NEW YORK (AP) -- A bitter budget fight has led to a U.S. government shutdown, leaving hundreds of thousands of federal workers without paychecks and shutting down federal services all over the country.
A midnight deadline to avert a shutdown passed amid Congressional bickering. That could impact on Americans' ability to get government services ranging from federally-backed home loans to supplemental food assistance for children and pregnant women.
For many Americans who are civilian employees of the federal government, it means no more paychecks as they're forced onto unpaid furloughs. For those still working, it means delays in getting paid.
Some workers are allowed to work a few hours Tuesday to change voicemail messages or fill out time cards. But after that, they're under strict orders to do no work, even check their email.