This has been one of the most distressing weeks for me during my time on Capitol Hill. The government shutdown is deeply irresponsible and destructive and it must end -- now.
Late on Monday night, the House Majority failed to fulfill one of Congress' most basic obligations -- to keep the lights on and the doors open. Instead of passing a clean funding bill with no unrelated provisions delaying or defunding the Affordable Care Act -- the GOP leadership decided to shut down the government.
Nobody outside of Washington questions what this shutdown means -- another self-inflicted wound on an economy still struggling to recover. In my view, if Congress can't take measures to affirmatively create jobs and support the recovery, it should at least get out of the way. We must stop these political games over the nation's budget and debt, which a small group of extreme members continue to hold hostage in this latest episode of legislative brinksmanship.
The shutdown is hurting Californians:
Furlough of our state's federal workforce, the largest in the nation
Shutdown of U.S. Geological Survey's many operations, including the Earthquake Hazards Programs
Closure of National Parks and local tourism revenue
Delayed processing of government-backed loans for small businesses
Delayed payment of benefits and salaries to our veterans and the military
Potential delay in payouts of housing assistance vouchers
Please read my memo found here for other effects locally.
These are just some of the impacts -- not to mention the overarching effect of a shutdown on our national and local economy. The last time there were shutdowns in 1995 and 1996, it cost taxpayers over $1.4 billion, and this shutdown is expected to cost taxpayers over $150 million a day. The shutdown will also likely cut the economy's annual growth rate by as much as 2% depending on its duration; with half of civilian government workers not being able to work, their lost pay will be a drag on the economy.
I hope that the Speaker will allow a vote on a clean funding bill today -- it has strong bipartisan support, and would pass -- and I urged that we so exactly that in a speech on the House Floor earlier this week:
The longer this shutdown lasts, the more it will hurt local families, workers and our economic recovery.
You can always share your thoughts through Facebook or Twitter. Through these quick-read updates, I hope to keep you informed of my work at home and in Washington, D.C. on issues of interest to our communities, as well as provide an opportunity for you to keep me informed of your views and interests. As always, I welcome hearing from you on these and any other issues, and hope that you will stay in touch.
Congressman Adam Schiff