By Wendy Osher
UPDATE: 7:14 a.m. 10/1/13

A dispute over the health care law backed by President Barack Obama kept Congress from approving funds last night for continued government operations, resulting in a partial government shutdown, and the furlough of hundreds of thousands of federal employees starting today.

House Republicans on Monday voted against a Continuing Resolution to fund operations, demanding changes to the “Obamacare” law. The final vote was 228-199 against the Continuing Resolution.

Democrats including the Hawaiʻi congressional delegation claimed the demands put party priorities ahead of constituent needs.

As a result of the shutdown, National parks across the state including Haleakalā National Park here on Maui are closed. The shutdown also impacts the USS Arizona on Oʻahu and visitors to Kalaupapa on Molokaʻi. Residents of Kalaupapa should be able to remain, according to information released by US Representative Tulsi Gabbard.

There are also closures at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes, Puʻuhonua O Hōnaunau, Puʻukoholā Heiau, and Kaloko Hōnokohau National Historical Park on Hawaiʻi Island.

Congressional delegates from Hawaiʻi say the shutdown puts an estimated 25,000 federal employees in Hawaii out of work, halts applications for passports and visas, causes delays for new seniors and veterans from receiving benefits and Social Security payments, and closes Head Start centers.

Officials say the US Postal Service will continue to operate as normal. Essential services will also likely continue uninterrupted including air traffic control and other transportation safety functions, federal prisons, the federal court system, and Department of Defense operations, according to Gabbard.