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U.S. government shuts down

The U.S. government shutdown Oct. 1 for the first time in 17 years. The shutdown was blamed on a Congressional stalemate.

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SEATTLE — Local residents are glad the federal government shutdown is over, but it may take a while before everything gets back to normal.

“We were really sad about the shutdown because we live in Ballard, and we come to the Locks almost every day,” Wendy Jensen said Wednesday. “It really impacted our morning walks.

boat“It’s definitely time to get people back to work,” J.J. Jensen said.  “I think that was the big thing for me, all those people out of work.”

Some non-government workers will remain out of work for at least a few more days. The Alaskan king crab fishing season started Tuesday, but local boats can’t head out on the water until they get their federal quotas.

“The applications have been in for several months,” said Mark Gleason, who represents Bering Sea crab fishermen. “The National Marine Fisheries Service knows exactly what the quotas should be.”

But Gleason has been told it could take three to five days to process the paperwork.  Meanwhile, fishermen are losing at least $80,000 a day, he said.

“I’m very hopeful that when the government opens, the agency will make it a top priority to get that crab quota issued.”

Waiting is also hard for researchers at the University of Washington. They were about to start a clinical trial for breast cancer patients, but they couldn’t get the final approval from the National Institutes of Health during the shutdown.

“There’s real people being affected,” research coordinator Jennifer Childs said. “Weeks and months in an advanced breast cancer patient can have a big impact.”

They also hope they’ll be a priority with federal offices reopening.

But some locals say it’s going to be hard to recover from this shutdown, not knowing if another one could be around the corner. The budget measure approved by Congress Wednesday night only funds the government until Jan. 15.

“It’s fantastic that we finally found some common ground,” Tyler Yost said. “But it seems like it’s just going to keep happening over and over again.”

WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Obama signed legislation early Thursday reopening the federal government after a 16-day closure and raising the U.S. debt limit, averting what would have been the first default in American history.

He signed the measure a couple hours after Congress passed it Wednesday night. Federal workers who were furloughed when government funding expired on Oct. 1 were told by the White House to report to work Thursday morning.

The Senate approved the legislation on an 81-18 vote Wednesday and sent it to the House, where Republican tea party members were still opposed to the measure.

But with a majority of Democratic votes, the Republican-controlled House late Wednesday night approved the Senate-passed bill. The vote was 285-144, with all 144 no votes from Republicans. All 198 Democrats who voted cast yes votes, and 87 Republicans joined them. Every member of Washington state’s delegation voted to approve the bill, including Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chairwoman of the House Republican Conference.

obamaSuch quick congressional action on a measure announced earlier in the day was in stark contrast to the protracted brinksmanship of recent weeks that led to the shutdown now in its 16th day and brought the threat of default.

The agreement represented a victory for Obama and Democrats over conservative Republicans, who had tried to use the shutdown and debt ceiling deadline to wring concessions on spending cuts and dismantling the Obama’s signature health care reforms.

However, the final deal worked out by Senate leaders after House Speaker John Boehner was unable to get his own Republican caucus to support a House GOP version lacked any substantive measures sought by the political right beyond extending current spending levels until Jan. 15.

“We fought the good fight; we just didn’t win,” Boehner told a radio station in his home state of Ohio in reference to GOP efforts to dismantle or defund Obama’s signature health care reforms and extract deficit reduction concessions around the need to fund the government and raise the federal borrowing limit.

National polls conducted since the start of the shutdown on Oct. 1 indicate that while all sides are feeling the public’s anger over the partisan political impasse, Republicans are getting blamed more than than Democrats or Obama.

Boehner and other House Republican leaders told their GOP caucus they would vote for the agreement at an afternoon meeting that participants said ended with a standing ovation for the embattled speaker.

“Blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us,” Boehner said in a statement. “Our drive to stop the train wreck that is the president’s health care law will continue.”

News of the deal brought some relief to Wall Street as well as Washington, where the shutdown reached a 16th day with the government poised to lose its ability to borrow more money to pay bills after Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hailed the agreement he worked out with his GOP counterpart Mitch McConnell as “historic,” saying that “in the end, political adversaries put aside their differences.”

Obama praised Senate leaders for reaching a compromise, and urged Congress to act quickly, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

“As soon as possible is essentially the recommendation we have from here,” he said.

