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GOP Steers America Into Chaos, Trump Shutdown

December 21, 2018

Yesterday, House Republicans voted for a Trump Shutdown of the federal government.   And now – knowing that he doesn’t have the votes in the Senate to fund his immoral, ineffective and expensive wall – President Trump is throwing a tantrum, threatening a “very long” shutdown.

The economy is shaky. The markets are spooked. And hundreds of thousands of families are suddenly at risk of losing their paychecks in the middle of the holiday season.  But when asked about the consequences, House Republican Rep. Scott Perry replied, “Who’s living that they’re not going to make it to the next paycheck?

Republicans need to remember whose lives they are playing with if they choose to follow President Trump into a pointless, destructive shutdown:

More than 800,000 federal employees will be forced to go without pay over the holidays – including 420,000 federal employees who still have to show up to work, including:

  • More than 41,000 Federal Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers, including:

o   13,709 FBI agents

o   3,600 deputy U.S. Marshals

o   4,399 DEA agents

o   2,614 ATF agents

o   16,742 Bureau of Prisons correctional officers

  • Up to 88 Percent of Department of Homeland Security Employees, including:

o   54,000 Customs and Border Protection agents and customs officers

o   42,000 Coast Guard employees

o   53,000 TSA employees

o   5,815 Secret Service employees, including Secret Service agents (including President Trump’s detail) and Uniformed Division Officers (i.e. the ones who protect the White House and the Vice President’s residence)

  • As many as 6,000 Forest Service Firefighters

Here are some of the other projected impacts of the Trump Shutdown

Public Safety Will Be Undermined.  State and local law enforcement training programs will be stopped.  The Department of Justice’s civil litigation efforts against bad actors will halt.  Payments to crime victims will stop.

American Diplomats Will Be Put At Risk.  A Trump shutdown will make it harder for the Department of State to physically protect diplomatic personnel and facilities overseas.  It will also limit the State Department’s critical risk assessments that inform advisory warnings for American tourists traveling abroad.

Food Safety Inspections Will Be Significantly Curtailed.  During a shutdown, the FDA is unable to support the majority of its food safety activities.  It has to curtail its inspections of domestic food facilities.  For example, in the 16-day GOP shutdown in 2013, the FDA had to delay nearly 360 food safety inspections.

Consumer Protection Efforts and Identity Theft Victim Services Will Be Stopped.  Most staff at the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission will be furloughed.  Many services for identify theft victims will halt.  In addition, customer service at the IRS will be suspended.

All Visitor Services in the National Parks Will Be Suspended.  While the Trump Administration is claiming that  the National Parks will be “open” in a shutdown (on the grounds that there will not be barriers put up to prevent entry),  the fact is that there will be no services for visitors to National Park Service sites – with restrooms, visitors’ centers, and interpretative programs all closed during a shutdown.  The vast majority of National Park Service employees will be furloughed.  Also, law enforcement staffing will be sharply curtailed, so visitors’ safety will be put at risk.

During A Difficult Time for Farmers, Critical Services Will Be Stopped.  As farmers begin to make their plans for next year’s planting season, the Department of Agriculture will be forced to close Farm Service county offices throughout the nation and stop providing aid to farmers already hard hit by the Trump trade war. With the dramatic drop in commodity prices brought on by the trade war, many farmers have had to rely on USDA as their lender of last resort to help pay the bills and stay afloat.

Enforcing Financial Sanctions Against Countries Such as Syria, Russia, and Iran Will Be Curtailed.  During the shutdown, nearly all of the staff of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), which implements the U.S. government’s financial sanctions against such countries as Syria, Russia, and Iran, will be furloughed.  As a result, OFAC’s core functions are mostly stopped, including investigating and penalizing sanctions violations and issuing new sanctions prohibitions and guidelines.

Small Business Loans Will Be Halted.  A shutdown halts federal loans to small businesses.  During a shutdown, the Small Business Administration stops approving applications for small businesses to obtain loans and loan guarantees, which typically amount to $1 billion per month.  For example, during the 16-day GOP shutdown in 2013, the SBA was unable to process about 700 applications for $140 million in small business loans.

Some U.S. Exports Will Be Delayed in the Middle of the Holiday Season.  For example, the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is unable to issue export certifications for beer, wine and distilled spirits during a shutdown because their staff is furloughed.  During the 16-day GOP shutdown in 2013, the Bureau failed to respond to 100 requests from 65 businesses for these certifications.  As a result, more than two million liters of U.S. products were left sitting in ports, unable to ship.

Home Mortgage Applications Will Be Slowed.  In a shutdown, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will see significant delays in loan processing and approvals, due to the required furloughs of most employees.  Thousands of people trying to buy a new home or refinance a FHA-insured mortgage will be put on standby.