The government shutdown has left hundreds of thousands of Montgomery residents’ livelihoods in limbo, a move local leaders say will cost the county a half-million dollars a day.
The Montgomery County Executive’s office told The Washington Times and WAMU that a shutdown would cost Montgomery County $500,000 each day the estimated 70,000 federal workers who live in Montgomery County are not on the job.
Not only is Montgomery County considered a bedroom community to the District, many federal agencies have a presence in here—the National Institute for Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg; the Department of Health and Human Services and Food and Drug Administration in Rockville; and the US Department of Energy in Germantown.
Senator Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, said in a statement early Tuesday that gridlock should not be the norm. Maryland, Cardin said, would be hit even harder by the shutdown:
“… our economy is inextricably linked to the federal workforce. If you’re a federal employee and you don’t know when your next paycheck is coming, chances are you’re going to be tightening your purse strings. When that happens hundreds of thousands of times over, the economy is going to feel it.”
Businesses and federal workers’ fates rested is the result of a budgetary stalemate on Capitol Hill. The last time this happened was in 1995 and 1996, during the Clinton administration. That shutdown cost the country $2.1 billion in today’s dollars, according to a recent report from the Pew Research Center.
As was the case in the 1990s, there is a push to retroactively pay furloughed federal workers. U.S. Reps. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) introduced the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act late Monday, The Washington Post reports.
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