Thousands of federal employees in the region shut down their computers and set up out-of-office replies on their work email Tuesday as part of the shutdown of the federal government.
Congress was unable to come to an agreement to fund government operations past Sept. 30 by the midnight deadline. (See: Federal Government Shuts Down; Moran Leads Charge for Retroactive Pay for Federal Employees.)
In a Facebook post today, Vienna Del. Mark Keam (D-35th) wrote about his experience with the federal government shutdown in the 1990s, when he worked for a federal agency.
“It was a miserable time. It’s a sad and rotten feeling when your boss tells you to not show up to work, not because of anything you did wrong, but because your workplace is legally not allowed to remain open, even if the workplace’s mission is to serve the public,” Keam wrote. “Worse still was the fact that, for me and for so many low-wage workers who were furloughed during that time, it was really hard to sustain even a few weeks without a paycheck.”
On the Vienna Patch Facebook page, one person wrote, “It's for a short period....stay strong.”
Back in April, Rep. Jim Moran (D) warned a shutdown could have “an extremely severe impact inside the Beltway. … This is still a company town. The federal government would be a shadow of what it is today. It will hurt the stores, the grocery stores, the restaurants…every private-sector element will be affected. They may not be aware of that now, but they will, especially if it lasts more than a couple of weeks.”
There are more than 100,000 federal employees in the area made up of Fairfax and Arlington counties and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church, according to the government consulting firm Eye on Washington, using figures from the Office of Personnel Management.
Some restaurants around the region are offering free or discounted food for federal employees, including Pork Barrell BBQ in Alexandria and Osteria Marzano in Kingstowne. See more freebies for federal workers here.
More on the shutdown:Where Virginia Governor Candidates Stand on Government Shutdown…
Correction: Patch has updated the photo accompanying this post.