As Congressman Erik Paulsen heads home for vacation, the impact of his reckless priorities on middle class families are becoming more clear – and Congressman Paulsen refuses to guarantee House Republicans won’t do it all again.
With only 16 working days left in Congress in 2013, Congressman Paulsen and his House Republicans show no signs of focusing on putting Americans back to work, improving the Affordable Care Act, ending workplace discrimination, advancing bipartisan immigration reform or coming to a bipartisan agreement on a balanced approach to the budget – setting the country up for yet another display of reckless brinksmanship after the holidays.
“The people of Minnesota already felt the pain from Congressman Paulsen’s government shutdown, but the full cost of his pandering to Tea Party demands is now coming to light, and it isn’t pretty – and even worse, it isn’t over,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Congressman Paulsen’s reckless shutdown cost our economy $24 billion, at a time when families can least afford it, and his opposition to reasonable, bipartisan solutions caused the shutdown to drag on for 16 days and hurt veterans, seniors, children and families – and they show no signs of preventing another round this winter. The people of Minnesota have had enough of Congressman Paulsen sabotaging our economic recovery over the wrong priorities.”
Last month, Congressman Paulsen and House Republicans shut down the government over the Affordable Care Act – rather than work to improve the law. The shutdown Congressman Paulsen demanded took $24 billion out of our economy, increased unemployment, risked our national security, and hurt everyone from seniors to children to our veterans and military service members.
The extent of the wreckage Congressman Paulsen caused is now becoming clear – and could happen again in just a few months:
- Standard & Poor’s estimated that the government shutdown cost the economy $24 billion;
- Our housing market’s recovery slowed as loans were unable to be processed;
- More than 800,000 Americans were furloughed;
- Child cancer patients were turned away from the National Institute of Health, and scientific research was set back;
- Small businesses were unable to access an average of $96 million in capital;
- 72 percent of civilian workers at spy agencies were furloughed, which “seriously damage[d]” national security, according to the Director of National Intelligence;
- 84 million acres in 401 National Parks were closed;
- Veterans claims appeals went unanswered by the Board of Veterans Appeals;
- Tens of thousands of seniors had to worry where their next meal was coming from;
- Farmers took a hit as the USDA’s payments and critical daily crop reports ceased;
- Disaster aid was delayed.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention halted their flu shot program, as the flu season began;
- The CDC cut their staff tasked with tracking food-borne illnesses by more than 87 percent;