Actress Kerry Washington has criticised the U.S. Congress over the government shutdown, saying politicians should be more co-operative and work together for the greater good.

The U.S. government went into shutdown on Tuesday (01Oct13) after the Senate and Congress failed to agree on a budget, leaving 800,000 civic employees on forced unpaid leave.

Taking part in a panel discussion at New York's Paley Centre for Media on Wednesday (02Oct13), the Scandal actress offered her support to President Barack Obama and urged Congress to co-operate to find a solution.

She tells E! News, "I think our president is doing an extraordinary job and I think it's really unfortunate that so many people are without work right now at a time where a lot of people can't afford it, and I wish that Congress... (could) be more co-operative."