(10/02/2013) - The federal government officially shut down midnight Tuesday, leaving hundreds of thousands of federal workers furloughed and most national services and tourism spots closed.
The Capitol was closed to tourists but kept open for members of Congress.
One congressman in particular kept his staff busy. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) told Washington Bureau Chief Jacqueline Policastro that his staff is "essential" to his day-to-day operations. Today, Kildee said they proved extra helpful as his office was flooded with phone calls.
"Our call volume is up pretty significantly. A lot of our calls coming in are talking about the government shutdown, but a lot of them are from people calling looking for help," Kildee said. "The other agencies of government aren't available to them. But we are. So that's what our staff is here to do …to help the people of our district."
Kildee's busy office was a far cry from the emptiness seen throughout some of the rest of the Capitol buildings. Many committee rooms, a place where lawmakers usually debate issues and bills, were vacant. All hearings are postponed until further notice.
In addition, Smithsonian museums, the National Zoo, and monuments on the National Mall are all closed. This is just the impact of day one of the government shutdown. What happens next depends on a compromise between the battling House of Representatives and the Senate.