US Capitol

Projections about when the federal government shutdown will end remained sketchy Wednesday morning.

With a robust federal workforce, Loudoun County is one locality that has been seeking answers since the government partially shut down on Dec. 22.

“It is not good for business,” Loudoun Chamber President and CEO Tony Howard said. “But the question remains how long this will drag on because the longer it drags on the more negative impact there will be on local businesses and the federal workforce, which is a substantial part consumer base in northern Virginia.”

President Donald Trump and Congress failed to fund the government when the president demanded, but did not receive, $5 billion to fund a border wall between parts of the United States and Mexico. The ongoing dispute has impacted more than 400,000 federal workers, most of whom are uncertain when they'll receive paychecks.

Many federal workers who live in Loudoun County have been furloughed or forced to work without pay.

Howard compared the situation to the budget sequestration of 2013 that cut spending in defense and non-defense categories to reduce the national debt. The shutdown is just another concern for federal contractors and workers.

“When people stop being paid and stop spending it affects the whole economy,” Reston Limo President and CEO Kristina Bouweiri said.

Bouweiri, who has been in the shuttle service business for nearly 30 years, said revenue from the federal government accounted for a large part of the company’s revenue. Recalling a 10-day shutdown in the past, Bouweiri is concerned about the impact for contractors that rely heavily on federal government spending.

“It’s really bad for everybody,” Bouweiri said. “ ... if the government shuts down [and] there is a clause that says if we don’t provide the service, we don’t get paid. We still have to pay our expenses for labor, but it’s also affecting the employees.”

Federal workers were also hoping to receive a pay increase after the new year following approval by the U.S. Senate. However, that measure was blocked by the president, stating the budget “cannot sustain such increases.”

On New Year’s Eve, Trump issued an executive order freezing the pay rates for non-military federal workers. A handful of U.S. senators, including Mark Warner (D) and Tim Kaine (D) of Virginia, sent a letter urging the president to reverse the decision.

"There should be a particular sense of urgency in bolstering, rather than undermining, the competitiveness of the federal workforce considering that the share of federal employees eligible for retirement is expected to jump to 30 percent in five years," the senators wrote. "As a businessman, we would expect you to understand the importance of human capital investments in recruiting and retaining talented employees. We are deeply troubled that you would abdicate your responsibility to ensure the sustainability of the federal workforce—particularly while so many federal employees are actively working without pay during a shutdown triggered by your own equivocation.”

A White House briefing about the shutdown and border wall is being held Wednesday, according to media reports.

The Virginia Employment Commission has already started helping federal employees seek compensation benefits in Virginia. Employees can visit vec.virginia.gov for more information.

Howard hopes some “compromise” will happen soon.

"All around it’s a particularly sad story, one that we hope is resolved pretty soon," the chamber CEO said.

(42) comments

amerigirl

Workinghard, what is being up polls? Hillary Clinton also won the popular vote by over 3 million votes, even after the Comey debacle. What problem do you have with Reuters? Same results with the Hill-HarrisX poll, ABC news, morning consult, and Politico says the wall is the lowest priority for most Americans. Screw the wall, we need comprehensive border security and policing of those who overstay their Visas.

amerigirl

It seems to me if they want to give back pay for people who didn't work they should set up some sort of comp time schedule. Maybe make them put in an extra hour a day or so many months or something to that effect. It looks to me like the only people getting ripped off in the end are taxpayers who supported their unscheduled vacation.

Concerned

They don't have to give the federal workers back pay. As a federal worker family--- they should not. The government needs a major diet. Federal employment needs to be slashed.

amerigirl

This is not the way to get smaller government. When you were hired didn't you agree to work so many hours for so much pay? Breaking ones word, contract or promise on a whim is not acceptable practice, after awhile no one would want to work for that type of employer. If they need to slash workers then they should start writing up those who under perform and get rid of them, keeping the cream of the crop.

Loudoun4Trump

Easy Duncan....the US is paying 200 Billion a year to illegals on welfare, educating, healthcare and everything else....build the wall, stop the illegal bad guys coming in like the illegal gang guy who killed that police officer...the US saves 10s of billions by keeping them out, that funds the wall and some.....

amerigirl

You really need to fact check. That amount was made up by trump about a week ago then this week he repeated it, each time taking the figure higher, saying he heard it somewhere. Yeah from himself! It’s closer to 54 not 200. An estimated half of the nation's undocumented immigrants are believed to be working under fake Social Security numbers, which means they are paying taxes and into Social Security. The ITEP estimates that state and local governments take in $11.74 billion a year from undocumented immigrants. They will never get to collect SS money, so that is our gain. Since they are not eligible for the federal earned income tax credit, so they're taxed at higher rates than similar low-income Americans. The wall won’t stop people from going over, around or under it. It may have, but I doubt it, saved the officer killed, but what about the over a hundred police killed by US citizens last year, what would it do for them?

