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Government Shutdown: America Reacts

October 8th, 2013

All across the United States, a wave of resentment and embarrassment directed at the U.S. government has occurred in response to the government shutdown that took place Oct. 1.

The stalemate is responsible for the 800,000 federal workers being sent home without pay, though the House just unanimously passed legislation to provide retroactive pay for these furloughed workers, according to NBC News. The legislation has yet to go to the Senate.

In a poll conducted by CBS News, 72 percent of Americans disapprove of the shutdown that is placing even further strain on the U.S. bicameral legislature. A lowly 25 percent are in approval, and only 51 percent of Americans believe a resolution will be achieved soon.

Social media was abuzz with posts depicting how everyday Americans lives have been impacted by the shutdown. Al-Jazeera America acquired responses of people such as Rachel Benditt and Agniezka Karoluk, who both stated through Twitter that they were unable to access government sites to complete their homework assignments. One man from Columbus, Ohio expressed his disdain as a park closure has fractured his wedding plans. He elaborates, “It’s deeply personal, […] having our dreams dashed by a political malfeasance is unacceptable.”

While people’s personal lives are affected by the squabbling of the two parties, many Americans’ financial stability is also at stake. Phil Egidi, an environmental scientist for the Environmental Protection Agency, was furloughed due to the shutdown, his wages frozen. He said, “I am proud and honored to be a civil servant and resent this treatment by the House.”

Many other posts followed, such as Chris Parsons, who stated on Facebook: “The biggest thing that bothers me is the hypocrisy of Congress people who will continue to draw a paycheck while those that are furloughed will not.” These opinions are reflected by Congress’ all-time low approval rating, a mere 10 percent.

Steve Schmidt, former Republican strategist and chief adviser to Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, now a vice chairman at one of the country’s largest PR firms, provided comment to ABC News. “Politics surrounds every aspect of this. If you look at the polling and you look at the trend on polling, it doesn’t seem that the people will need much reminding to be angry,” Schmidt said.

According to CNN, the rest of the world is not pleased with the U.S., as it possesses

the world’s largest global economy. A French newspaper describes the actions of Congress as “parliamentary ping pong.” Left-Wing British newspaper The Guardian depicts the hours leading up to the shutdown as both bizarre and unpredictable. Der Spiegel, a German Magazine, points out that the shutdown could have just as much economic impact as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, as indicated by The New York Times.

For now, it is unclear when the government is going to reopen. The U.S., as well as the rest of the world, awaits an end to the debates and debacle that have thrown a wrench into everyday people’s lives.

Information from The New York Times CBS News, ABC News and CNN were used for this world news report.