01.11.19

Updated Impacts Of The Trump Shutdown

Updated Impacts Of The Trump Shutdown

Prepared By Vice Chairman Leahy’s Senate Appropriations Committee Staff

More Than 450,000 Are Working Without Pay, Many Of Whom Are Veterans, Including:

  • More than 41,000 Federal Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers Including:
  • 2,614 ATF agents;
  • 16,742 Bureau of Prisons correctional officers;
  • 13,709 FBI agents;
  • 3,600 deputy U.S. Marshals; and
  • 4,399 DEA agents.
  • 54,000 Customs and Border Protection agents and customs officers;
  • 42,000 Coast Guard employees;
  • 51,739 Transportation Security Administration Agents.
  • 6,503 staff from the State Department are currently working without pay;
  • 35,000 Internal Revenue Service staff are currently working without pay; and
  • 52 percent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently working without pay.
  • Up To 88 Percent Of Department of Homeland Security Employees, Including:

More Than 380,000 Have Been Furloughed, Including:

  • 60 Percent of Department of Commerce (Approximately 21,000 Staff);
  • 96 Percent of NASA (Approximately 16,700 Staff);
  • 10,261 Staff from the State Department are furloughed;
  • At least 33 Percent of the Forest Service (Approximately 11,000 Staff);
  • 19,869 Staff of the Department of Transportation are furloughed;
  • 7,163 staff of Housing and Urban Development are furloughed; and
  • Approximately 45,500 IRS Staff are furloughed.
  • 48,624 Staff of the Department of Interior are furloughed

Nine Out Of 15 Federal Departments And Dozens Of Agencies Are Closed

  • The Trump Shutdown has shuttered the doors of nine federal departments and dozens of agencies for 13 days… so far… for a costly, ineffective wall the President continues to promise Mexico will pay for, grinding services to the American people to a halt through the holidays, and beyond.  The Departments affected by the Trump Shutdown include:

The Trump Shutdown And The Judiciary:

  • Courts.  After January 18th, the Federal Judiciary will have exhausted all of its fees and balances and will be forced to only allow “essential work” to continue until the Trump Shutdown is ended.  Each court and federal defender’s office across the country will be forced to cut back hours and staff, likely having severe consequences on civilian cases and significantly slowing criminal cases.   

The Trump Shutdown Is Bad For Business:

  • Farmers.  USDA has already shuttered local farm service agency county offices across the U.S.  With the current challenges facing farmers due to the dramatic drop in commodity prices brought on by retaliatory tariffs, many farmers have had to rely on UDSA as their lender of last resort to help pay bills and stay afloat through this winter.  Many farmers are already preparing for the spring planting and banks are not willing to lend to them, leaving USDA as their only hope.  Additionally, with passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, farmers and ranchers will seek information on how the law will affect their operations heading into the planting year.  This shutdown means Farm Service Agency staff are not able to answer those questions or assist in signing up producers for new Farm Bill programs.  This is the worst time for a shutdown – when producers begin to make their plans for next year’s planting season.
  • Assisting Rural America.  At a time when the rural economy is slowing, this shutdown means struggling communities that rely on USDA loans and grants for affordable housing, utilities, and small business activities are virtually left in the dark. 
  • Small Businesses.  More than 30 million U.S. small businesses employing 59 million employees no longer have access to federally-assisted loans and technical assistance, as Small Business Administration guarantees to back loans have frozen.
  • Steel and Aluminum Industries.  U.S. companies can petition to avoid tariffs if certain steel and aluminum products are not produced in sufficient quantities or of sufficient quality within the U.S.  The shutdown has halted the already frightfully slow exemption process for these tariffs.
  • Homeownership.  The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is seeing significant delays in loan processing and approvals.  Thousands of people trying to buy a new home or refinance a FHA-insured mortgage are being put on standby.
  • Community and Economic Development.  Cities, counties, and states are not able move forward with new Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) projects, preventing important local economic investment and job creation.
  • Justice Delayed.  Civil litigation, payments to victims, and training for state and local law enforcement stop during a shutdown.  The 800,000 backlog in the immigration courts will continue to grow as the Executive Office for Immigration Review has stopped processing the non-detained docket.  They have also stopped hiring new immigration judges. 
  • Taxes. With 50,000 IRS staff furloughed, a vital service to the American people is significantly weakened ahead of tax season.  The Internal Revenue Service has announced they will still process tax returns beginning January 28th, and will recall a “significant portion of its workforce” from furlough to work without pay through the Trump Shutdown to begin processing tax returns. 
  • Contractors.  Many federal contractors have discontinued their services with thousands of employees not being paid. 

