DCCC Chair: Congressman Paulsen Is Not Innocent Bystander

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel released the following statement about Congressman Erik Paulsen’s failure to cross the aisle on more than a dozen occasions to end the government shutdown – for 16 straight days. An analysis by S&P found that Congressman Paulsen’s government shutdown cost the economy $24 billion.

“Congressman Erik Paulsen has returned to his district claiming he was just an innocent bystander to this crime against his local economy from this government shutdown. But in reality, he stood by for 16 days and refused on 16 separate occasions to work with Democrats to end it. After all that twisting in the wind, the people of Minnesota won’t buy into a sham where Congressman Paulsen tries to disown this shutdown. He was a partner in a reckless and irresponsible political game that inflicted harm on his local economy.”

Local impacts include:

Shutdown Increased First-Time Unemployment Claims by 47 Percent. “First-time unemployment claims jumped 47 percent in Minnesota during the first week of the federal government shutdown, state officials said Thursday. The sharp increase put the state well ahead of the nation, which saw a 21 percent increase from 308,000 to 374,000 applications between the weeks ended Sept. 28 and Oct. 5, according to the U.S. Labor Department. […] According to Department of Employment and Economic Development spokesman Blake Chaffee about 2,000 of the 5,000 new applicants for unemployment in Minnesota came from employees “linked to federal government employment.” [Star Tribune, 10/11/13]

Closure of Minnesota’s National Parks Removed $3,901,376 from Minnesota’s Economy. According to ThinkProgress, the National Park Service estimates that their parks generate $243,836 in economic activity in Minnesota each day. As such, the sixteen day government shutdown cost Illinois at least $3,901,376. [ThinkProgress, 10/02/13]

489,000 Acres of Land Were Closed in Minnesota. “Due to the federal government shutdown, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has closed 13 national wildlife refuges and eight wetland management districts in Minnesota, totaling more than 489,000 acres of land. The situation is similar in neighboring South Dakota, another favorite destination of Minnesota hunters.” [Associated Press, 10/10/13]

Headline: Shutdown Takes Personal, Financial Toll on Minn. Workers [KSTP Channel 5, 10/15/13]

Growing Minnesota: Shutdown Cost Growers Money. “The monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates report – a monthly report on world supply and demand for major crops including corn, wheat and U.S. livestock – was due out Friday, but has been delayed. The shutdown that started Oct. 1 has delayed or cancelled all sorts of government reports ranging from hog-price data to last week’s scheduled unemployment update. Not having that data at harvest time is costing growers money they’ll never get back, some say.” [Growing Minnesota, 10/14/13]