The cost of shuttering federal government offices for five days during this winter's historic back-to-back blizzards was an estimated $71 million a day.
The new estimate from John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management and the man responsible for making the decision to shut down government, came during a congressional hearing Tuesday that examined the response to the storm by the region's emergency management officials.
The figure Berry provided during a House subcommittee meeting chaired by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) is smaller than the previous $100 million estimate, in part because of the growing number of federal employees who are able to work remotely.
Berry defended his closure decisions, saying: "I think we made the right decision each and every day. You're going to get flak no matter what you do."
-- Ann Marimow