City Cast

How Will the Government Shutdown Affect DC?

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on September 28
Lincoln Memorial

In past shutdowns, National Parks have closed. (NPCA Photos/Flickr)

Due to some squabbling up on Capitol Hill, D.C. is staring down a full-blown government shutdown (queue “Here It Goes Again” by Ok Go). I don’t care what Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) or any other congressperson claims. Shutdowns hit D.C. the hardest.

  • The last government shutdown in 2018 - 2019 lasted 35 days and cost D.C. $47.4 million in lost revenue.
  • D.C. must support thousands of furloughed workers who are likely to inundate D.C.’s office of unemployment services (you file where you work, not where you live).
  • With so many federal employees working remotely, downtown businesses are already struggling. Lost Metro ridership and closed tourist attractions certainly won’t help.

What Will Be Closed?

The Smithsonian

It’s not confirmed, but the museums (including the National Zoo and National Arboretum) have closed in previous shutdowns.

Federal Assistance Programs

The seven million people receiving federal food aid would see an immediate reduction in payment. However, D.C. food pantries are already prepping to help fill the gap.

Marriage Ceremonies/Licenses

Unfortunately, getting hitched doesn’t count as an essential service. You can still get divorced though, which seems rigged if you ask me.

What’s Staying Open?

City Services

Trash, parking enforcement (hooray!), and mail services will remain undisturbed. Same with libraries, rec centers, and public transportation.

National Parks

While some monuments and memorials may have limited access, the National Mall and Rock Creek Park are expected to remain open as they did during previous shutdowns.

Private Museums

You can still check out D.C.’s many private museums like the Phillips Collection, the Spy Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and many others.

Cups & Company

Don’t worry, essential workers, rumor is the Senate building’s stand-by (if not slightly shitty) coffee shop is remaining open.

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