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Shut Down Shenanigans

Apparently communicating with the people you were elected to represent is a "non-essential" government function. The following are the messages I got when went to email my senators. So not impressed.

As of midnight on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, the federal government is no longer funded to operate. Due to this government shutdown, we are sorry to inform you that Senator Schumer's office will no longer be able to perform non-essential functions. Below, is a list of information on how the government shutdown will affect the services that Senator Schumer's office normally provides. 

Will I be able to call or fax Senator Schumer's office?
During the government shutdown, Senator Schumer's offices, both in Washington D.C. and across New York State will be unable to receive phone calls or faxes. 

What will happen with the letter I sent to Senator Schumer?
Mail delivery in the United States Senate has stopped. If you have sent Senator Schumer a letter prior to the shutdown, this mail will be held at a sorting facility until such time as the government re-opens. Mail that was sent and delivered to Senator Schumer's office has been sorted and will be replied to in a timely manner once the government shutdown is over. 

Can I e-mail Senator Schumer?
If you have e-mailed Senator Schumer, this mail will still go through the normal process, however Senator Schumer's office will be unable to respond until such time as the government shutdown is over. 

Senator Schumer's office is helping me with a problem I'm having with a federal agency. How does the shutdown affect this?
Unfortunately, during the government shutdown, work on any outstanding help with a federal agency that Senator Schumer's office may be assisting you with is suspended. This includes, but is not limited to; problems with your Social Security, Passports, Visas, Medicare Assistance and Veterans Assistance. Work on these problems will continue immediately after the government re-opens. 

I have previously scheduled tours in Washington D.C. Are these tours still happening?
Federal buildings, including the Capitol Visitors Center, the Smithsonian Institution and the monuments, will be closed during the government shutdown. Along with these locations, other museums or attractions may also be closed. Please check with the individual museums or attractions on their operating status before your trip. Unfortunately Senator Schumer's office will be unable to provide you tours of the Capitol building or schedule any tours for you and your family during the shutdown. Please contact Senator Schumer's office after the government re-opens to schedule any upcoming tours and our tour coordinator will do their best to fulfill your request. 

Senator Schumer and his staff are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to serving the people of New York again as soon as possible.

Dear New York State Constituents,
Thank you for visiting my website. Unfortunately, due to the recent temporary lapse in government funding my Senate office has been shut down.

What this means:

·        Our offices are not staffed and phones will not be answered

·        Emails sent to individual staff members will be responded to at the conclusion of the shut down

·        Letters and emails addressed to my office will be responded to at the conclusion of the shutdown

·        With the closing of all federal offices, our constituent services team will not be able to work on any cases for you during this time, but will continue with your case after the shutdown.

I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues to resolve the funding issues. The current situation cannot stand and New Yorkers should not be asked to endure this funding lapse for any period of time.
Thank you for your patience,

Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand

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