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Federal workers in Vt. idled by government shutdown - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Federal workers in Vt. idled by government shutdown

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

The reality of a government shutdown began sinking in as hundreds of thousands of federal workers were sent home Tuesday.

Buildings like the IRS in Burlington closed. The U.S. Forest Service in Rutland was also shuttered. It's a result of a budget impasse in Washington.

People we talked to on Church Street in Burlington, like Beth McMillen, are fed up with the dysfunction.

"They're like little kids; if they don't get their way, they're gonna take their marbles and go home. They're not representing the people anymore. What they need to do is stay there, work out the problems and whatever," McMillen said.

On Capitol Hill the finger pointing continued.

"Democratic leaders in Congress finally have their prize-- a government shutdown that no one seems to want but them," said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Minority Leader.

"It is holding the American people hostage," said Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont. "And they are saying if we don't get our way which is to appeal Obamacare, we are going to bring the government to a halt. And maybe in a couple of weeks if we don't get our way, for the first time in the history of the United States, we're going to shatter the credit of the United States government."

At the Vermont National Guard, 450 technicians are among several thousand federal employees in Vermont who are now on unpaid furlough. The Guard's commander issued a statement saying, "The Vermont National Guard continues to assess the situation and to work with the national leadership to implement measures to help mitigate negative impacts that furloughs may place on our Soldiers, Airmen and their families."

State economist Art Woolf says Congress points out there hasn't been a government shutdown since the 1990s. Woolf says the longer it goes on, the more trouble it causes for Vermonters.

"For a few days-- not so big a deal. If it lasts for more like a week, it becomes more of a problem," Woolf said.

It's unclear when lawmakers will head back to the bargaining table to try to strike a deal.

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