Government Shutdown will have significant impact on Ohio’s economy

For months, Congressional Republicans have threatened that unless Democrats negotiate over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, they will not pass a new spending bill to fund the federal government. Last night at mid-night, Republicans followed through on their threats and President Obama was forced to shut down the U.S. government for the first time since 1995.

A shutdown of the federal government will have real effects on the U.S. economy and here in Ohio. The White House estimates that a week-long shutdown will cost the U.S. economy $10 billion but that number could increase the longer the shutdown drags on. According to research released by Congressional Democrats, this shutdown will have significant effects on middle-class families and small businesses here in Ohio.

  • 52,000 federal employees in Ohio will be furloughed. These workers may see reductions in their pay from the time they were forced to stay home because the government was shuttered. This means less money in the pockets of these workers to pay for all sorts of services and goods from businesses in their communities.
  • A shutdown could delay support for a portion of the 186,000 small businesses in Ohio. The federal Small Businesses Association administers small business loans and a shutdown would put a stop to this critical source of business credit for thousands of small businesses in Ohio.
  • In Ohio, over 25,000 people are employed through the Department of Defense as civilian employees and half of them will be furloughed without pay while the rest would continue to work for delayed pay.
  • Checks for current Social Security benefits will continued to be delivered during the shutdown but it is unclear what would happened for new benefits or other services offered to seniors. During the last shutdown 112,000 claims for Social Security and disability were not taken. In Ohio, 2.2 million individuals received Social Security benefits in 2012.
  • During the 1995 shutdown, more than 400,000 veterans saw their disability benefits and pension claims delayed and it is unclear whether this will also happen this time. Currently, Ohio has 877,000 veterans who may experience some sort of delay.

Congressional Republicans’ demands to negotiate over the ACA are irresponsible and reckless and are putting the nation’s economy, and Ohio’s economy, at risk to advance their political agenda. It is time that Republicans in Congress stop threatening the future of Ohio’s middle-class families and pass legislation to fund the government’s operations.