U.S. stocks rose on the news of an agreement, with the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average jumping more than 200 points on the day.

Reid said the deal also would raise the debt limit until Feb. 7 to avert a possible default on U.S. debt obligations for the first time.

It includes a provision to provide back pay to furloughed federal workers, leadership and congressional sources told CNN.

In addition, the White House supports a provision in the deal that strengthens verification measures for people getting subsidies under Obamacare, spokesman Jay Carney said.

Carney called the change “a modest adjustment,” and said it didn’t amount to “ransom” for raising the federal debt ceiling because both sides agreed to it and the White House supported it.

The Senate agreement also would set up budget negotiations between the House and Senate for a long-term spending plan.

McConnell fired an opening salvo for those talks, expected to begin soon and continue until December, when he said any ensuing budget deal should adhere to spending caps set in a 2011 law that included forced cuts known as sequestration.

“Preserving this law is critically important to the future of our country,” McConnell said of the Budget Control Act, which resulted from the previous debt ceiling crisis in Washington.

The focus on an agreement shifted to the Senate after House Republicans failed on Tuesday to come up with a plan their majority could support, stymied again by demands from tea party conservatives for outcomes unacceptable to Obama and Senate Democrats, as well as some fellow Republicans.

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire called the House GOP tactic of tying Obamacare to the shutdown legislation “an ill-conceived strategy from the beginning, not a winning strategy.”

However, Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa advocated continued brinksmanship to try to change Obamacare, which conservatives detest as a big-government overreach.

“If we’re not willing to take a stand now, then when will we take this stand?” he told CNN, adding that if “the conservative Republican plan had been implemented five years ago, say at the inception of what is now the Obama presidency, we would have far less debt and deficit.”

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The Senate on Wednesday night easily passed and sent the House a measure to end the  government shutdown and avoid a U.S. debt default. House Speaker John Boehner urged fellow Republicans to support it, but tea party members in that chamber fumed over the deal.

The Senate vote was 81-18.

The Republican-led House was expected to vote on the measure within hours.

“We fought the good fight; we just didn’t win,” Boehner told a radio station in his home state of Ohio in reference to GOP efforts to dismantle or defund President Barack Obama’s signature health care reforms and extract deficit reduction concessions around the need to fund the government and raise the federal borrowing limit.

After the Senate vote, President Obama appeared in the White House Press Room and thanked the members of both parties and said he will the sign the measure immediately after the House votes it.  Obama said he is “eager” to work with anyone on changes. “We have to get out of the habit of governing by crisis,” Obama said.

boehner no damn gameNational polls conducted since the start of the shutdown on Oct. 1 indicate that while all sides are feeling the public’s anger over the partisan political impasse, Republicans are getting blamed more than than Democrats or Obama.

Boehner and other House Republican leaders told their GOP caucus they would vote for the agreement at an afternoon meeting that participants said ended with a standing ovation for the embattled speaker.

“Blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us,” Boehner said in a statement. “Our drive to stop the train wreck that is the president’s health care law will continue.”

News of the deal brought some relief to Wall Street as well as Washington, where the shutdown reached a 16th day with the government poised to lose its ability to borrow more money to pay bills after Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hailed the agreement he worked out with his GOP counterpart Mitch McConnell as “historic,” saying that “in the end, political adversaries put aside their differences.”

Obama praised Senate leaders for reaching a compromise, and urged Congress to act quickly, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

“As soon as possible is essentially the recommendation we have from here,” he said.

U.S. stocks rose on the news of an agreement, with the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average jumping more than 200 points on the day.

Reid said the Senate deal under discussion would reopen the government by funding it until Jan. 15. It also would raise the debt limit until Feb. 7 to avert a possible default on U.S. debt obligations for the first time.

It includes a provision to provide back pay to furloughed federal workers, leadership and congressional sources told CNN.

In addition, the White House supports a provision in the deal that strengthens verification measures for people getting subsidies under Obamacare, spokesman Jay Carney said.

Carney called the change “a modest adjustment,” and said it didn’t amount to “ransom” for raising the federal debt ceiling because both sides agreed to it and the White House supported it.

The Senate agreement also would set up budget negotiations between the House and Senate for a long-term spending plan.

