One of North Carolina's U.S. senators says the partial government shutdown is already hurting the state in large and small ways. It's the result of House Republicans refusing to pass a once-routine budget procedure unless they can defund or delay the president's health care law.
Now Senator Kay Hagan, a Democrat up for reelection next year, says her office can't meet one of its most basic responsibilities for constituents – helping North Carolinians who call or show up with a wide variety of questions.
"So all of the work that we do for veterans, for people who have Social Security questions, for people who have IRS questions, for people who have passport and visa questions – that is shut down," Hagan said in a phone interview.
Senator Hagan also points out the state's national parks are closed and many North Carolina veterans may have to wait even longer to get benefits. That's because the backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs will likely get worse during the partial shutdown.
Hagan says the state's military families are also hurting because of furloughs and the commissaries on their bases closing. Commissaries are like department stores that military families can normally use to save money on groceries and other goods.