Nightly News   |  September 30, 2013

Americans brace for overnight shutdown

As midnight approaches, thousands of Americans are worried. Federal employees don’t know what Tuesday will bring, national parks may be padlocked from coast to coast, and federally backed loans for small businesses could be on hold, among other consequences. NBC’s Kevin Tibbles reports.

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>>> let's take the story out of washington where the talking is going on, where what we just saw is already hitting home across america, after all, and could get a lot worse for a lot of families if there is a shutdown overnight. nbc's kevin tibbles with us from downtown chicago . kevin , good evening.

>> reporter: brian, tonight as the hour approaches, thousands of americans who work in and out of government are blracing for the consequences of a shutdown. at chicago's federal building today, dozens of government workers gathered to protest a possible shutdown. elizabeth came on her lunch hour. are you worried?

>> oh, yeah. yeah. i'm the only breadwinner right now.

>> reporter: she works for the epa. a mother and grandmother her husband was laid off. she is frustrated, angry and worried.

>> congress need s to be turned over somebody's knee and spanked hard. they are acting like small children.

>> reporter: as the business of government is poised to grind to a halt, federal employees across the u.s. head home not knowing what tomorrow brings.

>> scary how we are going to pay our bills.

>> reporter: it is not just federal workers. maliq sells souvenirs near the statue of liberty .

>> if the statue is closed there won't be business here. less tourists.

>> reporter: the most uh visible effects of the shutdown, padlocking national parks coast to coast along with the national zoo and museum s in the nation's capital. the shutdown will also put federally-backed loans for things like small businesses on hold. delay tax audits and refunds and suspend the special sup le men tall nutrition program for women, infants and children. difficult for single mother christina crowder.

>> how do we feed our kids.

>> reporter: services that won't be affected include essentials like mail delivery, air traffic control and the tsa along with tax collection , unemployment, food stamps and passports. while more than 800,000 federal workers stand to lose a paycheck, the president and members of congress will still receive them.

>> i think they can take those congress persons' paychecks away.

>> if you feel government employees shouldn't be paid you should give up your check.

>> reporter: as for elizabeth leide l, she needs to report to work tomorrow to find out if she'll be sent home.

>> they are in the sandbox, kicking sand into the american people 's eyes. it hurts.

>> reporter: many estimates suggest a shutdown could cost the government between $40 million and $80 million a day. that could hit very close to home for many american families. brian?

>> kevin tibbles in chicago for us tonight. kevin , thanks.