WUSA9, BRITTNEY MELTON
Rep. Abigail Spanberger has asked Virginians to make their voices heard in her survey about how they feel the government shutdown would impact them, their family or even their business. On Tuesday, she released the initial results.
A government shutdown is inevitable if Congress does not pass a budget before funding expires on Oct. 1. This will affect many people living in the Commonwealth, which is home to thousands of active duty servicemembers, federal contractors and federal employees. Virginia has the second most federal civilian employees and second most active-duty military members living in the state, behind California for both rankings.
Spanberger’s 7th District has the second most federal government workers of any congressional district in Virginia and third most among all congressional districts in the country, according to the Congressional Research Service.
“Nearly 60,000 federal civilian employees live in Virginia’s Seventh District,” Spanberger said. “If the government shuts down, these hardworking Virginians — as well as our brave servicemembers — would be furloughed or forced to work without pay, making it a struggle to meet basic needs like rent, mortgages, and groceries.”
Previous shutdowns have left the state suffering from financial consequences. After the 2013 government shutdown, Virginia was found to be the most economically harmed state in the country, according to Spanberger. During the partial shutdown, from 2018 to 2019, more than 64,000 federal employees in the state were financially impacted.
Now, Rep. Spanberger is asking for Congress to find a way to work together to fund the government. In addition, she has asked Virginians to share their personal stories about how the shutdown would impact them. So far nearly 1,000 people have responded.
“My husband and I are the only two employees of our small business. We service federal employees and contractors,” a small business owner named Michelle, of Prince William County, said. “If they don’t get paid, it directly affects their ability to pay us as a small business. It makes keeping a roof over our head and food on our table challenging.”