April 6, 2011
Potential government shutdown's impact on region
With just days left before a possible government shutdown, D.C.-area residents and tourists braced for the impact a possible shutdown would have on the region. If a budget compromise isn’t reached, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will close. All “non-essential” employees will be sent home. Thousands of stores in the District, Maryland, and Virginia that rely on spending from government employees and tourists could be hurt. "It’s gonna be difficult,” said Tom Martin, a Department of Commerce employee. “I have a young son. My wife is also working in commerce, so we'll be without both of our incomes.” Essential federal workers would stay on the job, including FBI agents and Coast Guard workers. Social Security payments would still go out and the mail would be delivered. Another commerce department staffer, Jeff Pedersen, said he luckily has some money saved up.