Partial Government Shutdown Takes Hold In Columbus

An unidentified man enters the lobby of the Bricker Federal Building in Columbus on the first day of the partial government shutdown.(Photo: Tom Borgerding / WOSU)
An unidentified man enters the lobby of the Bricker Federal Building in Columbus on the first day of the partial government shutdown.(Photo: Tom Borgerding / WOSU)

Central Ohioans are beginning to feel the effects of a partial government shutdown. Thousands of employees were furloughed in Columbus at agencies ranging from the Defense Supply center to the Labor and Transportation offices downtown.

As the partial shutdown took hold a skeleton security staff at the Bricker Federal building at Spring and High streets in Columbus patiently answered questions from people trying to do business with federal government agencies. Department of Labor offices and the IRS offices were closed. Bankruptcy court and Social Security offices remained open. Eileen Brubeck was among early arrivals at the Social Security office.

“I didn’t know what was going on because there was no line at the door waiting to get in. And to tell me everything was shutdown. And I said Oh my god, don’t tell me Social Security is shutdown. They said they can only do limited things,” says Brubeck.

Brubeck adds some of those in line were “very harried.” Charles Simmons of Columbus shared his frustration, especially with the congress’ inability to avoid the disruption.

“As a unit the republicans and the democrats need to come together, stop brow-beating each other. They need to try to come to a some kind of understanding. Because as a country we look stupid,” says Simmons.

A contract government employee who declined to be recorded said she had cleaned out her desk saying she didn’t know when she might return to work.

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