, and I feel like a lot of the federal workers are kind of just caught up in this tug-o-war between the Congress," Pepping said.
Federal employees may be the ones feeling the squeeze of the shutdown the most, but it is also affecting tourists.
Hoffman's friend Gordon Elliott, who was on that short trip to Washington, said he was disappointed that he missed seeing the National Gallery, but was spending part of his trip looking at DC's architecture instead.
As for the shutdown, Elliot said he thinks the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, sounds like "a really good proposition and something needs to be done with the healthcare system."
Eddie Smith, who was visiting with a group of 10th grade students from North Carolina, told ABC News at Union Station they usually rely on the free attractions that Washington has to offer. All of the 19 museums of the Smithsonian Institution are free, as well as the National Zoo, and all of the monuments.
Smith said that on past trips they have relied heavily on those now-shuttered stops, but "now we're having to find things that are going to cost us a little money that we hadn't budgeted for the trip…and just not seeing the city at its best."
"We wish politicians could work together versus being so political minded towards their party that they wind up allowing something like this to happen," Smith said.
ABC News' Nicole Rossoll contributed to this story.