Trump Shutdown: Hurting American Families, Businesses, and Communities

January 4, 2019
Press Release

A PDF of this fact sheet is available here.

As the Trump Shutdown enters its third week, the effects of President Trump and Republicans’ decision to shutter the government over a wasteful and unnecessary border wall are obvious.

420,000 Federal Employees Working Without Pay. Frontline federal employees, including law enforcement and public safety personnel, have been working without pay since December 22. This includes around 14,000 FBI agents, 54,000 Customs and Border Protection agents, 6,000 Forest Service firefighters.

400,000 Federal Employees Furloughed. In addition to the federal employees working without pay, hardworking federal employees at agencies like the Department of Transportation, the Department of Commerce, and NASA have been furloughed without pay, plunging them and their families into uncertainty.

Homebuyers, Renters Deprived of Services. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has stopped processing loans and mortgage approvals, putting families trying to buy a new home or refinance an FHA-insured mortgage into financial limbo. In addition, HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center is not conducting inspections of units to ensure housing is decent, safe, and sanitary.

IRS Customer Service Halted, Tax Return Processing Jeopardized. Walk-in taxpayer assistance centers and all taxpayer customer service, which serves approximately 2.5 million citizens monthly, is unavailable during the shutdown. Electronic and paper tax returns submitted by taxpayers will not be processed, leading to backlogs that will potentially delay tax refunds.

Risking Public Health. The Food and Drug Administration cannot accept any regulatory submissions and cannot support many routine regulatory and compliance activities. This includes some medical product, animal drug, and most food-related activities. The FDA also cannot conduct routine establishment inspections, which could prevent the finding and correction of violations, especially for food safety.

Reducing Food Assistance to Low-income Americans. A shutdown beyond January would cause the Food and Nutrition Service to reduce benefits by about 40 percent to almost 40 million individuals and families across the country who are dependent on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Export Promotion Blocked. The Commerce Department’s Export Assistance Centers and U.S. Commercial Service employees stationed overseas have stopped helping U.S. companies to expand American exports.

Support for Small Businesses Halted. The Small Business Administration has completely halted its role in the federal contracting process, interfering with projects government wide. The SBA has also stopped approving loan assistance and guarantee applications from commercial banks and small businesses, blocking access to federally-assisted loans for many small businesses.

E-Verify Access Denied. Businesses across the country have lost access to the Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify program, which is intended to allow business owners to comply with federal law and determine the immigration status of employees they hire.

Securities Industry Regulator Closed. Nearly all SEC employees are furloughed, limiting the agency’s activities to process and approve filings.  A prolonged shutdown will require companies to delay mergers, IPOs, and other actions, hindering economic activity.

Consumer Protection Watchdog Shuttered. Most services provided by the Federal Trade Commission are suspended under the shutdown, including the National Do Not Call Registry (for consumers and telemarketers), consumer complaint systems, and identity theft reporting – as well as law enforcement access to FTC’s consumer complaints. In addition, the FTC has suspended most investigations and litigation under the shutdown.

Law Enforcement Activities Halted. The Department of Justice’s civil litigation efforts against bad actors have stopped, and payments to crime victims have been put on hold. Training for Department of Justice employees, even for those still working despite the shutdown, is canceled. Department of Justice programs to train state and local law enforcement officers and officials have also been canceled.

National Parks Unsafe, Filled With Garbage. All services for visitors to National Park Service sites – such as visitors’ centers, interpretative programs, and restrooms – have been suspended. Many Parks are overflowing with uncollected garbage, while curtailed law enforcement staffing is putting visitors’ safety at risk. In addition, the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art have closed.

Environmental Inspections Stopped. The Environmental Protection Agency has halted inspections at drinking water systems, hazardous waste management and chemical facilities.

Vehicle Safety Activities Suspended. Under the shutdown, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has suspended data analysis and investigations into motor vehicle manufacturing defects. Recalls as a result of automotive defects will not occur.

Brewers Unable to Open, Bring New Beers to Market. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau can't approve any new labeling or process permits during the shutdown, which means no new breweries can open and existing breweries can't bring new beers to the market.

116th Congress