D.C. mayor implores Trump to end government shutdown

Residents of Washington "are stepping up to cover federal services during the shutdown," Mayor Muriel Bowser wrote in a letter to the president.
Image: Partial federal Shutdown in Washington, DC
Trash on the National Mall on the fifth day of a partial federal shutdown in Washington on December 26, 2018.Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

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By Dennis Romero

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser on Wednesday urged the president to end the government shutdown, arguing that if affects the capital more than other parts of the nation.

"During a shutdown, there are no winners and our nation's federal workers, including the 170,000 federal employees who work in Washington, D.C., pay the highest price," Bowser wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump, which she posted on Twitter.

The shutdown began after midnight Saturday after Trump made a last-minute demand for $5 billion in border wall expenditures as part of a federal government funding package. Congressional democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have said no.

Despite control of both legislative branches by the GOP, there hasn't been sufficient support in the Senate to pass funding with Trump's cash included.

A National Park Service employee closes the gate to the National Christmas Tree during the partial government shutdown in Washington on Dec. 24.Andrew Harnik / AP

The result is the third government shutdown since Trump took office in January 2017.

About 420,000 federal employees are working without pay. An additional 380,000 have been sent home, according to a fact sheet compiled by Senate Democrats.

Among those still on-the-job without pay: TSA employees, correctional officers, FBI agents, U.S. Marshals, Border Patrol officers, Coast Guard employees, Forest Service firefighters and Weather Service forecasters. They could be compensated retroactively.

The impact on the epicenter of the federal government is being softened by D.C.'s City Hall, Bowser said in her letter.

"The 702,000 residents of Washington, D.C., who pay the highest taxes per capita to the federal treasury, are stepping up to cover federal services during the shutdown, while we are the only citizens within the continental United States without a vote in Congress," the mayor's letter reads.

Bowser squarely blamed Trump for the shutdown.

"I urge you to work with Congress to bring an immediate end to the current partial federal government shutdown," she wrote. "Indeed, many D.C. residents, businesses, including restaurants and hotels, and federal contractors will suffer severe impacts if the shutdown continues indefinitely."