D.C. Mayor Warns Of Shutdown Impact On Nation's Capital

Local governments will have to foot the bill for federally-funded operations as their residents spend less.
Posted at 5:20 PM, Dec 28, 2018

The city that is home to the federal government is not taking the partial shutdown lightly. 

In a letter to President Trump, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser warned that Washington's local economy is at risk, writing "Many D.C. residents, businesses, including restaurants and hotels, and federal contractors will suffer severe impacts if the shutdown continues indefinitely." The mayor added that the city will step up to take care of "basic needs," like trash removal on federally-owned parks and roads—estimated to cost $46,000 a week. 

The city's Department of Employment Services is also expecting an influx of unemployment benefit claims to come through, which has typically occurred during federal shutdowns. But it's not just workers in the nation's capital that are hurting. 

As Bowser mentions in her letter, more than 70 percent of all American workers live paycheck-to-paycheck, meaning any reliance they may have on government services, like food stamps, could become interrupted if funding runs out. By the second week of the shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cut its staff by 95 percent, making it more difficult for anyone who might need program assistance. 

Federal workers live beyond the Beltway, too. Though the D.C. metropolitan area is home to by far the highest number of government employees, other commuter belts like New York City and Virginia Beach also are home to a sizeable portion of them. And federal workers make up a greater share of the workforce in parts of Georgia and Washington state than they do in D.C.

So while DC may bear the biggest brunt of a shutdown, other cities and states across the U.S. are feeling the impacts as well.