Virginia’s Jim Moran: Congress May Go On Vacation After A Shutdown

Once again, Virginia’s own Jim Moran was pouring on the charm while meeting with local constituents (many of whom are federal employees) about the impending shutdown:

Frustration boiled over at a town hall meeting held over a looming government shutdown as federal employees, contractors and residents vented anger at Rep. Jim Moran (D-8).

The legislator, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, organized the “emergency” forum at Alexandria’s Francis Hammond Middle School to field questions from government employees worried about how the shutdown would play out for them.

The public spent more time making known their disgust with the crisis.

At times the conversation flared up as public speakers let loose their ire with a deadlocked Congress and Moran in particular. Catcalls, heckles and applause rang out as attendees took turns voicing concerns and making rhetoric-filled attacks.

Before the roughly two-hour meeting ended, Moran shouted down at least one speaker who accused him of shirking his duty.

“Why are you here tonight and not in Congress trying to figure out how to stop this?” a speaker asked before being led away from the microphone.

Here’s the video of that particular exchange, you’ll notice Moran never really addressed the question presented:

Now, about that vacation:

He warned the shutdown could last as long as three weeks as federal lawmakers prepare to embark on their Easter vacation. Military personnel might see a disruption in their pay during that time, but they will be reimbursed, he said. Other federal employees may not be so lucky.

Though resident Laura Mraz, an unemployed former federal contractor, agreed the Tea Party’s growing influence in the Republican House had escalated the problem, she said Moran’s town hall had raised more questions than answers.

“I needed to find out what was going to happen,” she said. “When [Moran] talked about the three weeks Congress is going to be on vacation, I thought ‘the audacity.'”

Frankly, I think that Moran’s comment that the shutdown could last three weeks is little more than idiotic fear mongering. That’s never been the case before, and there’s no reason it will happen this time, and the idea that the Congress would leave for Easter without resolving this is absurd. Nonetheless, once again, Jim Moran makes one wonder if Virginia’s 8th Congressional District might just as soon have elected a monkey.



FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Boyd says:

    That’s not something I wonder about. I think the evidence speaks for itself.

    The majority of voters of the 8th get the representation they deserve.

  2. wr says:

    Negotiations are being held between Reid, Boehner and Obama. What does this idiot expect Moran to do — burst into the White House and pummel Boehner until he agrees to stop listening to the Tea Morons? Especially since Moran is in the minority in the House — are the Republicans going to negotiate a new budget with him? In fact Moran explains that the House is not in session, so his choice is to stand in an empty chamber or talk to his constituents. Seems to me that meeting with his constituents to explain what might happen is a pretty good use of his time. Especially since he’s in Virginia — it’s not like he’ll have to fly back from Anchorage or Honolulu should a vote be scheduled.

    All of which he explains quite calmly and rationally. God know what Doug’s problem with this clip is, except that maybe he doesn’t genuflect enough at the feet of the veteran who is yelling at him after having been given several minutes to make his statement, but then won’t yield the floor either for an answer or to let anyone else ask a question.

  3. reid says:

    Frankly, I think that Moran’s comment that the shutdown could last three weeks is little more than idiotic fear mongering. That’s never been the case before…

    Didn’t the shutdown in 95-96 last over three weeks? How many other shutdowns have there been?

  4. Reid,

    The 95-96 shutdown was indeed 21 days. It was the longest ever and the longest since the late 1970s. For several reasons, I don’t think the same conditions exist today:

  5. Boyd,

    This is the same Jim Moran that said during the 2010 campaign that his candidates military service wasn’t “real” public service:

    And this is a guy representing a district with huge numbers of active duty military and vets. You’re right, they get what they deserve with this guy. How his little sweetheart loan wasn’t enough to get them to kick him out I will never understand.

  6. reid says:

    I hope you’re right, Doug, especially since we’ve hopefully learned from the 95-96 shutdown that it can be very politically damaging. It’s a whole new generation of stubborn, political, ideological yahoos, though.

    Your original wording just struck me as strange, given it has happened before.

  7. reid says:

    I’ve seen Moran do interviews and thought he was fine. wr gives a very different take on this clip, so I’m skeptical that this is some major gaffe. It’s almost enough to make me watch it….

  8. wr says:

    Watch it. I completely agreed with Doug that it was outrageous… until I played it.

  9. Boyd says:

    (***fighting back the urge to call him Rep. Moron***)

    What gets me in this video is how Moran takes a shot at his constituent by saying, “…making myself available for people who want to make caustic comments (gestures at the constituent) as well as people who have legitimate questions to ask as to what might happen if there is a government shutdown.”

    Then when the constituent objects to being cast in the “caustic” category instead of the “legitimate” category, Moran’s temper flares (what a surprise!) and essentially tells the man to shut up or leave.

    While I think the constituent’s question was off-point, pedantic and largely wrong, Moran’s reaction was pretty disrespectful.

  10. reid says:

    Okay, okay, I watched. The guy’s question was long but pretty reasonable, if grounded in ignorance. Okay, fine. Moran did a nice job of patiently answering his question. (I have no idea how Doug could interpret it as never answering his question, good grief.) He probably shouldn’t have referred to any questions as “caustic”, though I don’t know what happened before the clip that may have already tried his patience. Maybe he had already answered the same question ten times? (If Moran has a fault, it’s his temper.) The questioner continued to ask his questions even after Moran explained that there’s really nothing he can do, so he seemed to have an agenda or just be angry and not interested in reason. All in all, nothing much to see and not worthy of a blog post.

  11. wr says:

    It’s clear that Moran is grumpy. Part of that is a fairly unlikable personality, no doubt. I’m tempted to cut him a little slack on the grumpiness, since he’s watching these teabaggers try to shut down the government because they hate the thought of women getting healthcare and there’s nothing he can do about it. Still, he’s not exactly warm and fuzzy…

    …but he’s also not the way Doug portrayed him.

  12. Lorraine McNulty says:

    WRT wr’s comments: Using a derogatory sexual term when describing the Tea Party is really classy. Then you claimed that the aforementioned group is “trying to shut down the government.” Typical leftist talking points which you most likely got from Schumer and the DNC, when in fact the liberals would LOVE a shutdown so they can blame the GOP. And then you stated the Pubbies “don’t want women getting healthcare,” which is a euphemism for abortion. But wait, I thought US taxpayers’ money wasn’t supposed to be used to pay for abortion. Didn’t Obama sign an executive order stating just that so he could get the pro-life Dems (what an oxymoron!) to go along with Obamacare? Are you saying Obama is a *liar*?

  13. wr says:

    Hey Lorraine — I don’t know who you are, but maybe you should try to learn a few facts before you start repeating Fox talking points. This isn’t Red State. Most of the commenters here actually know what’s going on, so you can’t just repeat whatever El Rushbo said this morning.

    Planned Parenthood does not use Federal money for abortions. They can’t. It’s against the law. They use it for women’s health care — for pap smears and preventive care. And yes, the teabaggers — sorry, did that offend you? — have been hosting rallies where they chant “shut it down, shut it down!” so playing all cutesy and claiming the the Democrats who are trying to shut down government just makes you look foolish.

    And by the way, when I say healthcare, I mean healthcare. Not abortion. Maybe this is why the teatards fought so hard against the ACA — they were simply more confused than anyone imagined.