Eris and Alex Cushner with their 10-year old twins, Joshua and Jordan, visiting the US Capitol on Monday, just hours before a shutdown would shut down most tourist sites in Washington.
A government shutdown effective Tuesday would affect national parks in California, but also just about every tourist venue in Washington. One California family was trying to see all the sights in the nation's capital on Monday — and trying to understand why a shutdown might happen.
Members of the Cushner family were lucky to get their Capitol tour on Monday. Eris Cushner said she and husband, Alex, and their 10-year old twins have a busy day, taking in the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. "Today!" she added. Alex says "sadly" there may be no chance Tuesday.
The twins, Jordan and Joshua, weren't paying attention to the series of Congressional votes and counter votes. "All I know is that the government in a lot of different places are going to shut down," Jordan said. Does she know why? "Not really." Her brother Jordan was puzzled as well.
Their dad took a stab at it, telling the kids: "It's kind of like you two fighting. It's what's going on. They can't figure it out. They just can't make amends for some reason. They can't compromise." Mom reminded the kids she's always telling them to do just that. "The government," she said, "can't figure out how to compromise."
The Cushners say Congress might learn something by checking the "conflict and compromise" exhibit currently on display in the U.S. Capitol exhibit hall. It looks at historic conflicts in Congress, including the Compromise of 1850 that led to California’s admission as a free state, but included a stricter Fugitive Slave Act.