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Long Islanders share views on effects of partial government shutdown

The IRS building on Dec. 26 in Hauppauge.

The IRS building on Dec. 26 in Hauppauge. The offices are shut due to the partial federal government shutdown. Credit: James Carbone

Parts of the federal government have been shut down for more than two weeks, but many Long Islanders said they haven’t noticed much of a difference in their everyday lives.

“The shutdown has not affected me in any way,” said Dan Santoro of Manorville in response to a question posted on newsday.com. “I wouldn't even know there was a shutdown if I did not read it in the news.”

The shutdown stems from a battle between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats over the president’s demand for $5.7 billion to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Democrats, who took control of the House this month, have stated they are unwilling to fund the wall, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said there would be no votes in the Senate on any funding bills until the President and Democrats come to an agreement.

Long Islanders who support funding the wall said they believe it's the right move by Trump.

Michael Bouker, of East Hampton, said the shutdown hasn’t affected him at all.  “Keep it shut down a year, if that is what takes to build a wall,” he said.

Tom Fahey, of Westhampton Beach, said that while he isn’t personally affected, he feels for the workers who aren’t getting paid, especially those who still have to go to work.“To me, it’s a shame what’s going on with that,” he said in a phone interview.

Fahey said he doesn’t expect Trump to give in any time soon. “To me, the president’s being stubborn,” he said. “He doesn’t compromise, so I suspect there’s going to be no compromise.”

Other residents, such as Nicole Avery of Roosevelt, say they're hoping for a quick resolution. “I hope to hear that they come to an agreement and end the shutdown immediately,” she said in an email on Tuesday.

Some who haven’t felt the shutdown’s impact said it’s a sign that they aren’t reliant on government services.

“There’s a shutdown? Didn’t notice a thing. Shows you how much our government does for us,” said Tom Daniels of Massapequa Park.

Others said they’ve felt the effects of the shutdown at work, but not in their personal lives.

“The shutdown doesn't affect me personally but does affect the agency I work for,” Jeanette Vepse of Plainview wrote on newsday.com. 

Vepse added that she would like to see details from the president on how he came up with his $5.7 billion request.

“Where is the breakdown for the need for that much money? I want security, but I also want great health care,” she wrote. “Do we get that in exchange for the money given for the ‘wall’?”

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