The Republican Shutdown: Hurting New Mexico’s Economy and Middle Class

The Republican Shutdown Slams Middle-Class Families and Small Businesses

The shutdown delays financial support for New Mexico’ small businesses. In FY12, the SBA’s flagship 7(a) and 504 loans programs supported 571,383 jobs and approved 53,847 applications over the course of 12 months, including 284 in New Mexico for a total of $110,049,200 in loans. On average, $318,983 in loans was approved for small businesses in New Mexico each day. [Small Business Administration FY14 Budget Justification; SBA]

The Republican Shutdown puts one-in-four of New Mexico’s 27,000 Federal employees out of work.

Federal employees around the country have been furloughed in the government shutdown. Nationwide, more than 800,000 federal workers, accounting for approximately 28% of the federal workforce, are facing furlough. [Census; Washington Post, 9/23/13; Wall Street Journal, 10/1/13]

Social Security services have been stalled.

Although checks for current Social Security benefits will still go out during a shutdown, many Social Security services will be not be available such as obtaining a replacement Social Security card and preventing improper Social Security payments. As a result of furloughs and service cuts during the last shutdown, 800,000 callers were denied service on the Social Security Administration’s 800 number. In 2012, 382,365 people received Social Security benefits in New Mexico. [SSA History; SAA, 2012]

The Republican shutdown endangers benefits owed to our nation’s veterans.

The VA will run out of money to pay mandatory benefits for existing beneficiaries by the end of October. This would affect disabled veterans, poor wartime veterans, survivors, and students. Many veterans call centers, regional offices, and business centers will be closed to the public. During the 1995-96 shutdowns, more than 400,000 veterans saw their disability benefits and pension claims delayed, while educational benefits were delayed for 170,000 veterans. New Mexico is home to 170,699 veterans. [Army Times, 2/3/11; CNN, 1/4/96; VA; Army Times, 9/28/13; Washington Post, 9/27/13; VA, 2013]

The Republican shutdown compromises young children’s school readiness.

The Republican shutdown delays funding for 22 Head Start providers across the country, jeopardizing early childhood education and care for the 18,000 children and families those programs serve. Ongoing grants to these 22 organizations were scheduled to be renewed in October. During FY12, an estimated 1,600 Head Start agencies served over 950,000 children, including 7,839 children in New Mexico. [CAP, 4/11; HHS; CRS, 1/9/13]

The Republican shutdown ends nutritional support for pregnant women and children.

With the Republican shutdown, the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program will be suspended after one week. Once shutdown, no federal funds would be available to support WIC’s clinical services, food benefits and administrative costs. Average monthly participation in FY12 totaled more than 8.9 million, including 4.7 million children and 2.1 million infants. In FY13, roughly 58,242 women and children in New Mexico participated in the WIC program. [USDA, 9/27/13; FNS, 9/6/13 USDA, 9/6/13]

The Republican shutdown stops support for small businesses to grow and sell their products abroad.

During the shutdown, the Export-Import Bank stops all new financing for U.S. exporters. In FY12, the Bank helped support an estimated 255,000 American jobs at 3,400 companies throughout the United States. 88% (3,313) of all the Bank’s transactions were for small businesses totaling $6.1 billion. In 2012, 75% of the exporters in New Mexico assisted by the Bank were small businesses. [Ex-Im; Ex-IM, 2012]

The Republican shutdown cuts off critical infrastructure investments.

During the shutdown, the Federal Transit Administration will be unable to process any grants to transit systems for construction projects or operations. Recently, those payments have totaled $198 million per week. In FY12, New Mexico received $43,090,177 in funding for ongoing transportation and constructions projects. [FTA, 9/26/13; FTA, 2012]

National parks, wildlife refuges, and recreational lands are closed.

Due to the Republican government shutdown, nearly one-thousand national parks, wildlife refuges, and recreational lands across the nation are now closed. These closures come at a significant cost for neighboring local communities that rely on tourism revenue. Approximately 4,071 people visiting national parks in New Mexico will be turned away each day the government remains closed. The economic impact of these closures will result in nearly $171,703 of lost revenue each day for local communities. [National Parks Conservation Association]