SCHUMER: GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN WOULD HURT EVERY CORNER OF NEW YORK STATE; SENATOR CALLS ON CONGRESS TO PASS BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT TO KEEP GOVERNMENT OPEN AND BREAKS DOWN IMPACT A HOUSE REPUBLICAN-CAUSED SHUTDOWN WOULD HAVE ON FAMILIES, LOCAL ECONOMY & NY’S FEDERAL WORKFORCE THROUGHOUT THE EMPIRE STATE
Schumer Says Risking Government Shutdown Is Needlessly Playing With Fire – Not Only Hurting New York’s 50k+ Federal Civilian Employees And Military Service Members, But Also Hitting Main Streets And Families –Halting Federal Services For Small Businesses, Farmers, Longer Wait Times At Airports, Cutting Education, Housing Assistance, And More
Schumer Says Public Needs To Put Pressure On House GOP And Calls On NY House Republicans To Take Charge And Work In Bipartisan Manner With Democrats And Pass Short-Term Agreement To Avert Shutdown
Schumer: If House Republicans Choose To Ignore Bipartisan Solutions And Needlessly Shut Down The Government, New Yorkers Will Be Feeling The Pain With Lives And Services Disrupted
With a potential and avoidable government shutdown looming, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today broke down how, if the House GOP does not set aside their differences to pass the Senate’s short-term agreement and prevent a catastrophic government shutdown, the ripple effects will be felt by families and local economies across New York. Schumer emphasized that all through the weekend, Senate Democrats and Republicans worked in bipartisan good faith to reach an agreement on a continuing resolution that will keep the government funded and avert a shutdown. He said that every single congressional Republican, but especially those serving New York, should think long and hard about the local communities and families they represent before ignoring the Senate’s bipartisan continuing resolution to keep the government open. If not, Schumer said the House Republicans will be the ones responsible for sending America down an easily avoidable and politically disastrous path that ends with New Yorkers paying the price.
“We cannot afford to let the extreme fringe views of the House Republican Conference risk a government shutdown and needlessly hurt New York families. From Syracuse to the Southern Tier to Suffern, New York House Republicans have a responsibility to their constituents to stand up to House leadership and work in a bipartisan way to fund the government,” said Senator Schumer. “This is not an abstract issue – If the House GOP refuses to embrace this bridge towards cooperation and away from extremism, the government will inevitably shutdown, causing disruptions for millions of New Yorkers to services they rely on, while thousands of federal workers could be furloughed.”
Schumer added, “We only have a few days left for House Republicans to come to their senses and choose to work with Democrats and Senate Republicans, as we always have, to fund the government through bipartisan cooperation. It doesn’t have to be the MAGA way or a shutdown, and if House Republicans don’t see that soon it will be New Yorkers and families across America paying the price. The bottom line is that this MAGA Republican House shutdown is avoidable, irresponsible and deeply damaging.”
Schumer said according to Congressional Research Services, over 50,000 federal civilian employees currently reside in New York, on top of thousands of military servicemembers who live and work on military installations across the state. You can find a breakdown of federal civilian employees by region in New York here. These New Yorkers will feel the impacts of a shutdown immediately, with many working in departments or agencies that will close as soon as the government shuts down. The senator cited specific agencies—that because of the shutdown—would not be able to serve New Yorkers as they should.
Schumer detailed the specific ways a government shutdown will hurt New York:
- Servicemembers On NY Military Installations Will Work Without Pay, While Civilian Employees On Bases Will Be Furloughed: If the government shuts down, the majority of DoD civilian employees working on military installations such as Form Drum, West Point, and Watervliet Arsenal will be furloughed and go on unpaid leave immediately. Additionally, 41,624 active duty and reserve personnel across New York will be expected to show up for work, serving their country without pay.
- No Pay For TSA Agents, Potential Delays, And Longer Wait Times For NY Travelers At Airports: If the government shuts down, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at airports across NYS – such as Buffalo Niagara International, Albany International, and Syracuse Hancock International – will be working without pay. Approximately 95% of TSA workers would continue to work without pay, including frontline Transportation Security Officers, Canine Handlers, Federal Air Marshals, Transportation Security Inspectors, Explosives Experts, Intelligence & Vetting Analysts, cybersecurity specialists and more. Schumer says many TSA workers cannot afford to go without pay because of the transportation costs to get to work, and impacts workers’ families who depend on their paycheck. Additionally, Schumer warned that a shutdown will cause significant delays and longer wait times for the 84,613 people who fly through New York airports every day, as there were during previous shutdowns, with hiring and new training freezing and exacerbating shortages.
- Over 418,000 NY Women, Infants, And Children Could Lose Access To Vital Nutrition Assistance: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)—a program that serves nearly half of babies born in this country—will be immediately jeopardized if the government shuts down. This includes 89,717 women, 241,198 children, and 87,169 infants across NYS who would soon start being turned away at grocery store counters, with a federal contingency fund drying up after just a few days.
- Nearly 2.9 Million NY Households At Risk Of Losing SNAP Benefits: Nearly 2.9 million households across New York State are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), but their benefits will be jeopardized if the shutdown goes beyond October.
