Looking At The Government Shutdown By The Numbers Shows Its Impact On Workers — And You
As the government shutdown carries on into its third week, the consequences continue to proliferate across the country. Talks between President Donald Trump and congressional Democratic leaders have led nowhere, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to bring an appropriations bill to the floor. Take a look at how this impasse is affecting the United States by checking out the government shutdown by the numbers.
During her weekly news conference on Thursday, newly-minted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke about the shutdown's consequences. "Families — many of them veterans — are not able to meet their mortgage payment, their rent payment, their car payment, harming their own credit ratings," she told reporters. She argued that by pushing to keep the government closed until he gets more wall funding, Trump is "endangering the safety of our food supply, the security of our airlines, vulnerable families, nutrition assistance, tax refunds, [and the] paychecks of 800,000 innocent families. What did they do to deserve this?"
Pelosi apparently took a shot at the president during her Wednesday meeting with him, too. She reminded reporters at Thursday's press conference that Trump relied on at least $413 million from his father to build his own wealth. "I said to him yesterday," Pelosi told the room, "'These people cannot go to their fathers to cover payments.'"
Here are some figures that show just how bad the shutdown has gotten.
Federal Workers Missing A Paycheck: 800,000
People Working Without Pay: 420,000
Federal employees who provide services that have been labeled "essential" are expected to work even though they aren't getting paid. The 420,000 figure — taken from The Wall Street Journal — includes TSA workers, some of whom are calling in sick or quitting in response.
Employees Prohibited From Working: 380,000
Affected Workers' Rent & Mortgage Payments: $438 Million
Many federal workers who aren't receiving pay during the shutdown are having trouble making ends meet. According to a Monday analysis from real estate company Zillow, the 800,000 unpaid employees collectively owe about $249 million in mortgages this month, as well as around $189 million in rent. "Like Americans in the private sector, many federal employees rely on each and every paycheck to cover critical expenses, including housing," the report notes. If large numbers of people are unable to fulfill their housing payments, it could hurt the economy more broadly.
Cost Of Lost Productivity: $1.2 Billion Per Week
S&P analysts believe the shutdown is causing the United States to lose $1.2 billion in gross domestic product per week, according to The Wall Street Journal.
As Politico notes, the government is losing productivity from the workers it furloughed. "We're [eventually] going to be paying people for half a month of work they didn't do," Tyler Evilsizer, research manager for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, told the magazine.
Federal Agencies Affected: 9 Of 15
Nine out of 15 federal agencies have been affected by the shutdown, according to CNN. The Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, State, Transportation, and the Treasury are all impacted.
People At Risk Of Losing Food Stamp Benefits: 38 Million
The U.S. Agriculture Department has said that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will be issued through February, but that it's not yet clear whether the program will have enough money to continue into March. Trump has said he's willing to keep the government closed for "months or even years." If SNAP funding runs out, around 38 million people will lose the food benefits they depend on, according to CNBC.
People At Risk Of Not Getting Their Tax Refund On Time: 8 In 10 Americans
Almost 8 out of 10 people in the United States receive a refund after filing their taxes every year, CNN reports. President Donald Trump has said he will compel the IRS to issue refunds even if the government is shut down, but some experts doubt he can do that, according to Vox.
Many people depend on their annual refunds to make ends meet. One mother told CNN that she regularly skips her end-of-year mortgage payment to buy Christmas gifts for her sons and then pays it back with her tax refund a few months later. "If I cannot repay that missed payment by then, foreclosure is a very real possibility," she told the outlet.
Government Shutdowns In The Last 40 Years: 16
There have been 16 lapses in federal funding since the beginning of 1979, according to CNN. The longest lasted 21 days and occurred under Clinton between December 1995 and January 1996. If the current shutdown drags on until Saturday, it will surpass that record.
The New York Times reports that Republican members of Congress are feeling more pressure to open the government with or without Trump's approval. According to The Washington Examiner, some Democrats in the House believe that the GOP will soon cave and finally bring an end to the shutdown.