From the office of U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski:
Report comes as Budget Resolution Conference is negotiating topline; Appropriations Committee working to pass Omnibus by January 15th
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued a report she requested detailing the impacts of the 16 day government shutdown on our economy and national priorities. Chairwoman Mikulski requested the OMB report to detail the impacts the shutdown had on our economy, government services, our research and development efforts, public health initiatives, and many other national priorities. The full report is available to view here.
“OMB’s report is proof-positive that shutdown, slamdown politics is the wrong way to govern our country,” Chairwoman Mikulski said. “This manufactured crisis damaged the economy, cost us jobs, and hurt middle class families. We now have the facts to prove it. The American people deserve a government that works as hard as they do. It’s time to hear from the middle-of-roaders. It’s time to work together on a bipartisan basis, find the sensible center and move forward to make sure it doesn’t happen again. That’s how we’ll serve our country best.”
On October 23rd, Chairwoman Mikulski sent a letter to OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell requesting the report to provide a written record documenting the consequences of the 16 day shutdown. Following the government shutdowns in 1995-96, OMB undertook such an analysis that contributed significantly to understanding consequences of a shutdown. The text of the request letter to OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell is here, and the Director’s response is here.
The shutdown reduced the productivity of the government, resulting in as many as 800,000 employees being furloughed, and increasing backlogs for critical services, including veterans claims, small business loans, disability claims, and traffic safety investigations. According to the report, direct cost to taxpayers include at least $2.5 billion in back wages and benefits for federal workers who were furloughed for 6.6 million work days. OMB also estimates that our economic output will be lowered by $2 billion to $6 billion in the last three months of the year. According to the Council of Economic Advisors, the shutdown and the threat of not raising the debt limit may lead to the creation of 120,000 fewer private sector jobs across the nation this month.
Chairwoman Mikulski’s home state of Maryland was one of the 10 states hardest hit by the government shutdown. More than 130,000 federal employees work at the 20 federal agencies headquartered in Maryland. The state lost millions in revenue from unpaid wages in the shutdown and spent $2 million in state funds to cover federal funding commitments during the shutdown. Moreover, the Governor’s office projected the shutdown would result in nearly $15 million in lost economic activity each day. Maryland also is home to more than 14,000 Maryland businesses and non-profits that do $25 billion in federal contract business with the federal government every year.
The Continuing Funding Resolution the government is currently operating under ends on January 15. As part of that funding agreement, the bi-cameral budget conference committee must produce a conference agreement by December 13. Chairwoman Mikulski’s goal is to come to a deal that cancels sequester for two years and provides topline funding numbers for both 2014 and 2015, making it possible for the Appropriations Committee to enact a 12-bill Omnibus bill by January 15 that funds the government for the rest of fiscal year 2014.