- Undermine Food And Workplace Safety: The Food and Drug Administration could be forced to delay food safety inspections for seafood, meats, fruits vegetables, and other products putting extra pressure on restaurants and grocers. Similarly, OSHA would be forced to limit workplace inspections and New Yorkers who are owed back pay for their hard work would face delays due to the majority of Department of Labor investigations being suspended.
- Disruption to Proposed Major NY Investments and Jobs: Implementation of key provisions from the CHIPS and Science Act that are now spurring massive historic job growth across New York will be delayed by a shutdown. These provisions were enacted last year to bolster the domestic supply chain and bring manufacturing back to the U.S. from overseas. Delays in this funding, from programs like the CHIPS semiconductor incentives, Regional Technology Hubs program, and NSF STEM training and education investments, would have dramatic consequences for the economic growth being seen in New York and across the country. Programs meant to bring funding to regions across the country focused on AI, chips, quantum computing, and more, would be halted and awards for world class manufacturers and research institutions in NY and across the nation would be delayed.
- NY Infrastructure Projects Could Be Delayed Awaiting Federal Review: Infrastructure projects awaiting review across New York could be delayed awaiting EPA and DOI environmental reviews along with severe disruptions to the permitting process across federal agencies. This also impacts small town infrastructure projects awaiting federal investment as no USDA loans or grants would be made for modernizing utilities infrastructure in rural New York.
- Extreme Lack Of Security At The Northern and Southern Border: Without a funded government, critical Border Patrol agents and CBP officer hires aimed at alleviating serious staffing shortages at our northern border and local ports of entry would not be onboarded during the month of October or longer, crippling efforts to bring increased security to the border. With this kind of major disruption, border agencies risk losing these new hires altogether from their recruitment pipelines, setting back efforts to bring order to the border. Nearly 80% of our border enforcement personnel would be working without pay for the duration of the shutdown, further demoralizing frontline personnel facing extremely difficult conditions. Additionally, deployments of our most effective technology to interdict fentanyl and contraband at ports of entry where the vast majority of drugs enter the U.S. would be delayed during shutdown, setting back our long-term efforts to combat lethal opioids.
- Severely Limited Childcare Services And Elective Healthcare On Military Installations: The extent to which childcare services operate during a shutdown are at the discretion of each NY military installation, but in general, critical mental health services, recreational activities, sporting events, and other services not deemed as essential do not continue during shutdowns. Additionally, elective surgery and other elective procedures in NY DoD medical and dental facilities are likely to be discontinued during a shutdown.
- Millions In Loans Halted For New York Small Business Owners: New York Businesses seeking loans from the Small Business Administration will have to wait for the shutdown to end, as processing for most SBA lending programs – including 7(a), 504, and the microloan program – will stop operations entirely while the agency’s employees are furloughed during a shutdown. These programs provides $1,298,267,900 in funding to small businesses in New York every single year. NY businesses looking to hire new employees during the shutdown will also run into problems, due to federal E-Verify access – an internet-based system that allows businesses to determine their employees’ eligibility to work in the United States – being suspended. During a shutdown, federal contractors across NY will face stop-work orders and delayed payments for all projects, including work that has already been completed – putting a significant financial burden on the state’s small contractors.
- Slashed Tourism Across New York’s National Parks and Historic Sites: Hotels and Main Street businesses will lose critical tourism dollars while national parks and historic sites are shuttered. If the government shuts down, people will be canceling reservations and leaving their rooms empty, when they would otherwise be filled with tourists. Over 16 million tourists visit national parks in New York every year and could be turned away or unable to fully access parks, monuments, and museums if the government shuts down.
- Significantly Limited Housing Assistance for NY Families: During a government shutdown, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) program that provides loans for families to buy homes will cease entirely, leaving New Yorkers struggling to access critical assistance for homeownership. A government shutdown would take an even harder toll on New York’s rural families, as the USDA would be forced to stop processing housing loans, which provide close to $110 million in funding to help over 950 families in rural New York communities buy homes every year. The FHA program that serves NY seniors who need to draw on their home equity to cover living expenses and medical costs will also be suspended. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which provides housing subsidies, vouchers, and multi-family assistance contracts, will stop operations completely in all 50 states. A shutdown also risks funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which provides heating and cooling assistance to millions of households, just as the weather starts to turn towards frigid temperatures across New York.
- NY Farmers Left High And Dry: New loans to NY farmers and ranchers will halt, marketing assistance loans will pause, and technical assistance will stop due to Farm Service Agency offices closures, all of which create hardship for farmers who are in the middle of their harvest season, as well as those planning for next year’s. Schumer said these farm loans provide $53,347,000 in funding for farmers in New York every year. Critical payments that our farmers depend on, through initiatives like the Conservation Reserve Program, Dairy Margin Coverage and the Agriculture Risk and Price Loss Coverage (ARC/PLC) programs, will also not be made, nor will post-disaster payments. These USDA services and post-disaster payments are especially vital to the NY farmers that were severely impacted by this past May’s deep freeze, which hit vineyards, orchards, and farms across Upstate New York.