The two Democrats representing Shelton in the U.S. House are strongly criticizing the government shutdown, which they blame on the Republican majority in that chamber of the federal government. \u201cI remain amazed by my colleagues\u2019 unwillingness to put their own political agendas aside and do their job,\u201d said Congressman Jim Himes from the Fourth District. \u201cAs the president said, it is the job of Congress to ensure our government has the funding and the authorization it needs to stay open to help the American people,\u201d he said. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro from the Third District said the shutdown would \u201cdamage our economy and make life harder for millions of families, especially families living on the edge.\u201d The federal government shutdown began on Tuesday morning and means that most non-essential services at the federal level now are closed. The Republican-led House is battling with the Democratic-controlled Senate and Democratic President Barack Obama to approve legislation to fund the U.S. government. Himes on GOP: \u2018Childish demands\u2019 Himes said House Republicans continue to insist on holding the government hostage to their failed attempts \u2014 44 in all \u2014 to eliminate or delay the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). \u201cBecause of the House majority\u2019s wish list of demands \u2014 including defunding or delaying healthcare reform just as it is going into effect \u2014 passport offices will shutter, businesses will see their federal contracts and loans delayed, and hundreds of federal employees living in Connecticut will be furloughed,\u201d Himes said. \u201cEstimates show the American economy will suffer substantially if the government shuts down. \u201c \u201cIt is absolutely ridiculous,\u201d he said, \u201cthat Congress would continue down this path of intransigence as the American people demand we find compromise and keep the government running. In the coming days, I will continue urging my colleagues to come to the table, leave their childish demands at home, and pass a clean resolution to fund the U.S. government.\u201d DeLauro calls impasse \u2018a hostage crisis\u2019 DeLauro, now in her 12th term, is repeatedly referring to the situation as the \u201cRepublican government shutdown.\u201d She said a shutdown means \u201chundreds of thousands of workers will be sent home and many others will continue to work without pay. Anti-hunger and nutrition support to women, infants, and children will dry up. Home and small business lending will freeze. Life-saving research will be put on hold. Parks and museums will close.\u201d According to DeLauro, \u201cInstead of working with Democrats to move a budget forward and prevent all this other self-inflicted damage, the majority\u2019s leadership is allowing the fringe ideologues in their party to turn the budget process into a hostage crisis. Kill the Affordable Care Act, they argue, or America gets it. This is not responsible leadership.\u201d DeLauro claimed some Republicans in Congress were hoping for a shutdown. \u201cThey are rooting for a shutdown,\u201d she said. \u201cOne member even said: \u2018We\u2019re very excited. It\u2019s exactly what we wanted, and we got it.\u2019 Another said: \u2018It\u2019s wonderful.\u2019 \u201cIt is not wonderful,\u201d DeLauro said. \u201cIt is terrible for our economy and for families. This is hostage-taking and it cannot stand.\u201d Shelton has two members of Congress The city of Shelton is divided between the Third District, represented by DeLauro, and the Fourth District, represented by fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Himes. Congressman Jim Himes lives in Greenwich and was first elected to Congress in 2008. The Fourth District includes most of Fairfield County. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro lives in New Haven and was first elected to Congress in 1990. The Third District is centered in New Haven County.