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Westchester County Residents Beginning To See Unfortunate Impact Of Government Shutdown

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- With President Donald Trump overseas, the government shutdown is in its fifth day, and Wednesday was the first full business day since that shutdown took affect.

Average citizens, even around here, are starting to feel the impact, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported.

One woman was turned away at the Internal Revenue Service office in White Plains, where a security guard posted a sign that blames the closure on the government shutdown.

In New Rochelle, Lisa Miller was relieved and a bit surprised the Social Security office opened its doors.

"I thought they was gonna be closed today, but they wasn't so that's a great thing," Miller said. "They're helping us out a lot, and I was in there for two minutes and I got right out."

government shutdown
The departments impacted by the partial government shutdown. (Photo: CBS2)

The lesson is if you must deal with a federal office, check ahead to see if it's open.

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The shutdown affects nine federal departments employing 800,000 people. Most are staying home, while others have been told to work without pay because their jobs are essential for safety and security. That includes Transportation Security Administration workers at our nation's airports.

On Wednesday, County Executive George Latimer visited Westchester County Airport to thank TSA staff for handling a difficult situation with professionalism.

"On a human being level, it's unfortunate that the people who work for the federal government become pawns in things like this," Latimer said.

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Latimer said he can relate to what federal workers are going through because he served in Albany in 2010, when a budget battle delayed lawmakers' pay for 16 weeks.

While workers can count on being reimbursed eventually, the cash flow interruption is difficult. Latimer said the shutdown is another symptom of the poisonous political environment in Washington.

"Right now, the blame, as I see it, is on an American political process that just won't work with each other. The hatred is so great for the other side," Latimer said.

On social media, federal workers and their families are sharing #ShutdownStories, with some complaining that planned vacations had to be cancelled because under complex federal rules workers deemed essential can't take time off during a shutdown.

An accountant told CBS2's Aiello the closure of IRS offices is a minor inconvenience, for now. If the shutdown drags on for several weeks, it could make resolving tax issues even more difficult.

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