Thursday, April 7, 2011

Gerry Connolly: Shutdown Will Impact Thousands of Workers in Every Congressional District

As it's beginning to look like we won't be able to avoid a government shutdown tomorrow, there's a lot of discussion about what will happen to people who work for the federal government. While John Boehner illustrated how he doesn't care about the federal workforce when he declared "so be it" if people lose their job, a government shutdown will directly impact the lives of thousands of people all across the country. That's because the 800,000 people who would be furloughed live in communities throughout the nation, not just in the DC area.

In order to remind his colleagues of how a shutdown would impact their constituents, Gerry Connolly sent a letter to them that provided "a list of federal employees by congressional district." The list, which can be seen here, illustrates how there's literally thousands of people in almost every district (and in many cases over 10,000) federal workers in each district. In my opinion, this directly goes after the Tea Party's argument that a shutdown would only impact beltway insiders. Instead, it will have an impact on everyday citizens who have simply decided to take a career in public service instead of what could have been a much more lucrative career in the private sector.

With that in mind, it's quite disturbing that the GOP's leadership is willing to play political games with the livelihoods of some many families. And Gerry hinted at this in his letter.
It is a shame that the federal workforce is being used as a pawn in this budget battle by a majority that refuses to compromise to keep our federal government functioning and providing important services to our citizens. Unfortunately, too many of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle seem to know the cost of everything, but the value of nothing.

A government shutdown could have very negative consequences at a time when the nation's economy is rebounding from the worst recession in 80 years. And, as you can see from the attached list, federal employees and their families in your district will feel the pain, just as families will in every congressional district across the nation.
Since some Republican House members from right here in Virginia have already said bring on the shutdown, I'm not too confident that the GOP will actually take into consideration how many people will be impacted by the shutdown. Hopefully Gerry's letter, however, will provide his Democratic colleagues with a reminder of exactly what's at stake as they're trying to prevent a shutdown.

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