Impacts of the Shutdown

We already knew that economists predicted a two week shutdown could cut economic growth by 0.3%, but here’s a new startling statistic about the impact of the Republican government shutdown:

“Keeping 800,000 federal workers at home is costing some $300 million a day in lost productivity, according to the consulting firm IHS Global Insight.” [The Hill]

It’s not just our economy being impacted, with low-income aid programs being particularly impacted, according to the Wall Street Journal:

“The federal government's partial shutdown began pinching a number of aid programs, with preschool activities, welfare benefits and vouchers for infant formula all seeing cuts.”

“Others, such as national parks, are not considered fundamental to daily operations. Aid to lower-income Americans falls into a limbo in between—considered officially nonessential, but whose absence affects many people.”

“For example, four Head Start programs that offer preschool activities for 3,200 children in Florida, Connecticut, Alabama and Mississippi have closed, and officials said 11 other programs would be shut by week's end if federal funding isn't restored or other sources found.”

“The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, provides vouchers for infant formula and food to low-income families with young children. Some programs were making do with money left in their accounts from the prior fiscal year. Others are stuck without funding.”

“The impact on the government's main welfare program, called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, will also vary by state. No new TANF money is available, but some states will be able to use money already in their accounts, or shift state money to pay benefits.”

“In Arizona, the state stopped sending benefit checks to new or renewing families on Wednesday. In all, 5,150 families lost assistance, which averages $207 a month, a state official said. She said she didn't know if they would get these benefits paid after government funding is restored.”

Are House Republicans going to try to pass legislation to protect all of these programs? As the impacts continue to mount, it’s clear that reopening the entire government is the only option, and House Democrats are ready to vote for it – if Republicans will just let it on the Floor.