The United States government officially - and avoidably - shut down on Tuesday. With government agencies and organizations that provide critical direct services to millions of Americans still reeling from the detrimental effects of the sequester, every minute, every hour, and every day that pass in the shutdown increase the negative consequences for communities across our nation.
Market research estimates that as Congress plays a game of stalemate, the shutdown could cost our nation at least $1.6 billion per week, $300 million per day or $12.5 million per hour in lost output. The fragile recovery of the Main Street economy cannot afford to be an innocent bystander in the carnage happening in Congress.
Almost one million federal workers have been instructed to stay home, with others - deemed "essential employees" - being told to report to work. However, their most essential need - getting paid - remains a question mark.
Government agencies from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have been forced to suspend critical services such as the NIH's research hospital intake, disease-tracking, and vaccine creation - putting the economic, as well as physical, health of the nation at risk.
It's time to put ideology and the blame game aside and put the needs of the American people first. It's time for Congress to get to work on quickly and responsibly passing a bill to adequately fund and fully reopen our government - and in the process, put people back to work.
Click here to read the full e-newsletter: ReMARCs: It's Time to Shut Down the Shutdown.