Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., alleged in a statement today that the shutdown is preventing the Federal government from attracting top IT talent.

Kelly, who was previously the ranking member on the House Oversight Subcommittee on Information Technology and appears to be a front runner to become the new chair, said in the long-term the shutdown will “make it more difficult for the government to attract and maintain the high-quality IT workforce needed to delivery 21st century government services.”

“Time and time again, our subcommittee discussed how the government simply cannot compete on salary when it comes to recruiting talent. Instead, we hope that IT workers will see government service as service to their nation and fellow Americans,” she said in a statement.

However, she argued that the partial shutdown, which is on day 19, “creates deep uncertainty that will ripple through the economy and labor market for years to come.”

Kelly alleged that missed paychecks and working without pay will put the Federal government at a disadvantage to private sector employers.

“How can we ever hope to recruit or maintain IT talent when hardworking government workers are told: ‘sorry, you aren’t getting paid, but you still need to come to work’ or ‘sorry, but no paycheck this week because of politics?’ Large private sector companies never say this to their employees and these are our competitors when it comes to IT talent recruitment,” Kelly said.

Kelly concluded her statement by calling for an end to the partial shutdown and urged Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to call for a vote on funding bills already passed in the House.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.