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JEC Leaders on Impending Government Shutdown

A Recent Joint Economic Committee Report Highlights the Economic Impacts of a Shutdown

Today, Joint Economic Committee Chairman Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and JEC Senior House Democrat Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08) released the following statement as the federal government comes to the brink of a shutdown.

Earlier this month, the Joint Economic Committee Democrats released a report highlighting the economic impacts of a government shutdown. Estimates show that the 2013 shutdown reduced GDP growth by $20 billion, and the cost of lost work-hours totaled at least $2 billion. Economists estimate that a shutdown would cost the U.S. economy between $6 billion and $13.5 billion dollars each week in total lost economic activity.

JEC Chairman Heinrich said, “Republican incompetence and bluster are drawing us closer to a government shutdown – a move that is a waste of federal resources and would cause unnecessary damage to the U.S. economy. It would have devastating consequences for families, small businesses, and communities across the country.

“Past shutdowns have reduced economic output and jeopardized government benefits–costs that our recovering economy can’t afford. If Republicans push us into a shutdown, businesses will face delayed loans, mortgage applications will fall, and international trade will stall. The American public will be deprived of important public services, and federal employees will miss paychecks, straining their family budgets. Travel will be impacted, and so will the local economies that rely on tourism.

“We’ve seen this play out before, and we know that the costs of a government shutdown are too high. We all have a job to do – including House Republicans who would rather slash funding for vital programs than work together toward reasonable solutions. I urge them to stop playing political games with the lives and livelihoods of American families, and instead sit down with us and finally get things done.”

JEC Senior House Democrat Rep. Beyer said, “Government shutdowns are destructive, costly, and stupid. They halt key services Americans depend on, harm our national security, weaken U.S. leadership on the global stage, and damage our economy.

"The 2019 shutdown halted pay for 800,000 workers and cost our economy billions of dollars. The shutdown set to begin days from now will impact several times as many workers. I represent nearly 100,000 of those workers who are staring down the barrel of another Republican shutdown that will inflict hardship and uncertainty on them for no good reason. A shutdown is a disaster for my district, these people have families who depend on them, and they don't deserve this.

"House Republicans seem incapable of looking beyond their own infighting, chaos, and nihilism to think about other people, but their shutdown will do real harm. The nation needs my colleagues to be better than this."