Krasimir Podskochiev, 33, from Springfield, Va., runs a food truck that feeds the city’s federal workers. His truck, “The Taste of Eastern Europe,” stops at L’Enfant Plaza on Monday, the State Department on Tuesday, and Union Station later in the week. It relies heavily on business from government employees.
“We’ve seen a significant drop in our business, because we go mostly to government buildings,” he told National Journal. “It’s different every day, but we have up to 100 people each day and now we’re getting 20 to 30 percent less.” If the shutdown isn’t resolved by the end of the week, he says, he may take next week off.
Podskochiev’s truck is just one of the D.C. businesses feeling the pinch as hundreds of thousands of federal employees sit furloughed. Today. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, organized a news conference highlighting how families and communities around the country are being affected by the shutdown.
Rafael Moure-Eraso, chairman of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which investigates and helps prevent chemical disasters such as the West Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion, said 37 of his 40 employees had been furloughed. (The explosion killed 15 people and leveled hundreds of structures in April, including three of the town’s four schools.)
Other speakers at Tuesday’s event discussed how many critical services, such as the cleanup of toxic-waste sites and investment in the transportation sector, are being negatively affected by the shutdown. Sen. Bill Nelson D-Fla., noted that nutrients have been flowing into the main estuaries in his state, such as Caloosahatchee Estuary, with nobody to police them. “With us not being able to proceed with these Army Corps of Engineer projects that are to clean up the water, you’re going to have rivers that are dead rivers, where the nutrients suck all of the oxygen out,” he explained.
The shutdown pain doesn’t stop there. New Mexico border-patrol training has been suspended; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is canceling its annual flu program; and the White House website isn’t updating its information or responding to any queries. Even real-estate agents in Central Texas have been impacted.
In D.C. much local coverage of the shutdown has focused on the closure of national monuments and the closure of the National Zoo. National Journal‘s Matt Berman made a particularly valiant effort to find a panda last week. He failed, but the story is well worth a read.
And in particularly terrible news, a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton that was scheduled to be delivered to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has been delayed until spring. “Our primary goal is the safety and security of this specimen,” museum director Kirk Johnson told The Washington Post. “It just doesn’t make sense to make the move now.”
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"Two chief fundraisers for the Clinton Foundation pressed corporate donors to steer business opportunities to former President Bill Clinton as well, according to a hacked memo published Wednesday by WikiLeaks. The November 2011 memo from Douglas Band, at the time a top aide to Mr. Clinton, outlines extensive fundraising efforts that Mr. Band and a partner deployed on behalf of the Clinton Foundation and how that work sometimes translated into large speaking fees and other paid work for Mr. Clinton."
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz plans to spend "years, come January, probing the record of a President Hillary Clinton." Chaffetz told the Washington Post: “It’s a target-rich environment. Even before we get to Day One, we’ve got two years’ worth of material already lined up. She has four years of history at the State Department, and it ain’t good.”
Priorities USA, the super PAC aligned with the Clinton campaign, which has already gotten involved in two Senate races, is now expanding into House races. The group released a 30 second spot which serves to hit Donald Trump and Iowa Rep. Rod Blum, who is in a tough race to win re-election in Iowa's first congressional district. The super PAC's expansion into House and Senate races shows a high level of confidence in Clinton's standing against Trump.
Republican House leaders are planning on taking up a vote to renew the Iran Sanctions Act as soon as the lame-duck session begins in mid-November. The law, which expires on Dec. 31, permits a host of sanctions against Iran's industries, defense, and government. The renewal will likely pass the House, but its status is unclear once it reaches the Senate, and a spokesman from the White House refused to say whether President Obama would sign it into law.