Duncan Idaho

That’s not “Mexico paying for the wall”. Also, reply to my comments directly, not up the comment chain. It’s bat etiquette.

amerigirl

It is really not just trump, it is McConnell that won't let them over-ride the veto because he won't let the senate bring it to the floor. So we have 2 men holding the country hostage, lovely!

workhardgetahead

It's the Schumer shutdown of 2019!!!!!

workhardgetahead

This shutdown belongs to Schumer and Pelosi!!

amerigirl

"Yes, if we don't get what we want ... I will shut down the government," the president declared. He also stated that “wall funding could be approved in the House or Senate without Democratic votes.” And “he would be “proud to shut down the government”. Remember when he said Mexico was going to pay for the wall. But now he doesn’t want the blame so he is trying to shift it, hoping his sheep will fall in line and repeat his words. He just wants something to but his brand on. A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll last week showed that 50 % the public blame Trump for the shutdown and 7 percent blame Republican lawmakers, against 32 percent who blame Democrats. Too bad they didn’t add McConnell’s name to that poll.

Lawman

Political Games. Thing is it will cost the Federal Government more with all the back and double pay. All those employees who took leave over Holidays will get paid and get their leave back so it’s a double pay thing. Democrats should pass 5 Billion in wall funding, but make it a matching funds requirement; a dollar for every dollar Provided by Mexico and tell the great deal maker, go make a deal. If Republicans really wanted a wall they would have made it a Capital project funded under the Corps of Engineers in the DoD Budget and then dared the thin skinned Democrats in the Senate to hold it up. Both sides are playing political games with people’s lives.

amerigirl

Many of the Republicans don't want the wall either, they want the same thing as Democrats, border security.The wall is archaic. Trump even said something about the Vatican having a wall, doesn't he realize that it was built in the days when armies came by man powered boats, foot or horseback?

workhardgetahead

You want to being up polls. Hillary Clinton had a 11 point lead on Trump a few days before the election. Polls mean nothing and look who you sourced, Reuters!!! You just should of polled Code Pink.

More Cowbell

The Dulles Toll Road was promised to go away once paid for. It was paid for over 20 years ago, yet we still have the Dulles Toll Road. Northern VA pays about 25-40 cents more per gallon of gas because of high gas tax, which we're told goes towards roads, yet many are in very bad shape.

amerigirl

Is the toll road paid for? I don't think so but if you know something I don't let me know. I think in N. VA were still pay less than DC and most of MD. No matter what state you're in you will pay less in the boonies, it attracts business off the interstates etc.

More Cowbell

Yes, the Toll Road has been paid for many times over. It should have gone away around 1990. That's the way the corrupt politicians presented it to Northern va. Somewhere along the way Kaine gave it to corrupt MWAA. so now the the Dulles Toll road will stay and money go towards Metro to offset the cost since very few will ride from Loudoun to wherever. There is more metro in DC and MD.

Simon

Keep it shut down until there is border security funding. Dems were all for this, always have been, until trump. This is nothing more than a big F you to him. Do not stand for it. Hold firm and keep it shut down until there is a reasoned compromise.

amerigirl

I agree with you, he wanted to own it, now he does. I haven't talked to a single democrat that wants to give him the money for a ridiculous, outdated wall of any kind. He can open the government without funding the wall but being the child he is he won't do it. Just one temper tantrum after another all spelled out in tweets.

workhardgetahead

This is the 2nd Schumer shutdown. The Democrats dont believe in securing the country. Last year alone, 12 US citizens were killed by illegals. There are probably more but the media wont report it. Secure the border and let only those that can contribute to our society in. Enough with the liberal, socialist garbage.

LoudounClear

Sorry, everyone in America knows who's behind this shutdown. This wall he keeps touting is nonsense. Improve border security--fine idea. Building a wall, taking private property to do it, disrupting wildlife that doesn't see the man-made border...it's all stupid. Trump might as well shut down the government because we won't fund building a time machine for the Easter bunny. This nonsense has gone on long enough. We need a real President

amerigirl

This is a Trump shutdown, he said he would own it. Both houses, democrats and republicans, and Trump, had agreed on a budget and he blew it out of the water because he is not a man of his word.

workhardgetahead

Schumer/Pelosi shutdown 2019!!

