Remember back in October, when the federal government shut down for more than two weeks – delaying aid to Sandy survivors, booting kids from Head Start programs, and causing anxiety among struggling single mothers that their WIC lifeline could be cut? Yeah, we settled that, right?
Nope! Washington is as Washington does, and apparently Washington is a callous piker who kicks the can down the road. Now we face yet another government shutdown in just eight days, according to Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, who represents chunks of Sheepshead Bay and Gerritsen Beach. The congresswoman issued a press release this morning warning constituents about the matter, and her spokesperson Patrick Rheaume, told Sheepshead Bites the congressional rep is frustrated that her colleagues and the press don’t seem to be paying much attention.
Here’s the release she issued:
Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement warning that, despite a budget agreement between Democrats and Republicans in December, the federal government will shut down on January 15, 2014 unless Congress enacts specific spending proposals.
“Unfortunately, we find ourselves once more at risk of a shutdown of the federal government,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “We should not forget the lessons we learned last year, when a seventeen-day shutdown reduced our Gross Domestic Product by $20 billion, prevented Americans from visiting national parks and monuments, and delayed services provided by federal agencies. The previous government shutdown was a self-inflicted wound to our nation, for which millions of people had to suffer unnecessarily.”
During the federal government shutdown from October 1 to October 17, 2013, more than 800,000 public employees on indefinite unpaid leave, several thousand people who work for private companies could not work, tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service were delayed, some of the courts that handle immigration proceedings were closed, and 19,000 children lost access to the Head Start Program.
Congresswoman Clarke continued: “We cannot afford to undermine our economy with another shutdown the government. Americans want Congress to focus on resolving critical matters such as immigration reform and the extension of unemployment benefits, not distractions.”