McConnell fired an opening salvo for those talks, expected to begin soon and continue until December, when he said any ensuing budget deal should adhere to spending caps set in a 2011 law that included forced cuts known as sequestration.

“Preserving this law is critically important to the future of our country,” McConnell said of the Budget Control Act, which resulted from the previous debt ceiling crisis in Washington.

The focus on an agreement shifted to the Senate after House Republicans failed on Tuesday to come up with a plan their majority could support, stymied again by demands from tea party conservatives for outcomes unacceptable to Obama and Senate Democrats, as well as some fellow Republicans.

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire called the House GOP tactic of tying Obamacare to the shutdown legislation “an ill-conceived strategy from the beginning, not a winning strategy.”

However, Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa advocated continued brinksmanship to try to change Obamacare, which conservatives detest as a big-government overreach.

“If we’re not willing to take a stand now, then when will we take this stand?” he told CNN, adding that if “the conservative Republican plan had been implemented five years ago, say at the inception of what is now the Obama presidency, we would have far less debt and deficit.”

Washington (CNN) – Senate leaders on Wednesday announced a deal to end the partial government shutdown and avoid a possible U.S. default, and House Speaker John Boehner urged fellow Republicans to support it while a key GOP conservative said he wouldn’t try to block it in the Senate.

“We fought the good fight; we just didn’t win,” Boehner told a radio station in his home state of Ohio in reference to GOP efforts to dismantle or defund President Barack Obama’s signature health care reforms and extract deficit reduction concessions around the need to fund the government and raise the federal borrowing limit.

The Democratic-led Senate was expected to pass the agreement sometime Wednesday night, followed within hours by a vote in the Republican-led House.

Both chambers will have to take special steps to get the legislation passed that quickly, raising concerns that tea party conservatives led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas would block or delay it in a final effort to include provisions intended to harm Obama’s signature health care reforms.

However, Cruz told reporters that he wouldn’t mount a filibuster or employ other procedural moves against the agreement. At the same time, he criticized his Senate colleagues for what he called their failure to listen to the American people and said the fight against Obamacare will continue.

National polls conducted since the start of the shutdown on October 1 indicate that while all sides are feeling the public’s anger over the partisan political impasse, more blame is pointed at the Republicans in Congress rather than Democrats or Obama.

Boehner and other House Republican leaders told their caucus they would vote for the agreement at an afternoon meeting that participants said ended with a standing ovation for the embattled speaker.

“Blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us,” Boehner said in a statement. “Our drive to stop the train wreck that is the president’s health care law will continue.”

News of the deal brought some relief to Wall Street as well as Washington, where the shutdown reached a 16th day with the government poised to lose its ability to borrow more money to pay bills after Thursday.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hailed the agreement he worked out with his GOP counterpart Mitch McConnell as “historic,” saying that “in the end, political adversaries put aside their differences.”

Obama praised Senate leaders for reaching a compromise, and urged Congress to act quickly, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

“As soon as possible is essentially the recommendation we have from here,” he said.

U.S. stocks rose on the news of an agreement, with the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average jumping more than 200 points on the day.

Short-term plan

Reid said the Senate deal under discussion would reopen the government by funding it until January 15. It also would raise the debt limit until February 7 to avert a possible default on U.S. debt obligations for the first time.

Also, the White House supports a provision in the deal that strengthens verification measures for people getting subsidies under Obamacare, spokesman Jay Carney said.

Carney called the change “a modest adjustment,” and said it didn’t amount to “ransom” for raising the federal debt ceiling because both sides agreed to it and the White House supported it.

In addition, the Senate agreement would set up budget negotiations between the House and Senate for a long-term spending plan.

McConnell fired an opening salvo for those talks, expected to begin soon and continue until December, when he said any ensuing budget deal should adhere to spending caps set in a 2011 law that included forced cuts known as sequestration.

“Preserving this law is critically important to the future of our country,” McConnell said of the Budget Control Act, which resulted from the previous debt ceiling crisis in Washington.

The focus on an agreement shifted to the Senate after House Republicans failed on Tuesday to come up with a plan their majority could support, stymied again by demands from tea party conservatives for outcomes unacceptable to Obama and Senate Democrats, as well as some fellow Republicans.

