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In Response to Protracted Shutdown, Rep. John Lewis Publishes Shutdown Guide

January 11, 2019
Press Release

Fact Sheet for Government Shutdown (pdf)

The city of Atlanta is the regional home of many federal offices affected by the government shutdown.  In response to inquiries and concerns Rep. Lewis heard from his constituents, he has developed a guide to the shutdown which can help groups, organizations, families, and individuals answer some critical questions they may have in this crisis.

“Federal employees do not deserve to be used as hostages in a political debate,” said Rep. Lewis.  “People of good will have different approaches to the same issue.  But using federal workers like they are not human, but are pawns in a game of chess, is playing with people’s lives.  Thousands of hard-working Americans who have dedicated their careers to preserve and defend our democracy will face delayed mortgage and rent payments, school tuitions, weddings, funerals, credit card payments, medical treatments, car repairs, and many other responsibilities to weather this unnecessary storm.  It is wrong that their lives should be thrown up in the air simply because the White House refuses to put the goodwill of the people and its responsibility to governing before politics.”

“This shutdown demonstrates that the federal government is not a bunch of buildings in some distant corner of Washington, DC.  The government is you and me.  It is our friends, neighbors, and relatives.  It is a dedicated work-force who commit to serve our nation despite the slings and arrows of misguided leadership and the worst kind of political gamesmanship.  These committed public servants work day and night to keep this nation running smoothly and efficiently in spite of all the ways they are criticized and misrepresented.  Many today are working critical and even dangerous jobs on our behalf—in prisons, on police forces, in secure locations—without being paid just to ensure that we as a nation survive this cruel, thoughtless stunt.  They should be honored and respected for their dedication by their boss, the leader of the executive branch, instead of placed in jeopardy.”

The federal government is the largest employer in the United States, employing approximately 2.7 million people.  This guide helps answer many questions constituents and government workers may have about the shutdown.  Currently, House Democrats are passing legislation to reopen the government and hope the president will return to the business of governing and sign these bills into law.  Bipartisan discussions about border security can continue once federal workers are no longer unfairly placed in harm’s way.

Last updated January 11, 2019