The Trump Shutdown Is Bad For Your Health And Safety:

  • Nutrition.  The Department of Agriculture has estimated that if the Trump Shutdown should continue, it only has the resources to support the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program through sometime in February.  After sometime in February, the Trump Shutdown will have severe consequences for hungry, low-income Americans and children as the government runs out of resources to support these vital, safety-net programs.

 

  • Hungry Kids and Families.  With the trade mitigation, USDA plans to distribute $1.2 billion in commodities through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which provides supplemental food to soup kitchens, food banks, and pantries.  Help is needed to mitigate this influx of commodities, and this shutdown does not help.  With most of the Food and Nutrition Service employees currently furloughed, the agency is not able to provide the funding for transportation, distribution, or storage of these commodities.  This is especially harmful to food banks that receive these commodities at a time when more families rely on their services – the winter months.
  • TSA.  Since the shutdown, hardworking TSA officers have been working without pay, screening over 2 million passengers and their baggage per day through the holidays to ensure air travel is safe and secure.
  • Clean Drinking Water and Waste Disposal Infrastructure.  Small, remote rural communities are unable to obtain assistance to construct or expand clean water and sanitary waste disposal systems.  Small rural communities often lack adequate clean drinking water, leading to health and safety issues for residents.
  • Keeping Roofs over Families’ Heads.  Payments to roughly 3,000 public housing agencies, which help manage the country’s HUD-assisted housing and supportive services programs for more than 3 million low-income households, are delayed, reducing critical operations, and delaying routine capital maintenance and emergency repairs.  Failure to maintain this critical affordable housing stock could leave thousands of veterans, elderly, disabled, and working poor Section 8 and public housing residents vulnerable to harmful living conditions, including exposure to lead-based paint hazards and mold.  This is slowing the selection of any new tenants from the thousands of low-income families and individuals currently on Section 8 and public housing waitlists nationwide, many of whom are currently living on the streets or in temporary shelters.

 

National Parks and Public Lands Threatened, National Museums Are Closing Doors:

 

  • National Parks Left With Natural Resource Damages, Without Core Services. Visitor and welcome centers are closed, most park rangers are furloughed and few emergency or law enforcement personnel are left to police the parks or rescue injured guests affecting visitor safety, reducing public access and threatening natural and cultural resources at national parks across the country.  Parks have already suffered significant threats to the health of both humans and wildlife, including overflowing trash bins and human waste left in open areas and along roads.   Vandalism and resource damage is occurring due to unsupervised hiking, camping, driving and parking at parks across the country.   The National Park Service made the unprecedented and legally questionable decision to dip into entrance fees to restore limit services—but bare bones services are clearly inadequate to protect natural resources or restore meaningful public safety or enjoyment of parks and other Federal lands.   In addition, the decision to tap into entrance fees will cannibalize a crucial source of revenues that the Park Service normally uses to address its $11.3 billion maintenance backlog and provide other critical services during peak visitation season.  It is also estimated that the National Park Service is losing approximately $400,000 per day in fee revenues by not having rangers at parks to staff entrances.  These funds are normally used to address deferred maintenance and other critical operating needs, compounding funding losses for the national park system.
    • Local Business Impacts.  Cooperating associations that are in National Park Service-owned buildings are closed and suffering financially. For example, the Big Bend Natural History Association (Big Bend NP, Texas) anticipate a loss of at least $35,000 a week.  Some local businesses in national parks are also closed as a result of the shutdown, like Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports located at the top of Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park in Washington. The road up to the ridge is closed because no National Park Service personnel are around to snow plow the park.
    • Local Community Impacts.  Gateway communities near national parks and other affiliated areas are suffering losses to visitors and economic activity as a result of the shutdown.  On an average day in January, it is estimated that 425,000 park visitors spend approximately $20 million in nearby communities.  For example, Macon, Georgia, a community near the Ocmulgee National Monument, was forced to close the city’s visitors’ center at the park. Last year, Macon introduced its "Lights Extravaganza," which drew an estimated 100,000 visitors and their business to downtown Macon. Natchitoches, Louisiana, which is home to the Cane River National Heritage Area, is also feeling the effects of the shutdown. They have four attractions currently closed during their busiest month of the year. Communities like these, which rely on the business generated by national parks, have been cut off from access to tourists and their business. 
    • Public Safety and Natural Resource Impact Concerns.  Following the shutdown, Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)closed many of its roads due to snow and no National Park Service personnel around to plow it. Campgrounds are beginning to close because of health and safety reasons.  In Big Bend National Park, the Chisos Basin, Rio Grande Village, and Cottonwood Campgrounds have closed due to sanitation and resource impact concerns. The Santa Elena Canyon Trailhead and Trail has also been closed due to trash and dangerous uncontrolled parking on the road shoulders in the area.  Limited or no staff has risked the safety of visitors to these tourist destinations.  In Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center and Elkwallow areas are closed due to visitor impacts to resources and public safety concerns.
  • Forest Access and Fire Prevention Disrupted.  Thanks to the shutdown, the U.S. Forest Service has curtailed forest thinning and fire prevention projects, despite the U.S. dealing with a record setting fire season, as well as closed visitor centers and reduced services at campgrounds.
  • Smithsonian Museums and National Gallery of Art.  Effective January 2, the Smithsonian Museums closed their doors blocking the American people, including an estimated 110,000 visitors a day, from access to one of their national treasures.  The National Gallery of Art will also close to the public effective January 3, which means that approximately 17,000 visitors a day will be unable to access the museum. 

