D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday pushed President Trump and lawmakers on Capitol Hill to reach an agreement to end ongoing government shutdown, which the mayor said she now refers to as a “lockout.”
“We have thousands of dedicated public servants who want to work, who should be working, and who have jobs that are essential to the functioning of our government. But they can’t go to work because they’re locked out,” Bowser said in an open letter to residents. “In the D.C. region, we have more than 144,000 federal workers and contractors who are directly impacted, including over 53,000 Washingtonians. The longer this goes on and the more paychecks workers miss, the more dire the situation becomes.”
Bowser noted that it’s not just federal workers and their families who are affected, but restaurant workers, child care providers, hair salons and many others as well.
“With less money and more economic anxiety, people in the region are spending less and we are seeing the effects throughout our regional economy,” she wrote. “Ultimately, we know that what Americans need is a resolution to this shutdown. But until that happens, my administration is going to keep doing what we can to alleviate anxiety and hardship for Washingtonians.”
The mayor, who this month officially began her second term, added that her administration has already put in place several initiatives to ensure residents’ basic needs are being met, including:
• Emergency legislation to the Council to allow the D.C. government to provide much-needed unemployment insurance benefits to more federal workers.
• $2 million in additional support from D.C.’s local contingency fund to the Department of Human Services for the D.C. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
• A new program in alignment with the D.C. Housing Finance Agency to provide mortgage assistance to District homeowners who are furloughed federal government employees.