Starbucks takes a stand against the government shutdown

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is fed up with lawmakers inability to resolve the government shutdown. He wants Congress to come together to fix the problems in Washington and he is willing to give away free coffee to generous customers who set an example. Earlier this week, Starbucks announced plans to offer a free cup of coffee to any customer that purchased a beverage for someone else.  In a memo to staff, Schultz said the offer was a way to help his fellow citizens "support and connect with one another, even as we wait for our elected officials to do the same for our country."

The coffee giant has also started a petition-- a peacemaking effort of sorts--that asks officials to reopen the government, pay U.S. national debts on time & pass a long-term budget deal by the end of the year. Schultz plans to share the petition with business leaders and anticipates they will gather "a lot" of signatures.  The petition will be available starting today [Friday] at all 11,000 U.S. locations--

So what do you think about all of this? Should a business CEO take matters into his own hands? What kind of impact--if any-- will this have? Would you sign the petition?  Share your thoughts with us on the blog or via Twitter @BretBaier and if you have photos please send them our way! We will share them on social media! 


Photos: A message from the Starbucks iPhone app advertising free coffee to customers who purchase a drink for another person. Second photo was taken at a Starbucks location on Capitol Hill about 2.5 blocks from the U.S. Capitol as a way to help furloughed workers. 

Interns, work-study students furloughed during shutdown

 By Gabriella Morrongiello

WASHINGTON-- Numerous college students pursuing internships or federal work-study positions inside the Beltway have been asked to stay home amid the government shut down. 

Like many college students, those attending school in D.C. often work part-time to help cover the costs of textbooks and tuition. For these students however, rather than serving coffee at a campus java shop they often have the unique benefit of seeking internships and part-time jobs at a variety of federal agencies and institutions within the District. 

Nonetheless, until Congress can reach an agreement and end the government shutdown students employed at federal agencies may be wishing they'd chosen the campus coffee shop instead.

"We want people to understand that there aren't necessarily big, impending disruptions coming. Your financial aid is not going to disappear," Kent Springfield, Director of Federal Government Relations told George Washington University's online newsletter, noting however that "if you're a student who has a federal work study job at a federal agency you will not be able to go into work."

Amanda Rewarts, a sophomore at the George Washington University just recently secured a Federal Work-Study position at the National Archives and was eager to begin her second Friday on the job. As political ping pong continued however, her boss told advised her to “watch the news to know if the government was going to shutdown” in order to determine whether she could come into work on Friday. 

“I have only missed one day of work, but it will significantly reduce my hours…” said Rewarts. “But there is not much I can do besides wait. And I really want to get started because I will probably have to be trained again [since] I have forgotten everything I learned on the first day.”

According to Michelle Sherrard, Executive Director of Communications for The George Washington University, there are plenty more students like Rewarts.

"We have about 50 students who work at agencies affected by the shutdown. We have been in touch with the students since early this week to keep them informed," said Sherrard.



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