SCHUMER: GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN HURTS NEW YORK IN MANY WAYS; SENATOR DETAILS HOW AIRPORTS, SCHOOLS, DRINKING WATER, TAX REFUND CHECKS, NY ECONOMY & MUCH MORE IS UNDER THREAT; PUSHES TO GET GOVERNMENT OPEN ASAP
A Full Third Of The NYC Fed Workforce Is Feeling Pain—More Than 16K People—While Each And Every Taxpayer Suffers
Schumer Says Back-Pay for ALL Is The Goal
Schumer: Plain & Simple, Families Are Hurting Across The Country And In New York; President Should Open The Government
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, today, gave an update on his efforts to reopen the government and detailed just how New York is being hurt. Schumer detailed how 450,000 people are currently working without pay and how another 380,000 workers are furloughed across the U.S.. The Senator explained that many of these federal workers are in New York, more than 50,000 in fact and more than 16,000 of them work in departments or agencies that are currently shut down. Schumer cited specific agencies ---that because of the shutdown-- cannot serve New Yorkers as they should, including the risks at airports, threats to school programs, IRS tax refunds and more as he made the case and pushed President Trump to end this needless shutdown.
“Sometimes, when we talk about the Big Picture – what’s happening at the national level with cabinet departments and federal agencies and furloughs and funding levels – it’s easy to forget that this Trump shutdown is affecting all sorts of everyday folks here in New York. So that is why it is imperative to share the ways this needless shutdown hurts New York and its people,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “Hopefully, by bringing light to the ways in which our airports, our schools, our water and even our tax refunds are impacted, we can send a strong message to the President to do the right things and open the government back up. Families are hurting—for no good reason—across the County and here in New York, plain and simple.”
Schumer detailed specific ways the shutdown is hurting New York:
Airports: Currently, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents are furloughed and working without pay. Schumer says many TSA workers, especially in NYC, cannot afford to go without pay because of the transportation costs to get to work. Schumer says continuing the shutdown risks the safety of airports because agents, already spread thin, will be even more stretched.
The MTA: Every month, the MTA gets anywhere from $130-$170 million in reimbursements from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). It’s estimated that they can go 4-6 weeks without those reimbursements but after that they MTA will have to make hard choices that will potentially hurt commuters.
The Census: The American Community Survey -- legally the ongoing part of the decennial census -- has been suspended, jeopardizing the socio-economic estimates of New York City which are needed to allocate hundreds of billions of dollars annually in federal assistance to state and local governments for all kinds of things from housing to transportation.
The NTSB: The NTSB sends inspectors to New York any time there is a terrible accident on our roads or railways. Only 27 of their 401 employees are not furloughed. If we were to have a derailment, say like Spuyten Duyvil, it is near impossible for 27 employees to be stretched.
The IRS: Without re-opening the government, countless New Yorkers would fail to see their tax refund checks processed. Schumer says this will hurt millions of New York families who depend on the refund checks to meet yearly expenses. In FY17, 16 million New Yorkers received $27 billion in tax refunds. As of now, refunds will not go out if the shutdown continues. Last year, by February 2nd, the IRS had already paid out $12.6 billion in refunds to 6 million people.
Federal Housing Administration: New home loans are not being processed at all, and loans in queue are at major slowdowns.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Total beneficiaries in New York City are 1.5 million. These benefits are jeopardized if the shutdown goes beyond February. Across the state, 400,000 mothers and families rely on WIC.
Tourism: And then there are bed-and-breakfast in places like New Hyde Park, near the FDR Presidential Library, that are losing critical business while national historic sites remain shuttered. People are canceling reservations and leaving their rooms empty, when they would otherwise be filled with tourists. Tourism brings in an estimated $67 billion to our state every year.
According to the Senate Appropriations Committee, this needless shutdown is also hurting public safety. More than 41,000 law enforcement and correctional officers and as much as 88 percent of Department of Homeland Security employees are currently working without pay.
And according to the Trust for America’s Health, further impacts, which hurt New York include:
- The FDA, which safeguards our food, medicine, medical devices and more, has furloughed as much as 40 percent of its staff. While “mission critical” activities, such as food safety inspections and surveillance, are continuing during the shutdown, new drug and device applications and other work has been suspended.
- The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), which protects the public from hazardous substances and other environmental health threats, is continuing emergency services but will be unable to update health exposure assessments, provide technical assistance and support to state and local partners nor carry out professional training. ATSDR is located at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention but funded through the Environmental Protection Agency.
- While the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program is still open for business, agencies will need to tap into reserves should the shutdown continue beyond January, threatening critical nutrition assistance which the nation’s most at-risk families depend on.
- Nutrition programs such as School Lunch, School Breakfast, Child and Adult Care Feeding, Summer Food Service and Special Milk will also need to stop operations if the shutdown extends into February.
- The Environmental Protection Agency’s capacity for ensuring safe drinking water and regulating dangerous pesticides will also be limited. According to the agency, more than 13,000 workers have been furloughed and an additional 700 employees are working without pay, including those who work on Superfund sites or other activities where the “threat to life or property is imminent.”