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First 1995 shutdown cost $750 million; McCain (1999) on "politically motivated government shutdowns"

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 01:51 PM
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First 1995 shutdown cost $750 million; McCain (1999) on "politically motivated government shutdowns"
Edited on Mon Feb-21-11 01:57 PM by ProSense

Government Shutdown Looming: What Does it Mean to You?

Stalemate Over Funding Could End up in a Repeat of 1995 Crisis that Set Back GOP


With Democrats and Republicans at a stalemate over how to fund the government, just two weeks shy of the deadline, there's a real threat that the federal government could shut down for the first time in 15 years, affecting thousands of Americans.


During the five-day shutdown in November 1995, about 800,000 "non-essential" employees were sent home, even though they were eventually paid retroactively. The stalemate cost the government an estimated $750 million and dealt a huge political blow to the Republican leadership.

A longer, 21-day partial shutdown -- the longest in history -- followed at the end of that year and ran into 1996. About 284,000 workers were furloughed.

The government could have a repeat scenario on March 4, if Republicans and Democrats can't find common ground on a continuing resolution to fund the government until October, when the fiscal year ends.


PDF (Statement begins on page 37)


Mr. MCCAIN. <...>

We all saw the effects of gridlock in the past. No one wins when the Government shuts down. Shutdowns only confirm the American peoples suspicions that we are more interested in political gain than doing the nations business. The American people are tired of gridlock. They want the Government to work for them, not against them.

Our Founding Fathers would have been ashamed of our inability to execute the power of the purse in a responsible fashion. I am sure they would have been quite shocked by the 27 days in late 1995 that the Government was shut down, the 13 continuing resolutions that had to be passed to provide temporary spending authority, and the almost $6 billion in blackmail money that was given to the Administration to ensure that the Government did not shut down a third time in Fiscal Year 1966.


We saw in 1995 how politically motivated government shutdowns hit all Americans hard. In my State of Arizona, during the Government shutdown the Grand Canyon was closed for the first time in 76 years. I heard from people who worked close to the Grand Canyon. These were not Government employees. These were independent small business men and women. They told me that the shutdown cost them thousands of dollars because people could not go to the park. According to a CRS report, local communities near national parks alone lost an estimated $14.2 million per day in tourism revenues as a direct result of the Government shutdown, for a total of nearly $400 million over the course of the shutdown.

The cost of the last Government shutdown cannot be measured in just dollars and cents. During the 1995 shutdown, millions of Americans could not get crucial social services. For example, 10,000 new Medicare applications, 212,000 Social Security card requests, 360,000 individual office visits and 800,000 toll-free calls for information and assistance were turned away each day. There were even more delays in services for some of the most vulnerable in our society, including 13 million recipients of AFDC, 273,000 foster care children, over 100,000 children receiving adoption assistance services and over 100,000 Head Start childrennot to mention the new patients that were not accepted into clinical research centers, the 7 million visitors who could not attend national parks, or the 2 million visitors turned away at museums and monuments. And the list goes on and on.

In addition, our Federal employees were left in fear wondering whether they would be paid, would they have to go to work, would they be able to pay their bills on time. In my State of Arizona, for example, of the 40,383 Federal employees, over 15,000 of them were furloughed in the 1995 Government shutdown.


On edit: This year, it's likely that any government shutdown will cost in the range of $250 million per day ($1 billion per five days).

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 03:54 PM
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