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Federal Government Shutdown Would Mean Closure Of Statue Of Liberty

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork / AP) - In Battery Park on Wednesday, there was a one and a half hour line to get on the boat for Statue of Liberty.

But, if the federal government shuts down, there would be no line, because Lady Liberty would be closed, since it is run by the National Parks Service.

WCBS 880's Rich Lamb: Mixed Opinion On Statue Of Liberty Shutdown


Reaction from tourists was mixed.

Emmy, a teenager from Charlottesville, VA says, "The Statue of Liberty is cool and everybody comes out to see it. Yes, it would be a shame if it shut down."

Bill Brewster from Pennsylvania says so be it: "If it has to be, it has to be. That's the way it is. Something's gotta give."

But a financier from London disagrees: "The New York tourist industry would lose a lot of money. So, it's probably not the best idea. I think people come to see the Statue of Liberty."

Scott Clemens of Newport News, Virgina said, "Sometimes, you have to do some things that aren't very nice to make things work and right now the government's spending way too much money."

His son Joshua said, "I would be sad, but it's not something to cry about... I mean, it's going to be there for the next however long and it's not gonna just disappear one day. So, you can come back."

Meanwhile, though it's only a proposal, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-New York) says the House Republican budget plan would cost New York City more than $94 billion over ten years in healthcare dollars, education funding, law enforcement, and mass transit money.

WCBS 880's Rich Lamb: Weiner Says This Just Moves The Burden, But Doesn't Reduce It


"We would lose over $2 billion of money that would be coming to help our mass transit. The effect of that would be a lot of the improvements we seek to make, whether it be the 2nd Avenue Subway or extension to the West Side of Manhattan, would have to be forestalled," says Weiner.

Rep. Anthony Weiner
Rep. Anthony Weiner is seen at City Hall - New York, NY - Dec 20, 2010 - Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

He says the proposal would mean more than one million New York City seniors would lose guaranteed Medicare benefits.

"This is kind of like an ostrich in the sand kind of budget. You know, you can say that you'll slash federal spending on something, but it doesn't mean that someone doesn't have to pick up the slack, and for New York City taxpayers, unfortunately, it's going to be them holding the bag," says Weiner. "The effect of this would be that either New York City taxpayers would have to raise taxes or cut services in order to make up for the difference. So, all that this budget does is not to reduce the burden on taxpayers, just to move it from the federal government to local taxpayers."

Weiner say localities like New York are going to have to pick up the tab. He also says it's time to tax the millionaires and billionaires.

There is, however, word of progress in the budget talks.

The Senate's second-ranking Democrat, Dick Durbin, says he feels better than he did yesterday about the chances for agreement -- and that there are issues on the table that weren't discussed before. But he says conservative GOP demands are still standing in the way.

Without a deal by the weekend, the government will have to shut down.

President Barack Obama checked in with House Speaker John Boehner by phone, before leaving the White House for events today in Philadelphia and New York.

Obama had warned congressional leaders yesterday that he'd have them back at the White House today if they didn't make progress.

Boehner's office says the speaker told Obama he's hopeful that a deal can be reached.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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