Spanberger Shares Story of Furloughed Central Virginian on the U.S. House Floor after Voting to Reopen the Federal Government

Earlier Today, Spanberger Voted with a Bipartisan Majority of the U.S. House to Restore Funding to Critical Federal Departments & Agencies

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today gave a speech on the U.S. House floor calling for an end to the record-long government shutdown. During her remarks, she shared the story of a Central Virginian facing financial hardship due to the ongoing shutdown.

Spanberger delivered her speech after she voted with a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives to help end the government shutdown and to reopen critical federal departments and agencies. As of yesterday, the partial government shutdown is now over one-month long.

Click here to watch Spanberger’s full speech. A full transcript of her speech is below:

“Today I rise to share another story of how this reckless shutdown is hurting real people in real communities—including in Central Virginia.

“Chesterfield, Virginia resident Donna Ingram has worked for the U.S. Department of the Treasury for 15 years. She is a mother of two, and because of the shutdown, she is worried about her ability to make ends meet.

“Earlier this month, Donna’s pay stub showed the word ‘furloughed,’ and her paycheck showed the number ‘zero.’

“Donna is currently in the middle of medical treatment. But because of shutdown’s financial harm, she has been forced to discontinue this treatment. Donna said her livelihood is at stake, and she could lose everything she has worked so hard for over the past 15 years.

“Donna said that federal employees—like her—want to work. They want to work. They want to serve our government and our communities. They want to continue their service.

“Yet, this is how we treat our public servants here in the United States. Are they bargaining chips?

“I will continue to push for an immediate end to the shutdown, because I do not think they should ever be used as bargaining chips.

“There are hundreds of thousands of hardworking federal employees, like Donna, who are depending on us, their elected officials, to do our jobs, to open this government, and to restore the function of our government.”

The Spanberger-backed legislation would help end the record-long shutdown and immediately reopen the government and pay federal employees. The bill also includes language ensuring federal employees who are working without pay or who have been furloughed receive backpay. Today’s vote is the tenth time in January that Spanberger has voted to restore certainty to federal workers and reopen the federal government, which has been in a partial government shutdown since December 22, 2018.

Earlier this month, Spanberger met with Central Virginia federal employees impacted by the government shutdown. During the roundtable discussion in Henrico, Spanberger heard personal stories about how the record shutdown is impacting their lives and those they serve, while creating great uncertainty for their families

The ongoing partial government shutdown has negatively impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of federal employees, as well as millions of Americans who depend on critical national security, agriculture, affordable housing, and economic development services. Approximately 800,000 federal employees are working without pay or still furloughed, including law enforcement personnel like Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Bureau of Prisons, and Customs and Border Protection employees—who are currently working without pay while still keeping American communities strong and safe.


Since her swearing-in, Spanberger has fought to provide peace of mind to federal workers and to fully reopen the government. Earlier this month, Spanberger introduced bipartisan legislation that would ensure military personnel and law enforcement receive their salaries in the event of a lapse in funding or budget impasse, such as the ongoing partial government shutdown. And on her first day in office, Spanberger helped introduce two bills that would make sure federal workers receive backpay once the ongoing government shutdown ends and that Members of Congress do not receive their full salaries during a shutdown.

And during her first days in office, Spanberger joined a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass bipartisan legislation that would end the ongoing government shutdown. The legislation also included a provision Spanberger helped introduce to retroactively restore pay that federal employees have been denied during the partial shutdown.


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