U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, R-Mo., recently issued this statement about the federal government closing:
The government of the United States of America is closed.
On Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, Congress has failed to adequately fund the federal government and forced the shutdown of federal agencies. With that comes needless confusion, uncertainty, and harm to all Americans, including public servants and their families, and increasing costs for the taxpayer.
“Today, our public servants and the people who depend on them for so many, various services are being punished because Washington has wasted time yet again,” said Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II. “In Missouri’s Fifth District, the federal government employs nearly 45,000 people —many of whom have already been injuriously impacted by sequestration—who will now be furloughed. They are not the only ones who will be affected, but their sacrifices will be the most severe.”
“A government shutdown impacts all of us. It will mean that many of our agencies will shut their doors, hurting seniors, families, businesses, and children. It means public servants will suffer and Americans who depend on their services will suffer too. I have spoken with constituents throughout Missouri’s Fifth District, Republicans and Democrats, and virtually everyone agrees. This is no way to run a government.”
“I want to return our government to functionality and I am certainly open to debating our federal budget, our policy priorities, and how we should best serve our constituents. While I am a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act, I am even open to discussing how we can amend and improve it. I am not, however, a believer in shutting down the entire government simply because one ‘side’ can't get everything it wants. That is not how government should work, and not what we were sent here to do.”
A shutdown will actually cost the government and the taxpayer money, hinder the economy, waste billions of dollars in federal funds and scare the markets. Even now, there are reports of a slowdown in normal operations for agencies and businesses. The Office of Management and Budget estimated in 1996 that the two closures in that fiscal year, which lasted 26 days total, cost the government $1.4 billion, or approximately $2.08 billion in today’s dollars.
Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. representative for Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District.