"In this year's Maryland budget, we worked with the General Assembly to set aside funds to lessen the impact of sequestration -- another needless blow struck by Congress," O'Malley said in a statement. "We have flexibility on how to use these funds, and we're actively assessing all of our options so that we can minimize the harmful effects of prolonged Congressional recklessness on Maryland families and businesses."
Federal offices closed and non-essential employees were furloughed at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday after the House of Representatives and Senate failed to reach an agreement on a continuing resolution to fund government operations. House Republicans continued to dig in on their demands that the Affordable Healthcare Act, sometimes called Obamacare, be delayed for an additional year.
Federal employment is a significant portion of the state's economy. State budget officials estimate that federal wages in the state total $25 billion annually.
Those same officials estimate that a two week loss of federal wages translates into about $5 million a day in lost income and sales taxes and $15 million a day in lost economic activity.
"The federal government shutdown that Congressional Republicans forced upon us will needlessly hurt hardworking Maryland moms and dads who are federal employees; harm small and large businesses across Maryland -- including health, aerospace, and defense companies; and threaten our State's budget in a time of economic recovery," O'Malley said in his statement.