Blue Dogs Call for Daily Reports on Economic Impact of Future Government Shutdowns
The Democratic Blue Dog Coalition has endorsed H.R. 270, Government Shutdown Impact Report Act of 2019, which was introduced by Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), the Blue Dog Coalition Co-Chair for Policy.
The bill is also co-sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration as well as the following Blue Dog members: Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05), Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Rep. Daniel Lipinski (IL-03), Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), and Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02).
In the event of another government shutdown, the Shutdown Impact Report Act of 2019 requires the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to prepare a daily report on the economic cost and the damage to our national security. During the latest government shutdown, Rep. O’Halleran and House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (KY-03) submitted a request to the CBO for an estimate on the cost of the shutdown to the United States economy. According to CBO, due to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, the level of real GDP in the fourth quarter of 2018 was reduced by 0.1 percent ($3 billion), and the level of real GDP in the first quarter of 2019 is expected to be reduced by 0.2 percent ($8 billion).
Rep. O’Halleran issued the following statement on the Blue Dog Coalition’s endorsement:
“There is no good reason to shut down the government of the greatest nation on Earth. States do not do this—nor do counties and cities. The record that was set over the past two months will forever be a moment of disgrace in our country’s history. As Blue Dogs, we will do everything we can to ensure we never see another government shutdown again. That starts with creating incentives to prevent leaders from even considering shutting down the government. One of the best deterrents for this is transparency. The American people deserve to know exactly how this partisan gridlock damages our country, and they deserve to be updated on a daily basis should anyone decide to do this again.”
Specifically, the bill requires reports on the following potential effects of a government shutdown:
- An estimate of the economic output lost on that day as the result of the government shutdown.
- An estimate of any decrease in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the quarter that will occur as the result of the government shutdown.
- The value of any assistance, including loans, grants, and contracts, that the Small Business Administration (SBA) was unable to provide as a result of the government shutdown.
- The amount of any revenue for the National Park Service that was lost on that day as the result of the government shutdown.
- An estimate of revenue lost on that day because of the effects of the government shutdown on tourism and travel to and within the United States.