Returning Christmas presents and raiding the kids’ college fund: U.S. Reps. tell their constituents’ stories

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Washington, January 9, 2019 | comments
Washington Post

Eight House Democrats who represent the capital region, home to the biggest concentration of federal workers, denounced the shutdown on Wednesday and slammed President Trump.

During a news conference outside the Capitol, several members said their offices are being flooded with calls, emails and letters from constituents panicking about how they will pay their bills.

Rep. Jennifer Wexton (Va.) said one furloughed worker told her they had to return Christmas presents they could no longer afford.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (Md.) said a couple he represents will withdraw money from their retirement and kids’ college funds prematurely - paying a penalty - in order to cover basic needs.

Rep. Don Beyer (Va.) said he represents a disabled veteran who owns a small business dependent on government contractors and may have to lay off employees.

Each member ridiculed Trump’s desire to build a border wall to curb what he describes as a “crisis.”

“There is a crisis but it’s not the lack of a wall,” said Beyer, who represents about 80,000 federal workers and thousands of federal contractors. “Trump said a lot of words last night but not a single one of them was about the federal workforce.” 

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