‘Using people and federal government services as pawns in a bigger political battle is senseless.’ — Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is standing up to Trump for the 690,000 citizens in her city hurt by the shutdown.
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INHLE: A lot of people know the shutdown is going on, but what is the human impact and the impact on D.C. residents?
BOWSER: In the case of a federal shutdown, we are particularly impacted because our population swells every day from 700,000 to over a million, and that’s people coming to work.
BOWSER: We know that it affects government workers in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia and all over the country, and it has a huge impact on our contractor community, people who don’t work—they work indirectly for the federal government. And when a contractor doesn’t go to work, they don’t get paid, and they won’t get a retroactive payment. Trickle down, it affects all of the businesses and services those people would buy but for the fact that they don’t know when they’re going to get paid. We know the impact that it has on metro use and our transit system. Restaurants and bars that aren’t getting that lunchtime and after-work traffic. There’s just a lot of anxiety in the air about the shutdown. Now we’ve never experienced a shutdown in the holiday season, December and January. Most people have spent there what they spend the most in December, and those bills are going to start coming due in January. So we think that if the shutdown isn’t ended soon, people are going to have some serious problems at home.
ZINHLE: Talk to us about unemployment and how you’ve seen kind of that applications for unemployment rise.
BOWSER: Well, we’ve seen from week to week, and we think that when people start missing a check, we’ll start to see more, then they’ll come to our department of employment services to claim unemployment.
ZINHLE: And how does D.C. specifically step up when this happens?
BOWSER: Well, what has been reported on a lot is the impact on the National Mall, which is the nation’s front lawn. We have 17 Smithsonian Institutions, all federally-funded, around our national mall, and when they in the federal government shuts down, all the national parks—including the National Mall—shut down, too, and trash doesn’t get collected. So, we don’t think it serves us well as a city to allow any part of our city, even the federal part, to be run over with trash. So we’re picking up the trash with our municipal resources and our clean teams. It’s costing us about $70,000 a week to do that, but we know that it makes sense.
And what we intend to do—and our congresswoman will join us—for all of our extraordinary costs, including sanitation, and overtime, and anything else related to the shutdown, we will seek a reimbursement from the federal government.
#DC #WashingtonDC #MurielBowser #GovernmentShutdown #Trump
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