Transcript for U.S. Government Closed For Business for Non-Essential Employees
As we come on the air right now here is what is happening coast to coast cross this country. It's day one of the first government shutdown in 17 years and we are seeing 800,000 workers coast to coast sent home without pay. Monuments and museums turn around school children. World war ii veterans had to push their way forward to honor their fallen. Everywhere tonight americans are saying they're fed up with the congressmen who dig in and force the u.S. Government to screech to a halt. We begin with abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl in washington on the outrage and what comes next. Reporter: We are one day in this shutdown and not a single step closer to resolving the impasse. Today the president accused republicans of lodging a crusade against obama care while he rejected their latest offer to re-open part of the government. A world war ii veteran made the trek from mississippi to washington only to see this, the memorial dedicated to their service closed. World war ii infantriman james nations had no idea. We didn't know anything about it being shut down. We didn't watch the news this morning. Reporter: Somebody, not clear who, got the barricade lifted long enough that they could get in. The shutdown hit 800,000 federal workers around the country the hardest, no work, no pay. I life from paycheck to paycheck unfortunately. These are real people's lives being affected and ruined. I'm getting tired of feeling like a ping-pong ball. Reporter: The whole mess started with a twisted game of political ping-pong, the first volley a week ago friday, the republicans house passing a government funding bill that defunded obama care. A week later the senate rejected it. The house tried a slightly different investigation sunday, the senate rejected and then back and forth twice more yesterday. Today republicans sat across from empty chairs saying democrats refuse to negotiate while president obama placed the blame entirely on republicans. This shutdown did not have to happen. Reporter: That's why people all over the country are finding government parks and facilities shut down. Bunch a jerks. It's not fair. We have families that they need to support and they're playing with our livelihood. It's crazy. Holding the government hostage over obama care is ridiculous. Reporter: Perhaps sensing the anger several tea party republicans told abc's jeff zeleny they've asked that their paychecks be withheld during the shutdown. Do you feel guilty that your paycheck is still coming and some of your staff or the janitors, the other workers across the government? Is that awkward? We are working. We're here today and we've conned to work but I am going to ask them to hold my salary as a gesture. Reporter: Even the we the people second of the white house website is shut down. That's where people submit their own petitions. The latest petition, the last one before the website went dark was one saying that there should be a law that members of congress not get paid unless they perform their budget duties on time. I would imagine that would get a lot of support around now. A lot of people outraged. Shutdown signs absolutely everywhere. We thank you, jon.
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