OMB Issues 27-Page Report Assessing Shutdown Woe
The Office of Management and Budget released a 27-page report today on effects of the government shutdown, claiming that "the combination of the government shutdown and debt limit brinksmanship may have resulted in 120,000 fewer private-sector jobs created during the first two weeks of October."
Nuggets from the report:
"Because the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau was unable to issue export certificates for beer, wine, and distilled spirits, more than two million liters of U.S. products were left sitting at ports unable to ship."
"The National Park Service (NPS) estimates that the shutdown led to over $500 million in lost visitor spending nationwide."
"During the 16-day shutdown, Federal government employees were furloughed for a combined total of 6.6 million days, more than during any previous Federal government shutdown."
Already under fire for a backlog of Veterans Affairs claims, the OMB blamed the shutdown for "stalled weekly progress in reducing the backlog of veterans’ disability claims, which was previously being reduced at a rate of
almost 20,000 claims per week."
"Prevented the timely and complete investigation of 59 airplane accidents by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)."
"The IRS was unable to conduct most enforcement activities during the shutdown, which normally collect about $1 billion per week."
OMB Director Sylvia Matthews Burwell said "the shutdown that occurred last month inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our economy and took a toll on families and businesses across the country."
"The shutdown could have a long-term impact on our ability to attract and retain the skilled and driven workforce that the Federal government needs," she added. "The shutdown followed a three-year pay freeze for Federal employees, cuts in training and support, and, for hundreds of thousands of workers, administrative furloughs earlier this year because of sequestration. These cuts will make it harder for the government to attract and retain the talent it needs to provide top level service to the American people."
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) requested the OMB report on Oct. 23.
“OMB’s report is proof-positive that shutdown, slamdown politics is the wrong way to govern our country,” 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.”