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Congress of the United States Touse of Representatives ‘Washington, DE 20515-4610 Janvary 24,2019 Wilbur Ross Jr Secretary of Commerce M01 Constitution Ave, NW Washington, D.C, 20230 Dear Secretary Ross { sav your comments on CNBC this morning expressing confusion on why federal employees ‘sho have boen frloughed or are working without pay are receiving assistance rom food banks. As the representative of ens of thousands ofthese workers in my northern Virginia dist, | wanted t provide yu with some context that may help you understand why these patriotic Amerieans are taking such desperate actions, Inthe few wooks that have been in office, Ihave heard from thousands of my’coasttuents who have been affected by the shutdown For many of them, their federal paycheck is ther only source of income, and going an entre month without pay has forced them to make dificult financial decisions. have head fom parents who have tured their children's Christmas presents to buy food, families who are arid of missing a mortgage payment and losing their homes, caretakers who are forgoing medical ‘eeatment for ther loved ones, and business owners with federal contacts who are being forced to lay off their employees. Recent studies have shown that nearly 80% of Americans lve payeheock to paycheck, and given that by tomorrow our federal employees wil have gone two Tl pay’ periods with no income, I ‘think itis entirely understandable tat these bard-working Americans are doing whatever they can to put fan the table for themselves and thei families Additionally, I wanted to extend an invitation to you to visit the Capital Area Food Bank with me ‘this weekend ta meet some of thas federal employees, hear their stories Firsthand, and realize how important it is to end this shutdown as soon a posible before people's ves are eeparably harmed. I ‘think it would bea valuable learning experience for you to see what our federal workforce, including Your ‘vm employees atthe Department of Commerce, are going through. Please reach out to my office for more information. I hope to see you there, shreaey, ite Weston Member of Congress