Virginia Representatives Leery of Possible Government Shutdown

Dec 14, 2018

Virginia lawmakers are monitoring the potential of a partial government shutdown.

They know from past shutdowns that the Commonwealth’s economy gets hit by them

The mood at the Capitol from both parties is that the federal government is inching closer to a partial government shutdown. But, unlike in years past, this shutdown would only hit about 25 percent of federal agencies, which has some Republicans now urging President Trump to not back down from his border wall funding demands.

Credit Rog Cogswell / Creative Commons

But Northern Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly says that thinking is shortsighted. He says even the potential for a shutdown makes negotiations over some federal contracts and grants in his district slow down or even halt, let alone the impact on federal employees and contractors themselves. “I mean that’s terrible. We’re talking hundreds of thousands of people," Connolly says. "And it has a real ripple effect through communities and other businesses that serve the federal government. So it’s not only a direct economic impact it really is the anxiety and the ripple effect on lots of other businesses and ultimately the economic climate itself.”

While many in the GOP are fine with a shutdown, outgoing Roanoke-area Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte says both sides need to negotiate a way out of this impasse. “Now both sides are accusing the other of not being reasonable, so that’s not a good situation," Goodlatte says. "But I think that the pressure always needs to be on resolving these issues.”  

Lawmakers have another week to negotiate. But for now there’s no deal in sight, which has some federal-employee families already curbing their planned holiday spending in case their pay checks aren’t sent in the coming weeks.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.