It’s Monday -- which means the start of a workweek, but not for 2,000 federal employees.
The U.S. Department of Transportation had to furlough workers without pay. Several projects are temporarily shut down, such as highway reimbursements to states worth hundreds of millions of dollars, national anti-drunk driving efforts, and multi-million dollar construction projects across the country.
Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) is holding up a $10 billion measure to extend short-term funding for a series of measures that expired Sunday night. One measure included a short-term extension for the Highway Trust Fund.
“As American families are struggling in tough economic times, I am keenly disappointed that political games are putting a stop to important construction projects around the country,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a press release. “This means that construction workers will be sent home from job sites because federal inspectors must be furloughed.”
Two major construction projects in the Washington area are affected; the $50 million replacement of the 9th Street Bridge, and the $36 million replacement of the Humpback Bridge on the George Washington Parkway in Virginia.
Employees at the Department of Transported are following their normal schedule. The furloughs are affecting employees funded by the Highway Trust Fund at the following agencies: the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Research and Innovating Technology Administration.