Dear Leader McConnell and Speaker Boehner,
As Maryland and Virginia continue on the path to recovery from the worst recession since the Great Depression, a federal government shutdown at the end of this month would be catastrophic to our regional economy. A Republican induced government shutdown would wreak economic havoc on federal employees and their middle class families, and it would needlessly stifle much needed economic growth in Maryland and Virginia. As state lawmakers representing hundreds of thousands of federal workers and government contractors who do everything from cancer research to providing healthcare for our veterans, we ask you to put politics aside and to pass a clean budget by September 30th to avoid a government shutdown.
The October 2013 government shutdown had enormous economic consequences on our regional economy, shattering financial stability for many of our dedicated federal employees. Maryland lost $5 million a day in income and sales tax revenue during the 2013 government shutdown – money that was badly needed to invest in our schools, roads, and communities. Virginia, as the top state for federal investment per capita, disproportionately bore the brunt of the shutdown’s ensuing economic disruption. Our regional economy cannot again afford to lose $217 million per day – 17.6 percent of our daily economic activity – because of a government shutdown.
During the 2013 government shutdown, nearly 800,000 federal employees were furloughed and another 1.3 million were required to come to work without knowing when their next paycheck would arrive. For these federal employees who have to balance mortgages, child care expenses, college debt, and pay for the groceries, getting furloughed or not knowing when their next paycheck will come is an unprovoked economic assault on Maryland and Virginia’s middle class. A repeat of the 2013 shutdown is an affront to the dignity of the people who make our federal government work.
We, the undersigned, strongly urge you to consider these repercussions to our regional economy, before jeopardizing our already tenuous recovery with another government shutdown.
Delegate Andrew Platt, Maryland House of Delegates, District 17
Delegate Mark Sickles, Virginia House of Delegates, District 43
Senator Dave Marsden, Virginia Senate, District 37