As the political turmoil rages on in Washington, the first effects of the shutdown are just beginning to be felt here at home. YNN's Geoff Redick has more.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Loan officer Jim Cardinal is in the business of home loans and business is good these days.
Unless there's a government shutdown and you happen to be a first time home buyer and you need to close on a loan through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In that case, you have a problem.
"Some of the loans that we literally have in the pipeline right now, that we've sent to the USDA (for approval), the last step is to have USDA approval right before closing," said Cardinal. "And they're going to be delayed."
The USDA has been completely closed due to the government shutdown. Even its website has been de-activated. The department was already facing a backlog of loan approvals, due to an eligibility restriction set to take effect on Tuesday. Because of that backlog, coupled with the shutdown, Cardinal estimates a few hundred Capital Region homebuyers are now in limbo.
But there's no such uncertainty or mystery at the Saratoga National Historical Park. The signs on the orange barriers at park entrances say it all: "This national park facility is closed."
"Came all the way from Virginia," said motorcyclist Paul Abbott Tuesday, as he looked at the "closed" sign. "I'm not going to get to see the battlegrounds, so I guess I'll just have to find something else to do today."
Security teams remain on-site at the park, but only to tell potential visitors to turn around and leave. All told, 20 fulltime employees have been furloughed indefinitely.
"I'm sort of doing a tour of New England and I came here to look at the Saratoga Battlefield site and do a tour of it," Englishman David Reynolds told YNN at the gate. "It's quite disappointing to get here after traveling quite a long way, to actually find it's closed."
Another national organization affected by the shutdown: The National Guard.
"We take our marching orders and we do our very best," Colonel Richard Goldenberg told YNN at noontime Tuesday. That's the exact time Goldenberg himself was furloughed. The rest of our interview was on his own time.
"There's about 400 total employees, civilian technicians, including myself, that are furloughed," he said. "Starting today, the more we defer further maintenance on our vehicles and equipment, we will have to play catch up at some point when a continuing resolution provides us the opportunity to get back to work."
For low-income mothers, the Health Department funding for the federal Women-Infant-Children (WIC) coupon program has been cut. State health agencies are maneuvering for temporary aid, but the state of Utah has already shut its WIC program down completely. More states are expected to follow suit soon if the funding is not restored.
The funding cut means low-income mothers will have a harder time affording nutritional food and baby formula for their infants and toddlers.