Press Releases

Wexton Highlights Severe Consequences of Government Shutdown for Virginia

Washington, DC – As Congress returns to session under the threat of a looming government shutdown from extreme Freedom Caucus Republicans, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) highlighted how a shutdown would be devastating for middle class Virginia families, according to data from a new report from the Joint Economic Committee (JEC).

“This reckless and irresponsible attempt by extreme Republicans to hold our economy hostage inflicts unnecessary pain on Virginia middle class families and threatens to throw our economy into a crisis,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “As the representative to tens of thousands of federal employees, I’m especially concerned about a shutdown hitting our district hardest and forcing families to go without paychecks just for the sake of partisan games. I’ll continue fighting every step of the way to avoid a disastrous shutdown and push back against this extremist agenda.”

The new report lays out the dire impacts a government shutdown would have including severely reducing economic output, jeopardizing families’ access to essential federal benefits programs, and damaging repercussions on private sector productivity and ability to conduct business. A shutdown could also mean hundreds of thousands of federal workers, including 170,851 Virginians, being prevented from working or required to work with no pay.

Below are details about how a reckless government shutdown would hurt the U.S. economy and Virginia families and businesses:

  • Reducing economic output: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the five-week partial government shutdown in 2018-2019 reduced economic output by $11 billion in the following two quarters – including $3 billion that the U.S. economy never regained.
  • Creating economic uncertainty: A shutdown of the government by extreme Republicans would jeopardize consumer confidence and cause doubt about the ability of the U.S. to manage its finances, particularly on the heels of the recent credit agency downgrade of the U.S. following the debt-limit crisis.
  • Disruptions to private sector business operations: Businesses could see loans, mortgage applications, export licenses, federal contracts, and access to critical business data significantly delayed or decreased.
  • Furloughed federal employees: Hundreds of thousands of federal workers across the U.S. could miss out on their regular paychecks while essential government services are interrupted.
  • Jeopardizing crucial federal benefits: Government assistance programs could be disrupted, increasing hardship for 42 million Americans who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), 2.8 million Americans who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and 6.3 million Americans who receive monthly Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits.
  • Impacts on travel and tourism: Furloughs and pay freezes for federal employees such as TSA and air traffic controllers could mean longer lines at airport security checkpoints, flight delays, delayed passport processing, as well as limited access to national park sites.