Cruz, despite being in the Senate, is credited with spearheading the House Republican effort to attach amendments that would dismantle or defund the health care reforms known as Obamacare to previous proposals intended to end the shutdown.

All were rejected by the Democratic-led Senate, and Obama also pledged to veto them, meaning there was no chance they ever would have succeeded.

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire called the House GOP tactic of tying Obamacare to the shutdown legislation “an ill-conceived strategy from the beginning, not a winning strategy.”

However, Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa advocated continued brinksmanship to try to change Obamacare, which conservatives detest as a big-government overreach.

“If we’re not willing to take a stand now, then when will we take this stand?” he told CNN’s “New Day,” adding that if “the conservative Republican plan had been implemented five years ago, say at the inception of what is now the Obama presidency, we would have far less debt and deficit.”

Warnings of default

Despite warnings by Obama and economists that a U.S. default would spike interest rates and could have catastrophic impacts at home and abroad, King said he’s not too concerned if the government passes Thursday’s deadline to raise the borrowing limit.

“It’s just a date they picked on the calendar,” he said, adding that the government will still be able to pay the interest on its debt. “I’m more concerned about market reaction than I am of default itself.”

Thursday marks the day the Treasury Department will run out of special accounting maneuvers to keep the nation under the legal borrowing limit. From that point on, it will have to pay the country’s incoming bills and other legal obligations with an estimated $30 billion in cash, plus whatever daily revenue comes in.

The White House had said that the U.S. would lose its borrowing authority on Thursday, leaving it only with cash on hand to pay bills and therefore at risk of default. Carney clarified Wednesday that the borrowing authority would continue through Thursday.

The expectation is that the Treasury will be able to pay bills in full for a short time after Thursday, but exactly how long remains unclear. According to the best outside estimates, the first day the government will run short of cash could come between October 22 and November 1.

Officials warn that an unknown is whether creditors such as foreign countries that traditionally roll over their U.S. bond holdings could decide to instead cash out, creating a potentially major payout that the government would lack funds to fulfill.

A break from tradition

If the Senate passes the agreement as expected, the House vote will likely consist of most or all of the chamber’s 200 Democrats joined by some – but not a majority – of their Republican colleagues in supporting it. At least 20 or so Republicans would have to back the Senate plan for it to pass.

Slow process

Any delay in the legislative process could result in the nation running out of its borrowing authority.

While tax revenues will continue to stream in, that money will be enough to pay only part of the government’s obligations over time. The impact is unclear in the immediate short term, but over days and weeks, it would mean that government officials would have to pick and choose which bills to pay and which to leave for another day.

The prospect of the U.S. government running out of money to pay its bills and, eventually, finding it difficult to make payments on the debt itself, has economists around the world prophesying dire consequences.

Mutual funds, which are not allowed to hold defaulted securities, may have to dump masses of U.S. treasuries.

Ratings agency Fitch fired a warning shot Tuesday that it may downgrade the country’s AAA credit rating to AA+ over the political brinksmanship and bickering in Washington that have brought the government to this point.

That could help raise interest rates on U.S. debt, putting the country deeper into the red.

Rating agency Standard & Poor’s cut the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+ after the 2011 debt ceiling crisis. Moody’s still has the U.S. rated AAA.

Investors around the world appeared to be sitting on the sidelines Wednesday waiting out the day’s debate.

Asian markets ended with mixed results, European markets were down slightly Friday afternoon and U.S. stock futures – frequently taken as an indicator for how U.S. markets will open – were up marginally before trading began Wednesday.

Emergency brake?

Some scholars have suggested that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution gives Obama an emergency brake to stop the default by ignoring what Congress does and borrowing in spite of having reached the debt ceiling.

Section 4 of the amendment states: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”

Obama has rejected such claims, the Congressional Research Service has said. And other scholars say that by invoking the 14th Amendment in this way, the President would risk breaking other laws.

But the same scholars who say this say they believe that section 4 was formulated to keep politicians from holding the debt hostage in order to impose their political will on the natio

Muddled plan

Disarray among House Republicans caused confusion on Tuesday, with Boehner having to pull a proposed agreement from the floor because conservatives found it too weak.

