Looming government shutdown would greatly impact D.C. region
Updated: April 26, 2011 - 08:11 am
We're getting closer to the deadline for a government shutdown. Lawmakers and the White House have until Friday night to reach a deal on the budget.
With just three days left until funding runs out, the looming shutdown would have a widespread impact across the D.C. region.
It’s no surprise that people in the D.C. area depend heavily on government employees, especially those considered non-essential, who will be impacted most by a potential shutdown.
"We are now closer than we have ever been to getting an agreement," said President Barack Obama.
While Obama is calling on both Republican and Democrats to stop partisan bickering, the threat of a shutdown looms.
On Wednesday, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Republican from Minnesota, blamed Democrats and President Obama for the looming shutdown during remarks in the shadow of the Capitol during a Tea Party Rally.
“We know that we are coming to a decision at the end of the week,” Bachmann said. “It appears that they've [democrats] decided and take both feet and be stuck in the mud and not negotiate one tiddlywink”
She also took steps to recast the situation not as a government shutdown, saying social security checks will still go out, the military will continue fighting and many federal works will continuing working.
“It is a slowdown, there is no such thing as a government shutdown,” she said.
Republicans are asking for a third extension or “stop-gap measure", but Obama says that’s no way to run the country. Still, both sides have until Friday to strike a deal. If not, paychecks will stop, which could affect the National Mall, tourism, museums, local military, and thousands of stores in the District, Maryland, and Virginia that rely on spending from government employees and tourists.
Military wife and mother of four, Rebecca Cleary, said, “with all the sacrifices we make at least we have a steady pay check. That's the one thing we put in the pro section for being a military family and to take that away, it's scary."
Clearly says she wants consensus to outweigh politics, as do some lawmakers.
"Americans they expect us to work together when a problem becomes so pressing across party lines that cooperation is needed. Now is such a moment,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, (R-Ky.).
Right now, it's unknown exactly who will be affected, but agency bosses said Tuesday night that workers will not be allowed to voluntarily work during a shutdown.
As for those essential workers, like military personnel, if a shutdown occurs, it’s likely they’ll see retroactive pay, but Congress will have to approve the measure once a spending shutdown ends.
According to D.C. mayor Vincent Gray, the shutdown could also affect services in the District since it's treated as a federal agency. The city may also have to shut down as a result.
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