The Trump Shutdown is accelerating the destruction of our way of life. Thanks Trump...for nothing.

springerdad

I thought the same thing when Clinton shut down the government twice but somehow we survived. You do realize the U.S. existed before 2016.

The government shuts down for five days, from November 13 to November 19, because President Bill Clinton vetoes a continuing resolution from a Republican-controlled Congress. The shutdown ends when Clinton agrees to a seven-year deadline to balance the budget and 75 percent funding for the next four weeks.

December 5, 1995
The government shuts down for 21 days, beginning on December 5, 1995 and ending on January 6, 1996. The shutdown occurs when the Republicans ask Clinton to propose his seven-year timetable budget with Congressional Budget Office numbers instead of his Office of Management and Budget numbers. Clinton refuses and eventually passes a compromise budget with Congress. The estimated total cost of the two 1995 shutdowns (26 days total) is more than $1.4 billion. (Adjusted for inflation, that's $2.1 billion in 2013.)

workhardgetahead

Yea, I'm sure you way of life is in the doldrums. If this country survived Obama it will survive anything.

Matthew

Agree moron, just look at all the carnage this partial government shutdown has caused ... wait one minute, all I hear are crickets ...

workhardgetahead

The 2019 SCHUMER SHUTDOWN!!!! Call Schumer on his Senate phone line and demand he make a deal. Your government check depends on it!!

amerigirl

Is someone having a breakdown over the trump shutdown?

workhardgetahead

Fund the wall!! End the Schumer shutdown !!

amerigirl

Fund border security, not a stupid wall.

Skyprince

Explain to me why Trump is demanding 2.6 billion when Mexico is paying for the wall? What does he want the money for if it is already accounted for?

Chris McHale

Skyprince - Yes Trump said Mexico will pay for it. And the Democrats said there was no way Trump would be president. Both were clearly wrong.

It is interesting that we have term limits for President which was designed by Congress, but no term limits on Congress. Until that day comes there will continue to be this great divide.

amerigirl

If it ween't for the electoral college he wouldn't have been president. Putin and Comey didn't help either.

Matthew

Explain to me why the dims proposed $15 billion in foreign aid in their bid to reopen the government, but can't seem to find $5 billion for the American people?! Utterly ridiculous.

amerigirl

Because we usually spend 1% of the budget, it was $59.1 billion last year and this year it was to be $54 billion. But trump lied again (no surprise there), he wanted to slash 12 billion off and the Senate Appropriations Committee, in a unanimous bipartisan vote, approved a budget of $54.4 billion. The Republicans control the Senate. So, it was not just Democrats, it was not $12 billion over $54 billion and it was not all money for foreign aid but also money — about $12 billion — to keep the State Department running.

Loudoun4Trump

Please do not open the corrupt government back up until the border wall is funded and I would even say built. These same politicians have been promising a wall since the 80s when reagan did the initial amnesty....we are still waiting for the wall!!!

amerigirl

Keep waiting. Most of the illegals are those who have over stayed their visas. Overstays have exceeded those entering illegally every year since 2007, and there have been half a million more overstays than illegal entries since 2007.So how is a wall going to take care of that?

tolerantleft

Simple, provide the security of my family and friends by funding the wall and stop the Schumer shutdown.

Duncan Idaho

If Mexico is paying for the wall, why does Trump need $5 billiion from Congress to...pay for the wall?

Chris McHale

Unfortunately this will not end soon because neither side wants it to end.

scottva

Trump requested $5B for a wall/fence whatever people want to call it. To us normal folk, that is a ton of money but in government speak, it's less than peanuts. Pelosi proposed, today, providing more money to foreign countries (for whatever) than anything for boarder security (not wall). Personally, I agree with a wall/fence, again whatever people want to call it. However, I think the BIG mistake Trump is making is speaking only about a wall and the Dems only say "boarder security". Both are right and wrong. Consider this silly example, a bank. A bank is made out of metal with a brick exterior, followed by locking lobby doors, often an armed security guard, bulletproof glass, a plethora of security cameras, panic buttons and a vault that would take a tank to get through. The banks overall security isn't defined by a guard with a gun, bulletproof glass or security cameras. All of these measures are part of a layered security approach. This is where Trump needs to change his approach and the Dems need to get beyond the undefined phrase "boarder security". A drone is great but is it going to stop anyone? Nope, but part of a layered approach it certainly would help.

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