WASHINGTON (Gray DC) — The partisan gridlock — and prolonged government shutdown in Washington — are starting to take a toll on thousands of federal employees.
Tuesday marks the 18th day of the partial federal government shutdown. Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner tells Washington Correspondent Alana Austin the problems are starting to pile up for Virginia's federal workers and park lands.
Trash and other debris are blocking some roads that run through Shenandoah National Park. Right now, 800,000 federal workers are going without pay and many national parks do not have their regular manpower and garbage pick-up services.
Warner says this does not just hurt the federal employees and contractors, but the tourism industry. He says all those businesses – like restaurants, hotels and wineries – take a hit. Plus, the billions of dollars in overdue maintenance projects throughout the parks system will get kicked down the road even further.
"This is just plain irresponsible," said Warner. "This is going to be an economic hit on Virginia and on the nation, so let's get the government reopened."
Another concern: TSA workers beginning to call out of work. That raises the possibility of delays for air travelers.
While Warner is placing the blame squarely on the President, many Republicans on Capitol Hill say it's the other way around. The Commander-in-Chief says he's trying to negotiate with Democratic leaders over border security, but they have held up on striking a deal.
President Donald Trump is expected to give a speech Tuesday night from the Oval Office. This is the first such address under his administration. It's expected to air at 9 p.m. E.T. Democratic leaders will issue a response immediately afterward.