Day 33

Today is Day 33 of the Trump shutdown, the longest in our nation’s history, and the impacts of the shutdown are growing. From undermining law enforcement efforts and delaying tax refunds to cutting off revenue for small businesses and putting vulnerable Americans at risk of being evicted, the shutdown is affecting Americans across the country. Take a look:

New York Times: Report Says Shutdown Is Impeding F.B.I.’s Law Enforcement Efforts
“As the partial government shutdown enters its fifth week, the funding freeze has impeded F.B.I. efforts to crack down on child trafficking, violent crime and terrorism, according to a report issued Tuesday by the group that represents the bureau’s 13,000 special agents… Because of the shutdown, the F.B.I. has been unable to issue grand jury subpoenas and indictments in several cases cited in the report… The bureau has also not been able to pay its informants, an important source of intelligence in terrorism, narcotics, gang, illegal firearm and other national security cases. The F.B.I. could lose those informants… The nation’s legal system could soon be hobbled if Congress and the Trump administration cannot come to an agreement to reopen the portions of government that have been closed since last month. The federal courts will run out of money by around Feb. 1, requiring them to cut back to essential services at that point and furlough some workers.”

Washington Post: Hundreds of IRS employees are skipping work. That could delay tax refunds.
Hundreds of Internal Revenue Service employees have received permission to skip work during the partial government shutdown due to financial hardship...”

“…IRS employees across the country — some in coordinated protest, others out of financial necessity — won’t be clocking in, according to Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, and several local union officials. …. IRS employees will miss a second paycheck Monday if the government does not reopen this week.”

“‘I’m at the point where I cannot afford to go to work,’ said Marissa Scott, 31, an IRS customer service representative who is out on hardship leave. Scott lives outside Kansas City, Mo., and drives 98 miles round trip to work each day. ‘I cannot afford to fill my gas tank.’”

Wall Street Journal: How the Shutdown Is Hitting Business
“…Small-business loans are stuck in limbo. The Small Business Administration has stopped approving routine loans that the agency backs to ensure entrepreneurs have access to funds, halting their plans for expansion and repairs and forcing some owners to consider costlier sources of cash. The Agriculture Department’s Farm Service Agency reopened for three days to help process renewals of existing loans and tax documents. The shutdown has also slowed regulations on an incentive for investing in low-income areas.”

U.S. Food and Drug Administration has dramatically curtailed inspections of domestic facilities at food-processing companies during the shutdown, though unpaid inspectors have resumed work inspecting higher-risk products such as fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, seafood and dairy products.”

“Meanwhile, businesses seeking to launch new alcoholic beverage products can’t get needed approvals in the tightly regulated industry. The FDA is set to run out of money in early February for evaluating new prescription drugs if the shutdown continues, potentially slowing the release of new therapies including cancer treatments.”

“The National Transportation Safety Board has suspended nearly all accident investigations. More than a dozen small plane crashes and railroad accidents that normally would prompt on-site visits by NTSB staff have been left untouched.”

New York Times: Shutdown’s Pain Cuts Deep for the Homeless and Other Vulnerable Americans
“The Department of Housing and Urban Development — one of the federal agencies hit hardest by the shutdown — would not be able to pay her new landlord until the government reopened…[The shutdown] has left a small but growing number of tenants, like Ms. Wormley-Mitsis, in limbo. Landlords, especially smaller management companies operating on narrow margins, have begun pressuring poor, disabled and elderly tenants who cannot afford to make up the difference.”

“The Department of Agriculture has announced that funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides food stamps and other aid to almost 40 million poor and working-class Americans, will run out by March 1, and other nutrition programs are facing the same fate.”

“The funding lapse is being felt most acutely by providers who owe their survival to the month-to-month cash flow provided by the annual $2.8 billion federal Homeless Assistance Grant program… ‘The crisis has arrived,’ said Ms. [Susie] Sinclair-Smith, the executive director of the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless. The last payment the group received from HUD was a $250,000 reimbursement for its December expenses, which arrived at the start of the year.”
USA TODAY: 10 percent of TSA workers call in sick as government shutdown drags on
The slowly growing wave of sickouts among TSA workers reached 10 percent as the agency that provides security at the nation's airports acknowledged ‘many employees are reporting that they are not able to report to work due to financial limitations.’ The Transportation Security Administration said Monday that the rate of unscheduled absences Sunday compared with a 3.1 percent rate on the same day one year ago. The nation's 800,000 federal employees will miss their second paycheck this week as the government shutdown extends into its second month. About half of those employees, including about 50,000 airport security workers, are considered ‘essential’ and are working anyway.”

Wall Street Journal: Shutdown Is a ‘Hellacious Situation’ for Federal Government Contractors
“When the partial government shutdown began, Mark Patton, the chief operating officer of HSG LLC, wasn’t too worried. But 25 days later, the longest government shutdown in U.S. history has all but cut off revenue to the 160-employee federal contracting firm, pitching it into crisis… Nearly all of the federal agencies that HSG works with, including NASA and the Department of Interior, are closed because of the funding lapse, forcing Mr. Patton to stop paying many of the company’s employees. [HJC LLC] has exhausted its line of credit and Mr. Patton and other executives have started to give their salary back to the company to maintain a meager cash flow. If the company can’t cover their employee health-care plan at the end of the month, HSG may have to formally lay off many of its workers and try to rehire them after the shutdown ends.”

The slowdown among federal contractors is taking a toll on the entire economy, according to Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. He said the economy was losing a tenth of a percentage point of growth per week because of the overall impact of the shutdown, rather than a previous estimate of a tenth of a percentage point every two weeks.”