Shutdown leads to some Congressional office closures -- Gazette.Net



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The federal government shutdown has closed federal agencies, national parks and the National Zoo’s Panda Cam, but the effect on congressional offices around Maryland has been mixed.

Several members have kept their offices open during the funding battle that has seen government workers around the country furloughed until Congress can reach a resolution, while others have kept some offices open and closed others and some have shut down offices completely.

Rep. John Delaney (D-Dist. 6) of Potomac announced at the beginning of the shutdown that his offices in Washington, D.C., Gaithersburg and Hagerstown would stay open during the shutdown, citing a need to continue representing his constituents.

The office has suspended office hours in Cumberland and McHenry during the shutdown, Delaney spokesman Will McDonald said Thursday.

“I think everyone’s hopeful we can get a deal done and get the government open and back to doing the people’s business,” McDonald said.

Staff for Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Dist. 5) of Mechanicsville and Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Dist. 4) of Fort Washington said their regional offices were taking calls during normal business hours.

“Congresswoman Edwards is keeping her offices open,” spokesman Ben Gerdes wrote in an email Thursday. “Her district is home to 760,000 residents, and the counties she represents have 90,000 federal workers and retirees. It’s essential that they receive assistance while the Congresswoman fights for a clean funding bill to open the government for all Americans.”

Offices in Washington, D.C., and Towson for Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Dist. 3) of Towson were open, but offices in Burtonsville and Annapolis are closed, according to a statement from his office.

Calls to all offices are being forwarded to the open offices during business hours.

Meanwhile, a phone message at the Washington, D.C., office of Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D) of Pikesville said the senator’s offices would remain closed until the shutdown is over.

A message on Cardin’s website announced that phone calls, emails and letters to staff would not be returned until the shutdown is over.

The shutdown marks only the second time Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) of Baltimore has closed her offices during her 27 years in the Senate, according to a statement from her office.

But the phones at Mikulski’s Washington office are being monitored, and constituents can leave messages for the senator on Twitter and Facebook, according to the release.



rmarshall@gazette.net