VIRGINIANS WEIGH IN: Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA07) Hears Shutdown Concerns from Workers, Families



From Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA07)’s office:

VIRGINIANS WEIGH IN: Spanberger Hears Shutdown Concerns from Workers, Families

Virginia’s Seventh District Is Home to the Second Highest Number of Federal Government Workers Across Virginia Congressional Districts 

Through the Congresswoman’s Survey, Nearly 1,000 Virginians Shared Personal Stories about How a Government Shutdown Would Negatively Impact Them, Their Families, or Their Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today announced the initial results of her survey asking Virginians if they believe a government shutdown would negatively impact them, their family, or their business.

Virginia is home to thousands of active duty servicemembers, federal contractors, and federal employees — and Virginia’s Seventh District is home to the second most federal government workers of any congressional district in Virginia and fourth most among all congressional districts in the country. Across the Commonwealth, previous shutdowns have had real, costly consequences for these hardworking Virginians, small business owners, and the overall economy. After the 2013 government shutdown, Virginia was found to be the most economically harmed state in the United States. During the 2018 to 2019 partial government shutdown, more than 64,000 federal employees in Virginia felt the sting in their pocketbooks. Now, in 2023, if an agreement is not reached ahead of the September 30 government funding deadline, the government will once again shut down, devastating Virginians.

Of the survey responses received from Virginians, nearly 1,000 individuals shared personal stories about how they would be negatively impacted by a government shutdown. Virginians can click here to take Spanberger’s brief survey to share their story.

“Nearly 60,000 federal civilian employees live in Virginia’s Seventh District,” said Spanberger. “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. We must find a way to work together to fund the government and fulfill our duty to the American people.”

Some of the responses that Virginians submitted through the survey so far include:

“A government shutdown will cost precious income for myself, my coworkers, and my company. We have a time and labor contract and will not be compensated during a shutdown. Historically, federal employees are made whole after a shutdown. This has not been the case for contractors. It will be difficult to meet our monthly bills. The impact will carry forward as we play financial catch-up.” – Julie, government contractor, Fredericksburg

“This would be my third shutdown I will experience. I have two children in college and my wife, and I both are government employees. Depending on the length of the shutdown it will have a significant impact on me and my family. Bills will begin to not get paid due to lack of not getting paid.” – Duane, government employee, Stafford County

“My husband and I are the only two employees of our small business. We service federal employees and contractors. 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. Additionally, we provide essential health care to these clients. If they can’t pay for services and miss these health appointments, it may affect their health in the long-term. Thank you for doing all you can to prevent it!!” – Michelle, small business owner, Prince William County

“I have been a government contractor for several years. I’ve been through a few shutdowns already, some longer than others. During the shutdown of December 2018/January 2019 (which lasted more than a month) I was forced to use ALL of my PTO for 2019, which left me with NO paid time off for the remainder of 2019. Once the lump sum PTO is gone, contractors simply go unpaid for the remainder of the shutdown. And we, as Government contractors, DO NOT get backpay like government employees.” – Chris, government contractor, Stafford County

“I really can’t see how congress can let this happen time and again. But I appreciate all you do for us Ms. Spanberger.” – Charles Collins, government contractor, Prince William County

“Several employees will be stopped from work. Financially, I’ll be forced to temporarily lay them off. That’s an unexpected and painful reality.” – Dan Haug, government contractor, Culpeper County

“I have 38 years of Navy service. 20 on active duty and 18 more as a government civilian. ~20 of those years were forward deployed. 15 years ago I was asked to move to the Pentagon. Love my job and organization. The shutdown impact: Congress’ disfunction means you have to plan to not be paid for a time and we have so we are ok. What’s not ok is my staff has a lot of budget planning to train Sailors and other associated readiness work to do and that stops. Who picks that up? Thank you for trying!” – Craig, government employee, Prince William County

“Please work together to avoid the shutdown.” – Pat, Prince William County

“As a federal employee, I have experienced a furlough and the threat of a shutdown almost every year. This is ridiculous. It’s embarrassing to our country that Congress cannot do one of the main functions of their job. It’s harmful to government programs, American families and our status in the world as a leader. While there are many benefits to being a federal employee, losing pay has a catastrophic effect on families.” – Stephen, government employee, Spotsylvania County

“Thank you so much for supporting Virginians and others by speaking out and urging your colleagues in Congress to take action and avoid a shutdown!” – John Smith, King George County

“It’s unfathomable that Republicans force not only their constituents but anyone who works for a government agency to go through government shutdowns! Do they not understand how stressful it is for families? It’s utterly shameful.” – Lorna, government contractor, Spotsylvania County

“My husband is a truck driver. His job has slowed down immensely this past year!! We need all the help we can get! Keep all business flowing we desperately need the income, & I know we aren’t alone out there!!” – Brittani, Spotsylvania County

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