Sending Office: Honorable Carolyn B. Maloney
December 20, 2018
President Trump said last week that he would be “proud to shut down the government for border security.” Today, he said he would make good on that threat. This is terrible news for working families across the country and for our economy.
Without an agreement to avoid a Trump shutdown, 380,000 government employees will be furloughed, and many others will be forced to work without pay, including more than 50,000 Customs and Border Protection Agents, more than 50,000 TSA agents, almost 14,000
FBI agents, and the Secret Service agents who will be protecting the President while he is golfing in Mar a Lago. Families likely would find National Parks facilities closed, travelers would be unable to get passports, home buyers would have to wait longer
to get loans and millions of Americans would find that services they need are temporarily unavailable.
If the shutdown lasts more than a very short period, it could also have serious economic costs. A useful benchmark is the 2013 federal government shutdown. The Bureau of Economic Analysis found that the reduction of hours worked by federal employees
alone would lower real GDP growth by 0.3 percentage points on an annualized basis. Economists at Standard and Poor’s estimated that the overall impact on the economy of the 16-day shutdown was $24 billion
– approximately $1.5 billion per day. The 2013 shutdown also hurt consumer confidence and retail sales, slowed mortgage and business lending, caused a spike in short-term interest rates and disrupted imports and exports.
Importantly, shutdowns don’t just have short term effects. They also create longer-term economic risks that could hamper growth, including increased political uncertainty, which can reduce business investment. These uncertainties can result in further slowing
of economic growth, fewer jobs and real pain for working families.
For millions of Americans, a Trump shutdown would be like coal in their stockings. Apparently, this is his way of saying “Merry Christmas.”
CAROLYN B. MALONEY
Senior House Democrat, Joint Economic Committee
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0