The House proposal dropped some provisions on Obamacare but prohibited federal subsidies to the President and his administration officials as well as federal lawmakers and their staff receiving health insurance through the Affordable Care Act programs.

It also would have forbidden the Treasury from taking what it calls extraordinary measures to prevent the federal government from defaulting as cash runs low, in effect requiring hard deadlines to extend the federal debt ceiling.

House Democrats opposed the GOP proposal, which meant it couldn’t pass without support from the 40 or so tea party conservatives, who wanted more spending cuts.

“It just kicks the can down the road another six weeks or two months,” said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor referred to the GOP infighting at Wednesday’s caucus meeting, telling his Republican colleagues to stop beating up on each other, according to participants. Describing Cantor as impassioned, they said he implored the caucus to avoid characterizing each other as good or bad Republicans.

Time running out

Obama met Wednesday with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who has been looking for creative ways to cover U.S. financial obligations as the debt ceiling comes down.

On Tuesday, Obama called for House Republicans to “do what’s right” by reopening government and ensuring the United States can pay its bills. “We don’t have a lot of time,” he said.

But he acknowledged Boehner’s difficulty in getting his fellow House Republicans on the same page.

“Negotiating with me isn’t necessarily good for the extreme faction in his caucus,” Obama said, referring to the tea party and its conservative allies. “It weakens him, so there have been repeated situations where we have agreements. Then he goes back, and it turns out that he can’t control his caucus.”

– CNN’s Ben Brumfield, Greg Botelho, Michael Pearson, Paul Steinhauser, Ashley Killough, Craig Broffman, Jim Acosta, Dana Bash, Deirdre Walsh, Mark Preston, Dan Merica, Brianna Keilar and Janet DiGiacomo contributed to this report.

Joe Biden on Capitol Hill to Negotiate Fiscal Cliff

Courtesy Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/LA Times

WASHINGTON — Senate leaders Wednesday jointly announced an agreement on a bipartisan proposal to raise the nation’s debt limit and end the partial shutdown of the federal government.

Congress is expected to approve the package, which would prevent an economically dangerous U.S. default.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) revealed the agreement shortly after the Senate session began.

congress“The eyes of the world have been on Washington all this week,” Reid said. “Today, they will also see Congress reaching a historic bipartisan agreement to reopen the government and avert a default on the nation’s bills. The compromise we reached will provide our economy with the stability it desperately needs.”

McConnell said he was “confident” both those goals would be reached Wednesday.

“It has been a long, challenging few weeks for Congress and for the country,” he said. “It is my hope that today we can put some of those most urgent issues behind us.”

Votes in the House and Senate were expected, but the schedule remained in flux. The Republican-led House may move first. A filibuster in the Senate was unlikely as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) indicated that he would not hold up the package.

Cruz was one of the leaders of a group of Republicans who had demanded a halt or delay in President Obama’s healthcare law in exchange for a bill to keep the government running.

For more on this LA Times story, click here.

Politics
10/16/13

Senator says deal is coming

WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders met Wednesday before a gathering of the full GOP caucus, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire said the announcement of a deal to reopen the government and avoid a possible U.S. default could be coming, CNN’s Ted Barrett and Dana Bash reported.

Senate leaders raced to complete a deal Wednesday that would reopen the government and avoid a potential first-ever U.S. default as soon as midnight, when the Treasury says the nation will be unable to borrow more money to pay its bills.

reid mcconnellLegislators dropped hints on their way home Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell, will present a deal to raise the debt ceiling and fund the government to end the shutdown as soon as Wednesday.

U.S. stocks opened higher on the expectation of a deal to resolve the latest fiscal crisis caused by partisan brinksmanship in Washington.

According to sources, the Senate deal under discussion would fund the government until December 15 to reopen the government and raise the federal borrowing limit until February 7 to avert a possible default.

For more on this CNN story, click here.

Politics
10/16/13

Default looms with no deal reached

WASHINGTON — A frantic day of legislative maneuvering ended in futility for Speaker John A. Boehner on Tuesday, as the most conservative members of the House refused to back his proposed compromise to end the standoff over the federal budget.

The failure leaves a bipartisan Senate plan negotiated by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as the sole way out of a stalemate that risks a U.S. default on its bills and huge economic disruptions.

