County executives from across the region joined Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh Wednesday in Annapolis to call for an end to the federal government shutdown, saying they’re having to address services lost as a result of the month-long stalemate in Washington.

In a news conference inside the state Senate building, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman joined executives from Baltimore, Harford and Howard counties in a bipartisan call for an end to the shutdown.

Advertisement

They focused on tens of thousands of residents affected as well as the impact at military bases such as Fort George G. Meade and the Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

Pittman, whose county is home to Fort Meade and thousands of federal employees, said Anne Arundel County might need to explore supplementing federal rental and utility assistance programs affected by the shutdown.

The county has received an influx of calls looking for monetary assistance and the Pittman administration is exploring the use of flexible funding to help furloughed federal employees unable to make monthly payments. Pittman did not know how much funding would be available.

“Now is not the time to say ‘We want to shut down the government because we want to pass a law,’” Pittman said.

He added the county may face a “food crisis” once Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funding — more commonly known as food stamps or SNAP — runs out in February.

The news conference was part of a broad call for Democrats and Republicans in Congress to come to an agreement with President Donald Trump over the federal shutdown as the two sides dispute $5.7 billion in proposed funding for a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Republican Harford County Executive Barry Glassman joined the Democratic leaders, saying “this is not really a partisan issue.”

“Our government is set up to work,” Glassman added. “And they need to get back and get it to work.”

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball said the shutdown has affected more than one out of every 10 residents in his county.

Severn church feeds furloughed families in fourth week of partial federal government shutdown

Calvary Chapel International Worship Center in Severn has organized about $7,000 worth of food to give to families affected by the partial shutdown that’s left thousands of Marylanders without jobs.

“When we should be building a bridge, people are too focused on building walls,” Ball said.

Pugh said Baltimore has assisted federal workers by offering utility bill and property tax relief, but added: “nobody wants to live under these kinds of conditions.”

“This is impacting the lives of people and we ask our president to take notice of what he’s doing to people around this nation,” she said. “The wall is something that he wants. Obviously it is something that the nation is in tune with.”

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement