US Government shutdown closing D.C. attractions

Americas News
US Government shutdown closing D.C. attractions

Venues in the US capital, including museums and galleries are set to start closing this week if the partial shutdown of the federal government continues. Around 800,000 federal workers were furloughed as of 4 January 2019 – that is, temporarily laid off due to a lack of funding – or working without pay.

The Smithsonian Institution posted on its website that its museums and galleries would be among those needing to wind down if funding was not restored.

Attractions such as the National Zoo and a lively ice rink near the National Mall are also thought to be among those institutions running short of money.

The National Gallery of Art in Washington said it expected to close this week, a spokeswoman said.

The shutdown also is affecting national parks and hundreds of thousands of federal workers and contractors are being forced to stay at home or work without pay.

In some states, such as Utah and Tennessee, state funding has stepped in to keep some federal institutions functioning. And New York State is paying to keep the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island open.

A quarter of federal government employees began 2019 out of work or working without a paycheck, according to CNN.

The shutdown began after President Donald Trump was unwilling to back down from his demand for US$5bn for his long-promised border wall.

The President had previously claimed Mexico would pay for the wall’s construction.

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