News / Economy

Washington DC Hit Hard by Government Shutdown

Washington DC Hit Hard by Government Shutdowni
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
Kent Klein
October 18, 2013 2:19 PM
With the end of the U.S. government's partial shutdown, Washington is breathing easier, but bracing for the possibility of more budget trouble ahead. As VOA's Kent Klein reports, the nation's capital, where tourism and the federal government are the top two employers, feels more pain than most other U.S. cities when the government shuts down.
Kent Klein
With the end of the U.S. government's partial shutdown, Washington is breathing easier, but bracing for the possibility of more budget trouble ahead. The nation's capital, where tourism and the federal government are the top two employers, feels more pain than most other U.S. cities when the government shuts down.

Ford's Theatre, where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, is one of Washington's most popular tourist attractions.

As many as 30,000 people visit it each week.

But it remained closed for two weeks during the government shutdown, until a private donation allowed it to reopen, to the relief of Debbi McSpadden.

"We're very happy.  Anything we can see in town right now that's open, we're excited about, because there's not much we've been able to see," she said.

Tourism is Washington's number-one employer, according to Mayor Vincent Gray. He says hotel bookings were down by more than eight percent in early October compared to last year, costing the city $2 million in lost revenue.

Restaurants suffered a double blow during the shutdown with both tourists and furloughed employees of the U.S. government, Washington's number-two employer, staying away.

Mayor Gray says the federal government is key to the well-being of the capital.

"Well, there's no question that the federal government continues to play a huge role in the economy of this city," he said.

Washington is unique among American cities.  It's a federal district and is not part of any of the 50 U.S. states. Its budget must be approved by its mayor but also by Congress.  When Congress fails to act, Washington is in trouble.

When the government shutdown forced the city to stop paying health providers under the federal Medicaid program for low-income patients, Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home worried about how long it could continue to operate.

Its president, Steve Nash, says they anticipated running out of money to pay staff and suppliers.

"If it continued, there was going to be a serious trickle-down effect and really cause disruption to our services," he said. "And so we are thankful that it has subsided, but again, we are very concerned about when we are going to receive our payments."

Nash says he is preparing his staff and vendors for the possibility of another shutdown in three months.

"So we have to plan accordingly and talk to our vendors and make sure they understand, talk to our employees to make sure they understand that there may be delays in the future if this continues," he said.

Nash and Mayor Gray believe the best solution to D.C.'s budget worries would be to make it America's 51st state.

You May Like

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

At Boston Bombing Hearing, Sides Spar Over Boat

At final pre-trial hearing, lawyers for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, prosecutors disagree on whether vessel where he hid from police can be shown to jurors More

Iran Judiciary 'Picks' Lawyer for Detained WP Reporter

Masoud Shafii has been attempting to secure official recognition as Rezaian’s attorney, but is not allowed to see his client in prison More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8896
JPY
USD
119.26
GBP
USD
0.6475
CAD
USD
1.2451
INR
USD
61.816

Rates may not be current.