By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, [email protected]
Residents from D.C., Maryland and Virginia (DMV) are adversely being affected by the partial government shutdown, which President Donald Trump enforced after not receiving funding for his border wall. With the pain and suffering it is causing, major DMV leaders are asking President Trump to end the shutdown as it enters its third week.
“As the chief executives of the State of Maryland, Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia, we urge you to find a compromise to end the partial government shutdown,” Md. Gov. Larry Hogan, Va. Gov. Ralph Northam and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser wrote in a statement to President Trump and House and Senate leadership.
The three leaders emphasized the negative effects the shutdown inflicts on DMV residents, who account for 360,000 federal workers, many of whom work for those departments and agencies shutdown.
“As federal employees and contractors experience a sudden loss of income, this not only causes financial hardships for families, but also deals a significant blow to our region’s economy,” the leaders explained in the letter.
The DMV head leadership pointed out that families are getting caught up in a partisan political issue. “Hardworking federal employees and those who depend on them should not have to suffer because of this partisan standoff,” they wrote.
Beyond employees and their families, the DMV leadership also explained the danger the shutdown poses to the nation as a whole.
“A prolonged shutdown not only hurts our local economies and budgets, but also poses a threat to our natural resources, public health and safety,” they wrote. “In particular, the nation’s coasts and waterways are at risk with reduced Coast Guard capabilities and a closed Environmental Protection Agency.”
Further, by nature of the shutdown, there are not sufficient employees to keep federal parks clean, thus, “our national parks are overflowing with trash and visitor safety is compromised,” the leaders wrote.
Despite the fact that certain local governments have stepped in to ensure continued service of the national parks, the leaders explained that the “public safety risk will only increase.”
The leaders warned against the mess of the shutdown piling up, like the trash at national parks. “With 9 out of 15 federal departments and dozens of agencies shuttered, similar disruptions and delays are occurring across the federal government. The longer the shutdown lasts, impacts will be more compounded on state and local budgets, important government services and the economy as possible,” Hogan, Northam and Bowser wrote. “Containing the damage starts with reopening the government as soon as possible.”
The nation’s capital region leaders concluded by asking the President and senior House and Senate leadership to consider the larger impact the shutdown has on the nation and its residents, calling the action an “unnecessary hardship on federal employees,” and said it “represents a failure of leadership.”
“We ask that you reach across the aisle to find a oath forward and end this stalemate today so the federal employees in our region and across the country can get back to work.”