One Year Later

Americans want a Senate that works for them, not one that holds them hostage for political reasons.

A Year After The Government Shutdown, Conservatives Haven’t Learned Their Lesson

Today marks the one-year anniversary of when federal offices began closing due to a Republican-forced government shutdown — that lasted 16 days — in an effort to pursue their extreme ideological agenda. A quick reminder of what the government shutdown costs America:

  • $24 Billion: What the shutdown cost the economy.
  • $2.5 Billion: What the shutdown cost taxpayers.
  • 120,000 Jobs: The number of jobs lost due to the shutdown.
  • $414 Million: The estimated lost revenue to parks and surrounding communities due to the closure of 401 national parks.

Despite the deep unpopularity of the government shutdown shenanigans among the American public, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised more of the same if the GOP takes control of the upper chamber in 2015.

“The typically reserved McConnell laid out his clearest thinking yet of how he would lead the Senate if Republicans gain control of the chamber. The emerging strategy: Attach riders to spending bills that would limit Obama policies on everything from the environment to health care, consider using an arcane budget tactic to circumvent Democratic filibusters and force the president to “move to the center” if he wants to get any new legislation through Congress. McConnell risks overreaching if he follows through with his pledge to attach policy riders to spending bills. If Obama refuses to accept such measures, a government shutdown could ensue. Republicans bore much of the blame for last year’s government shutdown, and their fortunes rebounded only when the administration bungled the rollout of Obamacare…But asked about the potential that his approach could spark another shutdown, McConnell said it would be up to the president to decide whether to veto spending bills that would keep the government open.

This is a stark reminder of how much is at stake this election cycle. But the implications go beyond just government shutdown threats. A Republican-controlled Senate would also mean:

  • A Senate focused on creating an economy that only works for the wealthiest and select few, instead of an economy that works for everyone.
  • A Senate focused on taking away people’s healthcare and gutting environmental safeguards that provide vital public health protections.
  • A Senate focused on obstruction of progressive appointments to the executive and judiciary, which will impact voting rights, marriage equality, health care, immigration and more.
  • A Senate focused on overblown Administration scandals instead of addressing the serious issues facing Americans.

BOTTOM LINE: One year after the shutdown, it’s clear conservatives haven’t learned their lesson. Americans want a Senate that works for them, not one that holds them hostage for political reasons.

Like CAP Action on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.