Statue of Liberty to remain open during government shutdown
As the partial government shutdown enters its second day, there was at least some good news on the local front as it was announced two local landmarks will remain open.
The National Park Service announced on its website that both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island will remain open, even while other parts of the government are closed. The Park Service said the historic attractions will remain open after New York State provided the needed funding.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo posted on Twitter that "We can't allow Washington Republicans to close these two symbols of hope and freedom."
Gov. Phil Murphy did not address the two landmarks directly in a Tweet on Friday, but said "we should be focused on uplifting working families this holiday season, not creating economic hardship through a needless shutdown over a wall.
New York is not the only state to provide funding to keep a national park open. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey Tweeted on Friday that the Grand Canyon would remain open as well.
The government shutdown is expected to last past Christmas Day and focuses on President Donald Trump's demand for money to build a border wall with Mexico.
With Trump's insistence on $5 billion for the wall and negotiations with Democrats in Congress far from a breakthrough, even a temporary measure to keep the government running while talks continued seems out of reach until the Senate returns for a full session Thursday.
As a result of the shutdown approximately 420,000 "essential" employees will be expected to work without pay, while around 380,000 will be furloughed until the funding is restored. The Senate passed legislation ensuring the affected federal employees will get back pay, and the House is expected to do the same.
Before the shutdown President Trump declared Monday, Christmas Eve, as a federal holiday. Mail service from the United States Postal Service is expected to resume after the holiday since it is an independent agency.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report