A bill that passed the Senate would receive Democratic support in the House, guaranteeing a majority if Boehner were willing to bring it to the floor even without the backing of most Republicans. He is widely expected to do so, however, having run out of time for other options.

wall-streetEarlier in the day, Boehner reiterated that he opposed allowing the government to risk default.

“I have made clear for months and months that the idea of default is wrong, and we shouldn’t get anywhere close to it,” he said.

Shortly after House leaders officially called off a vote on their most recent plan, spokesmen for Reid and McConnell said Senate talks were resuming. They had paused for the day to allow Boehner (R-Ohio) a chance to get a bill through the House.

The two leaders are “very close” to a deal, a top Senate aide said.

For more on this LA Times story, click here.

PORT ANGELES, Wash. — National parks in the state of Washington have been closed since the federal government shutdown began Oct. 1. One Port Angeles teacher found that out the hard way this weekend.

The Olympic National Park is a favorite spot for Kelly Sanders and her family.

“Marymere Falls, we go almost every weekend. The lake, we go almost every day in the summer,” she said Tuesday. “It’s our backyard.”

BWqM_WGCcAILeSGThis weekend, Sanders was hosting some international students from Japan. She wanted them to see the park, so she did a quick check on the National Park Service website to see if she could go.

“I didn’t see anything saying I could not,” she said. “When I got to the park, there was a partial barricade. But there was a full lane open.”

There was a sign on the barricade, but Sanders was confused by the use of the word “facility.”

“I thought that meant the gift shop and the restrooms and the ranger station — I didn’t think it meant the waterfall and the path. It didn’t occur to me that I was breaking the law, at all.”

But within minutes, a park ranger showed up and wrote her and several other visitors $125 tickets for “violation of closure.”

“I actually wanted to look it up to see if it’s a real law I violated, or if it’s just to communicate a point,” Sanders said.

Sanders doesn’t blame the ranger. She says it’s the lawmakers in Washington, D.C., who are responsible for the federal shutdown.

“I really would like them to know they’re affecting so many people.”

She was supposed to take some sixth-grade students on a field trip to the park next week, but now she doesn’t know if that will be possible.

“Even stepping foot into the national park at this time is not OK. I hope it will be soon.”

Sanders said she is going to go to court to fight the ticket. Even if she doesn’t win, she said, it’ll be a learning experience for her and her students.

Local News
10/15/13

Shutdown halts crab fishing, real estate deals

 

SEATTLE — As a realtor, you would think buying a house would be a piece of cake for Gustavo Castro, but he may lose out on a deal to buy a home in Des Moines, thanks to the government shutdown.

“Right now I’m submitting my paperwork and hoping for the best,” Castro said. “Because there’s nothing I can do.”

beringseaopis2082-2Because Castro is self-employed he needs the IRS to certify his tax returns, which they can’t do because the office is closed due to the government shutdown.

 “One part of the government is saying we’re not going to get your paperwork in time, and the other part is saying you have a deadline to buy this house,” Castro said.

 Mortgages are also being held up for anyone who goes through the Veterans Administration, HUD or other federal programs.

On Tuesday, the anger over the shutdown is also extending out to the sea.

It is opening day for King Crab fishermen, but most are sitting at anchor in Alaska, unable to catch a single crab.

“The weather is beautiful, we should be out there catching crab,” Tom Suryan, captain of the Bristol Mariner, said. “Instead, we’re tied to a dock and it’s frustrating as heck because it’s a clerical issue.”

Fishing crews need permits and quotas before they can fish and the federal workers who issue that paperwork are on furlough.

State Rep. Suzan Delbene talked about the growing frustrations.

“Every day we wait we’re hurting our economy more,” Delbene said. “Whether it’s realtors, fishermen or people on furlough, it’s having impacts across the country.”

Seattle’s own Deadliest Catch star, captain Keith Colburn, testified Friday at the U.S. Capitol and told Congress if the fleet doesn’t get out soon, they could miss the critical Asian holiday season, and lose hundreds of millions to the rival Russian fishing fleet.

“I feel like we’re putting the Russians to work and we’re putting American fishermen out of work,” Colburn said. “I’m a small business man in a big ocean with big bills and I need to go fishing.”

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