Shutdown Steve’s Reckless Agenda Hurt Montana’s Economy
Government shutdown causes more than $410 million in damage
(Helena, MT) – National parks are critical to Montana’s economy, bringing in more than 4.5 million people and more than $400 million in economic activity to Montana in 2012. But the government shutdown, demanded and voted for by Congressman Steve Daines, closed those national parks, negatively impacting Montana’s economy.
According to a recent report, the Daines’ led shutdown caused Main Street businesses across the country to lose out on nearly $415 million in visitor spending.
Additionally, national parks supported more than nearly 900 jobs in and around Montana’s national parks, recreations areas, monuments, and historic sites in 2012, but those jobs were put in jeopardy by the government shutdown.
"This is just further evidence that Congressman Daines' reckless agenda is wrong for Montana and our country. Montana's national parks a critical part of our economy and Main Streets across Montana,” said Andrea Marcoccio, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party. “It’s time Congressman Daines admit that he was wrong shutting down the government.”
In response to backlash from Montana newspapers, Congressman Daines tried to gain political cover by introducing legislation for states to fund parks. That legislation would have forced Montana to foot the bill with taxpayer dollars and gained little traction.
The government shutdown is not the first time he voted against the economic interests of Montanans. He voted against the bipartisan budget deal siding with the extreme wing of his party. Also, he voted for government default which would have hurt Main Street businesses and cause disruption across the U.S. and global economies.
National parks are an important economic engine for Montana businesses. National parks drew almost 4.5 million people to Montana in 2012, and they spent more than $400 million in the state, according to a report released Monday by the National Park Service. [Billings Gazette, 3/3/2014]
The government shutdown closed national parks causing economic harm to surrounding communities. Overall, the16-day shutdown resulted in 7.88 million fewer national park visitors in October 2013 compared to a three-year average (October 2010-12), and an estimated loss of $414 million in visitor spending in gateway and local communities across the country when comparing October 2013 to a three-year average (October 2010-12). [Department of Interior, 3/3/2014]
Communities around Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks hit hard by shutdown. Yellowstone Park had $15.7 million less in visitor spending than in October 2012. Glacier Park had $2.6 million less in visitor spending than in October 2012. [Department of Interior, 3/3/2014]
Daines “Sticking With GOP Majority in the House, Refusing To Support Up-Or-Down Vote On A Short Term Budget Resolution to Reopen The Full Federal Government.” According to the Billings Gazette, “The standoff in the nation’s capital also has escalated to a debate over raising the country’s debt ceiling, needed to avoid defaulting on U.S. debts. U.S. Rep. Steve Daines — Montana’s only House member — is sticking with the GOP majority in the House, refusing to support an up-or-down vote on a short-term budget resolution to reopen the full federal government.” [Billings Gazette, 10/8/13]
Billings Gazette: "House Must End Senseless Shutdown. " "The House leadership should bring that Senate resolution up for a vote and let its members have the opportunity to get government back to work for the people. So far, the House has only voted on bills that include repeal or delay of ACA provisions. Let the House have a vote on a simple continuing budget resolution. We call on Montana’s sole U.S. representative, Steve Daines, to support a “clean” continuing budget resolution so the 12,000 furloughed Montanans can get back to work." [Billings Gazette, 10/02/13]
Failing to raise the debt ceiling would have far reaching negative effects on the economic strength of the country: “Failing to raise the debt ceiling would require the government to cut spending by about a third, potentially forcing delays in Social Security checks, military pay and payments to doctors.” [Source, Washington Post]