'Big Four' county leaders discuss shutdown's impact

(Sam Ford)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - To the Wilson Building they came one by one: Sharon Bulova, chair of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors; Ike Leggett, County Executive of Montgomery County; Rushern Baker, County Executive of Prince George’s County and D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray.

They said they gathered because the shutdown's been hurting everybody. By the time they ended their private meeting, word was coming from Capitol Hill that there was a deal to end the shutdown.

Mayor gray said if the shutdown ends, D.C., which has kept all its employees working thanks to contingency funds, will suffer revenue losses because tourism, D.C.'s biggest industry after government took a big hit.

"The hotel bookings, I don't know how we recoup that,” he said. “We're taking about 13,000 booking and I see now way to recover that."
Echo Prince George's County:

"People are cancelling their trip to the Washington region because the monuments are closed, so no National Harbor, Greenbelt are seeing slow-downs," Baker says.

The chief executive of Fairfax County, home of many government contract employees, called the shutdown irresponsible and laments it may only be taking a break.

"If essentially the can gets kicked down the road further and there really isn't a resolution, it puts off until February," Bulova says.

Montgomery County's Ike Leggett said the shutdown cost Glen Echo Park $35,000 a day.

"We don’t get a resolution, we plan to go in perhaps an act of civil disobedience,” Leggett says.

The leaders who called themselves the Big Four admitted they have little power with Congress, but by coming together like this they can be heard.