WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed mayors from around the country, gathering in the nation's capital for an annual conference as the partial government shutdown continues into day 33.
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"You've come at a time when the government is shutdown," Pelosi said to the 250 bipartisan mayors.
“Mayors and local governments are really on the front lines of virtually everything. We look to federal government for financial support right now," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.
Mayors from Central Florida can attest the lapse in funding has taken a major toll on cities up and down the Interstate 4 corridor.
“Whether it’s paying the coast guard, which is obviously important to a water city like ours, or paying the TSA workers, this has got to end," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
In one of the largest tourist hubs in the nation, Dyer worries how this prolonged shutdown will impact federal workers at the Orlando International Airport down the road.
“I think they have done a good job under trying circumstances. But if you were going to work every day and not receiving but expected to do the same job that you’ve done all year long, I think it certainly impacts the morale of the workers out there," Dyer said.
The extended shutdown comes as some communities along Florida's Gulf Coast see another spike in red tide. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman worries that the federal government shutdown is hindering critical research, since federal scientists are not currently on the job.
“There are communities all along the Gulf Coast that are being impacted by Red Tide again, and the research isn’t happening that we need to have going on right now," Kriseman said.
The three Central Florida mayors are hoping to send a strong message to their counterparts in Congress.
“We need that partnership. We need to know that we have a friend putting aside our political differences in the federal government," Buckhorn said.
Another major priority for these three mayors is to secure federal funding for infrastructure and to fix crumbling roads and bridges, particularly along I-4.