SPECIAL TO THE FANNIN SENTINEL BY MORGAN G STALTER – 01/26/19 09:24 AM EST
The U.S. economy lost at least $6 billion during the record-long partial government shutdown, S&P Global Ratings said Friday (Jan. 25).
The economic hit stems from a loss of productivity and economic activity lost to outside business during the shutdown, which ended on its 35th day on Friday, Jan. 25, Reuters reported.
Nearly 800,000 federal employees were furloughed or working without pay during the shutdown.
The shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, started on Dec. 22 over President Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion in funding for his
long-desired wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump signed a three week funding bill on Friday night, formally ending the shutdown without securing money for a border wall.
Trump warned that if he cannot get a “fair deal” when the stopgap bill runs out, the government may shut down again. The president suggested he may also declare a national emergency to bypass Congress to build his wall, a move which would likely trigger legal challenges.
“Although this shutdown has ended, little agreement on Capitol Hill will likely weigh on business confidence and financial market
sentiments,” S&P said in a news release.
Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said earlier this week that he didn’t expect the shutdown to do lasting damage to the U.S. economy.
“When the government reopens—and I’m not here to negotiate; I’m not going to make a prediction, that’s up to the president—you will see an immediate snapback,” Kudlow told reporters.
Kudlow faced backlash during the shutdown when he said that thousands of federal employees were “volunteering” to work due
to their “allegiance to President Trump.”
“They honor us and they do it because of their love for their country and the office of the presidency and presumably their allegiance to President Trump,” Kudlow said. “They’re doing it. Give them some credit. There are a lot of wonderful people
in this country.”
Hundreds of thousands of federal employees who missed two paychecks during the shutdown could receive back pay within
days, depending on how quickly their respective agencies can organize payrolls.