WASHINGTON — Despite the now-two-week-old government shutdown, lawmakers are on the job in Congress. They're filling out committees and passing bills that may or may not ever become law.
And they're starting to get frustrated.
"Let's discuss this like intelligent people... not, 'If I don't get my way, I'm going to shut the government down,'" said Virginia Third District Democratic Representative Bobby Scott.
Scott was elected Friday to be chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor.
He admits to frustration over the continuing partial shutdown of the federal government, especially with President Trump saying Friday he's prepared for it to last months or even years if that's what it takes to get a border wall.
"People are not getting the services they deserve," said Scott. "You have a question about your tax return, nobody to talk to. It's not just the national parks. Food safety is at risk."
Christoper Newport University political analyst Quentin Kidd said until the impasse is resolved, nothing too substantial will actually be accomplished by the 116th Congress.
He added that in the meantime, people are hurting.
"We're talking about real people who have real lives who have real bank accounts who aren't going to be able to pay bills, who aren't going to do the things they need to do," he said. "I'm sitting on a college campus. We're going to be having students coming back in a few days who are going to need student loans. They're going to need student loans processed. That requires federal agencies to do the work."
Kidd predicted the shutdown will last for at least a few more weeks. He said to break the impasse, both sides will need to get some kind of concessions in order to claim that they got a win.
But there's this: a new Rasmussen Reports poll of 1,000 likely voters shows that only nine percent say the shutdown has had a major impact on their personal lives. Sixty-three percent say the shutdown has had no impact at all on them.