Federal shutdown leaves local footprint
Government closure creating hardships for some
With the federal government shutdown now in its second week, local citizens and public officials are expressing a variety of viewpoints on the situation and, in some cases, alarm.
The News-Times spoke with a handful of Forest Grove residents, as well as a visiting elected official Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown to get their thoughts on the shutdown and its impacts.
Brown, who was in Forest Grove Monday for a lecture at Pacific University, expressed frustration.
This is going to have an impact on Oregons economy, theres no other way to say it, Brown said. This cannot go on. This is absolutely unacceptable. Figure it out, you guys.
Brown, a Democrat, said she is worried Republicans are setting a harmful precedent with so often asking for a variety of budget or policy concessions from the president before agreeing to fund the government or raise the debt ceiling, actions that could jeopardize the economic stability of the nation.
If the president blinks now, this hostage-taking will happen over and over again, Brown said. Congress needs to pass the continuing resolution.
Joe Chavez, a Cle Elum, Wash., resident, said he had come to Forest Grove for the day to visit friends. Ironically, Chavez said, he had time to visit Forest Grove because he had been furloughed his U.S. Forest Service job on a motorized trail crew was a casualty of the federal shutdown.
Its unnecessary, Chavez said. I think both sides are being stubborn. They are not willing to compromise.
Chavez said the other people on his crew were also in limbo as the shutdown continued. We dont know when well get back to work.
At his business on 21st Avenue, Vic Robinson, owner of Vics Guitar Cave, said he, too, was directly impacted by the impasse in Washington, D.C.
My wife works for the feds, so we know what its like, said Robinson, whos tired of the partisanship but thinks President Barack Obama should shoulder most of the blame.
I think theres a lot of finger-pointing, and it depends on which side of the fence youre on. I am a conservative, but I dont like whats going on, he said.
Meanwhile, a Thursday field trip to Fort Clatsop in Astoria by students from the Forest Grove Community School is likely a no-go due to the shutdown.
We do a unit on Lewis and Clark, and going to Astoria to see where they wintered is a fantastic experience for our students, said Becky Tengs, a third/fourth-grade teacher.
Telling pupils about the cancellation was a learning experience in itself, she added.
A common reaction was How can the government be closed? said Tengs, who prepared a template so students could write letters to Obama and members of Congress about the situation.Add a comment