Spanberger Uses Voices of Virginians to Urge Speaker McCarthy to Keep Government Open, Bring Bipartisan Legislation to the Floor of the U.S. House

Congresswoman: “The American People Expect and Rely on Us to Perform this Basic Duty, and We Cannot Allow Hyper-Partisanship and Division to Obstruct Us From Doing So”

Through a Recent Survey, Spanberger Heard Personal Stories From Nearly 1,000 Virginians About How a Government Shutdown Would Negatively Impact Them, Their Families, or Their Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After hearing directly from nearly 1,000 Virginians who would feel the consequences of a reckless government shutdown, U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today called on U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to immediately bring bipartisan legislation to fund the government to the floor of the U.S. House for a vote in order to keep the government open and protect Virginia’s economy.

Virginia’s Seventh District is home to more than 60,000 federal civilian employees — the second most federal government workers of any congressional district in Virginia and fourth most among all congressional districts in the country — as well as more than 12,000 members of the U.S. Armed Forces. These Virginia workers and servicemembers — as well as many government contractors who would be furloughed and are not required by law to receive back pay — would have their pay withheld throughout the duration of a shutdown. Spanberger yesterday announced that nearly 1,000 federal government employees, contractors, and family members responded with concerns and potential personal consequences to her recent survey asking Virginians if they, their families, or their businesses would be impacted by a government shutdown.

In a letter to Speaker McCarthy, Spanberger relayed the concerns and personal stories she has received. Additionally, the Congresswoman outlined why she is urging Speaker McCarthy to bring bipartisan legislation to fund the government to the floor for a vote immediately.

“As Members of Congress, our chief responsibility is to fund the activities of the federal government. The American people expect and rely on us to perform this basic duty, and we cannot allow hyper-partisanship and division to obstruct us from doing so,” wrote Spanberger. “As one Virginian from Prince William County recently told me, ‘I’m tired of elected officials threatening to hold my paycheck hostage. I’m an essential employee in law enforcement, and I have a family to take care of. I went without a paycheck for over a month during the last government shutdown.’”

Spanberger continued, “Another constituent from Fredericksburg, a retired federal employee who served nearly 34 years in the government, said: ‘As a single mother of two it impacted me then and now. My daughter and son-in-law work for the government and rely on their checks monthly. They have a mortgage, student loans, not to mention other bills that must be paid. My son-in-law had a stroke last June and just returned back to work; they cannot afford to miss any checks. Congress needs to do the right thing.’ These hardworking Virginians have chosen to dedicate their careers to public service. In return, they deserve fair compensation and the highest regard for the vital work they do to serve and protect our nation — but instead, they are being used as political bargaining chips. Leaving these Americans in fear and uncertainty is wholly unacceptable. Virginians are tired of being used as political pawns in congressional negotiations. They are asking us to work together to do our jobs and keep the government open.”

Click here to read the letter, and the full letter text is below.

Dear Speaker McCarthy: 

On behalf of the Virginians I serve – including nearly 60,000 federal civilian employees and more than 12,000 servicemembers – I urge you to immediately take up legislation to fund the federal government and avert an avoidable shutdown. As Members of Congress, our chief responsibility is to fund the activities of the federal government. The American people expect and rely on us to perform this basic duty, and we cannot allow hyper-partisanship and division to obstruct us from doing so. 

My congressional district includes the fourth-largest population of federal civilian employees in the country, in addition to thousands of servicemembers, military families, and federal contractors. In just the past week, I have heard personal stories from nearly 1,000 of my constituents who are deeply concerned about the consequences a government shutdown would have on them. I have heard from families whose entire household income depends on their work as federal employees or servicemembers, who fear they will be unable to afford their mortgage, childcare, and food without pay during a shutdown – although many of them would be forced to continue working without pay, as they are deemed essential to our national security and the very functioning of our nation.

As one Virginian from Prince William County recently told me, “I’m tired of elected officials threatening to hold my paycheck hostage. I’m an essential employee in law enforcement, and I have a family to take care of. I went without a paycheck for over a month during the last government shutdown.”

Another constituent from Fredericksburg, a retired federal employee who served nearly 34 years in the government, said: “As a single mother of two it impacted me then and now. My daughter and son-in-law work for the government and rely on their checks monthly. They have a mortgage, student loans, not to mention other bills that must be paid. My son-in-law had a stroke last June and just returned back to work; they cannot afford to miss any checks. Congress needs to do the right thing.”

These hardworking Virginians have chosen to dedicate their careers to public service. In return, they deserve fair compensation and the highest regard for the vital work they do to serve and protect our nation — but instead, they are being used as political bargaining chips. Leaving these Americans in fear and uncertainty is wholly unacceptable.

Virginians are tired of being used as political pawns in congressional negotiations. They are asking us to work together to do our jobs and keep the government open.

On behalf of the American people we serve, I urge you to join with Republicans and Democrats who are willing to govern and bring bipartisan legislation to the U.S. House floor immediately to keep our government open.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

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