As some of America's most famous sites closed their doors, many ordinary Americans are confused as to why their country has suddenly 'shut down'.
Among the popular tourist attractions caught in the midst of a row over setting the new government budget is the Statue of Liberty.
Its park ranger told ITV News : "I don't profess to understand this. I just hope Congress does their job so we can go back to doing ours".
US correspondent Robert Moore reports on the reasons behind the US economic 'shutdown' .
The US shutdown is but a precursor to a much bigger problem - in a couple of weeks the government, shutdown or not, will run out of cash.
Landmarks across the US have closed as the Congress failed to reach a deal over the budget.