The prospect of a federal government shutdown had would-be travelers scrambling to passport offices Friday.
About 50 people were waiting outside the Los Angeles passport agency, one of the nation's busiest, when it opened at 7 a.m., said Howard Joseph, customer service manager there.
Los Angeles resident Martin Cummins was trying to get a replacement passport for a trip to Singapore next week to visit his sister and her family.
"It didn't dawn on me until two days ago that (a government shutdown) could affect me," Cummins said. "I realized I had misplaced my passport, so I turned my house upside down. Now I'm a little nervous about this, but I'm here. Let's hope for the best."
Shannon Sauceda of Malibu, California, had lost patience, not with the agency in Los Angeles but with the lawmakers in Washington.
"I blame all of them," she said. "I feel like, Get to the table, do what you need to do, and let the people get on with their business."
At least 200 patrons had received service by 9 a.m., and they kept coming all day, the line sometimes snaking around the street corner. Yet Joseph didn't think it was particularly hectic.
"It's been very smooth," he said. "But next week could be very different," he added with a smile.
He said a "skeleton crew" would staff the agency in the event of a shutdown, but it would only deal with high-priority cases - what he called "life-and-death emergencies" such as a death overseas.
But Sauceda said the political squabbling was interfering with people's lives.
"It's unfortunate that it would have to affect people that are trying to go on vacation," she said. "I know Congress is still getting paid if they shut down, which is kind of upsetting. It's just a really unfortunate situation for people being affected that really have nothing to do with it.
"I think they should come to some sort of an agreement, today," she continued. "I think it's their responsibility to do that."