VA lawmakers weigh in on federal government shutdown, border security

NBC12, ALANA AUSTIN

Virginia lawmakers are weighing in on the federal government shutdown as workers start to feel the pressure.

Friday marks day 21 of the partial federal government shutdown. As employees miss their first paychecks because of this political standoff, Virginia lawmakers on both sides of the aisle hope to move the nation forward.

Freshmen Democratic Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger and Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman say they’re looking for bipartisan answers. The lawmakers are on opposite sides of the aisle – but they expressed support for similar policies at our Southern border.

Spanberger and Riggleman say they think a mix of physical barriers, additional manpower and smarter technology will make the country safer. On Capitol Hill, Spanberger says she’s hearing from many constituents deeply impacted by the shutdown.

“Our phones have been ringing off the hook by people impacted in many, many ways,” said Spanberger. “So the impact is just tremendous, and we have to end the shutdown.”

“Walls work, physical barriers work, but it’s an all the above strategy. I believe we’re going to have a net more than a wall,” explained Riggleman about his stance.

Spanberger in particular calls for an immediate end to the shutdown over concerns that there could be long-term hits to the country. She says she’s worried about air traffic control training programs on hiatus, and how that could delay the pipeline of additional staff to keep the airways safe.

If the shutdown runs through Saturday, that will make this the longest government closure in history.

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