Hampton Roads scholars, leaders worried about shutdown

With hours to go, lawmakers are still playing the blame game.America braces itself for a potential government shutdown.

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC)-- The day of reckoning has arrived.

The United States government will run out of money at midnight, and no legislative fix is in sight.

"I don't see an appetite for a deal right now," said Christopher Newport University political science professor Quentin Kidd. He added that the region should buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

"There are going to be a lot of people that get furloughed that are going to be told, don't come to work Monday morning because there's no money to pay you. That's going to happen all over Hampton Roads, it's going to happen all over Northern Virginia."

Retired Navy Rear Admiral Craig Quigley remembers the last shutdown in 2013, and how bad it was for furloughed civil servants. He worries that history is about to repeat itself.

"You're not going to go to the movies," he said. "You're not going to buy a pizza. You're certainly not going to buy a new car, or rent a new apartment, or something like that because you don't know what the future holds."

Old Dominion University economics professor Bob McNab says that with Hampton Roads being so reliant upon federal spending, the spin-off affects will be substantial.

"The real fear is that we return to a shutdown like 2013, where we had federal contractors and employees out of work for two and a half weeks," he said. ""As the shutdown extends, people start to worry about their rent, their mortgage apartments, their car payments and it really has a detrimental affect on the economy as the shutdown is happening. We estimate that impact could be $30 to $50 million a day if the federal government shuts down."

As for the political posturing, it began this morning, with President Trump Tweeting: "Democrats...want illegal immigration and weak borders. We need more Republican victories in 2018."

CNU political analyst Kidd says, though, the whole thing might backfire on the president.

"Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of Donald Trump being sworn in as President of the United States" he said. "What better political jab in the side on the part of Democrats then to say on the one year anniversary of your being sworn in, the government is going to shut down. Look what your presidency has amounted to."

Republicans are pushing back.

On Friday, the Republican National Committee e-mailed out a statement.

Spokesman Garren Shipley wrote, "Children in need, our armed forces, and hardworking Federal employees are counting on Tim Kaine and Mark Warner to do the right thing today. Please, Senators, don't let them down."

For his part, Kaine, in a conference call with reporters said Congress should stay on the job.

"Enough with the punting the decisions down the road," he said. "We outta just stay here in congress over the weekend into next week if we need to and negotiate a final budget deal going forward."

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