American Indian and Alaska Native Communities Hard Hit by Shutdown Impacts

  • Cutting off essential Federal funding to tribal programs funded through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Indian Health Service (IHS) and other agencies is having a devastating impact on Indian Country.   While certain essential federally-operated tribal programs related to health, education and public safety remain in effect, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has furloughed more than 30 percent of its workforce and a number programs have ceased, including general assistance payments for low-income tribal members, trust and natural resource management programs, and other crucial “wrap around” services.   Failure to make good on funding commitments made to Native Americans violates trust and treaty obligations made by the U.S. Government to tribes when they ceded millions of acres of lands.
  • Payments to tribes that operate their own Federal programs under self-determination contracts and compacts have also been halted.   Tribes are being forced to scramble for funds to keep health care facilities open, keep law enforcement personnel on the job, and providing for basic needs for their communities by furloughing tribal employees, taking out loans, and/or reducing other services.
  • Some impacts to individual programs or tribes are as follows:
    • Mescalero Apache Tribe (NM).  The BIA Law-Enforcement Chief of Police is furloughed on a rotating basis, hampering coordination and decision making authority.  BIA currently has one law-enforcement officer rotating on a 12-hr shift policing 720 square miles of reservation lands—the size of the entire City of Houston—with no backup.  In addition, all BIA social services, social workers, and the victims’ specialist have been furloughed; no BIA officials are present to handle abuse and neglect cases. 
    • Navajo Nation (NM/AZ).  BIA road maintenance services slowed, preventative services and snow removal services has been curtailed on major roads. 
    • Urban Indian Health Programs (Nationwide).  Indian Health Service grant funding for these programs—which service tribal members who live in urban areas and areas without access to other Indian Health Service facilities—has ceased, threatening access to primary care, substance abuse treatment, and other crucial health services. Facilities are scrambling to make ends meet based on other sources of income in the meantime, and five urban health facilities face closure if the shutdown continues for 30 days or longer.
    • Yurok Tribe (CA).  The tribe’s substance abuse rehabilitation facility is in jeopardy of closing due to the funding lapse, which means that patients who are part of a diversion program would be unable to complete their required rehabilitation programs to stay out of state jail.
    • Colville Tribe (WA).  All BIA staff on the Colville reservation are furloughed. In addition, the Tribe will lose an estimated $400,000 every week the shutdown continues because of reduced timber harvesting and forestry activities, a major economic driver.  
    • Santa Clara Pueblo (NM).  USDA-Forest Service functions such as hazardous fuel reduction and landscape level management activities have ceased.

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Press Contact

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