Tomorrow Marks One Year Anniversary of Government Shutdown

Tomorrow Marks One Year Anniversary of Government Shutdown
Daines, Zinke supported shutdown that had negative effects on Montana’s economy

(Helena, MT) – One year ago today, Congressman Daines and Republicans in the House of Representatives placed partisanship and special interests above Montana and our country, resulting in the first government shutdown in 17 years that began on October 1, 2013.  Ryan Zinke quickly voiced his support for the shutdown that cost Montana $45 million in economic activity
The harmful effects of the shutdown were felt all across our state.  Montana’s public lands were barricaded, Indian Country lost essential services like home healthcare for the elderly and disabled, veterans could not get the services they were promised, and thousands of workers were temporarily laid off.
“The shutdown hurt ordinary Montanans, not the corporate special interests that back Ryan Zinke and Steve Daines.  A year later, looking back on the millions of dollars Montana’s small businesses lost out on puts the shutdown into perspective.  These men would rather throw a hissy-fit—on behalf of their out-of-state special interests—costing Montana millions than work across the aisle for a responsible solution,” said Bryan Watt, a Montana Democratic Party spokesperson. “It’s time we elect responsible leadership and end the special interest mess in Washington.”

  • 16 Day Shutdown of National Parks Cost Montana $1.6 Million Per Day.According to the Center for Western Priorities says the 16-day shutdown of national parks alone cost Montana’s economy nearly $1.6 million per day. Moody’s analytics, calculated the shutdown to cost Montana’s economy $45 million. [Moody's Analytics10/21/13; Bureau of Economic Analysis, 9/17/13] 
  • Businesses Across the Country Lost $500 Million in Visitor Spending. “All told, the National Park Service closed 401 locations across the country and furloughed more than 20,000 employees. Businesses that rely on park tourism lost an estimated $500 million in visitor spending, according to a report by the Office of Management and Budget. [, 3/20/14] 
  • “National Park Advocate Say Shutdown Costs Gateway Business $30 Million a Day.” The effect of park closures on businesses that rely on that tourist trade was hammered home during a telephone news conference held Tuesday by the National Parks Conservation Association. Theresa Pierno, acting president of the National Parks Conservation Association, said her organization had estimated the cost to communities located near national parks at $30 million per day – or about $75,000 a day per national park.” [Missoulian, 10/02/13]
  • “Glacier NP Business, Tourism Suffer from Shutdown.” The government shutdown hurt businesses in Glacier National Park. Business owner Monica Jungster said they counted on October for regular business. [KPAX,10/09/13]
  • “Glacier Park Shutdown Hurts Local Business.” “The federal government shutdown is reaching farther than just Washington, D.C. as national parks like Glacier were forced to close. Visitors are the park may be seeing the effects inside of the park, but businesses outside of the park are beginning to feel the economic pinch that it’s caused. ‘We’re a bit disappointed because we’re a really small business and we work really hard,’ said Victoria Lee, owner of Great Northern Resort in West Glacier. ‘This year was meant to be our good fall for business.’” [NBC Montana,10/08/13]
  • “Yellowstone Shutdown Brings ‘Overwhelming’ losses to Small Businesses.” “Locally owned small businesses around Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks are facing “overwhelming” financial losses in the wake of the continuing government shutdown, but their concerns have not found traction in Washington, D.C. In small towns around the parks, the tourism industry has been hit hard by cancellations, shortened trips and a sudden drop in business that has ranged from 50 percent to almost 100 percent in the case of one food and lodging business in Cooke City, near Yellowstone Park’s Northeast Gate.” [Yellowstone Gate, 10/04/13] 


  • Shutdown Caused Women Shelters to Lose Funding, Deterred Victims from Seeking Help. According to KULR, “Because of the shutdown, many of victims seeking help are being turned away. The stigma attached to being a domestic violence victim is enough to cause some not to step up and seek help. But what if that victim decided enough is enough and now wants that help, only to be turned away. That's the problem many victims are facing at the 2,000 shelters across the country that rely on federal funds.” [KULR,10/14/13]
  • “Shutdown quickly felt by programs that help domestic, sex assault victims. According to the Billings Gazette, “If the shutdown continues for several weeks, another month of expenses will have to be covered without federal support.” “Federal funds are crucial to keeping shelters open for victims of domestic and sexual violence, Young said.” [Billings Gazette,10/2/13]
  • The Government Shutdown Is a Very Bad Thing for Victims of Domestic Abuse.” According to the Slate, “The shutdown means that Office on Violence against Women grantees are no longer able to request payment or draw down funds. While some programs have diversified their funding streams, many smaller ones are almost entirely reliant on federal cash. Absent that cash, these programs will be forced to reduce services and lay people off. Some might close down entirely.” [Slate, 10/1/13]
  • Programs Unable to Access VAWA Federal Funds During Shutdown. According to the Crime Report, “When the federal shutdown began, organizations across the country were told they would no longer be able to access the grant money they rely on. Managers of programs that provide critical services to victims of domestic and sexual violence had no way of knowing how long they would be without the funding they receive from congressional appropriations through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).” [CrimeReport, 10/18/13]
  • 16-day Shutdown Left Deep Scars on Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Centers. According to the Crime Report, “The 16-day shutdown left deep scars on domestic violence and rape crisis centers that rely on federal funding to provide life-saving services. “When an average of three women are killed in the United States every day by a current or former intimate partner, it is unconscionable to allow life-saving domestic violence programs to shutter their doors and put their crisis lines on hold,” Kim Gandy, president and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, wrote in a statement to The Crime Report.” [CrimeReport, 10/18/13] 


  • Shutdown Add Millions to the federal debt. According to Marketplace, “The shutdown forced the government to pay more to borrow money. IHS Global Insight estimates higher interest rates will add $114 million to the federal debt.” [marketplace.org10/17/13]
  • Former Republican Chair of Senate Budget Committee: Shutdown Added $400 Million to the National Debt. According to the former Republican ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, Judd Gregg: "The cost of short-term borrowing for the government went up 9 basis points during this period of artificially induced crisis over paying the debt. The six-month treasury notes went up 22 points. This may not sound like much but it actually represented a totally unnecessary increase in spending to pay for these higher interest charges. The added expenditure totaled close to $400 million. Now, not only do the American taxpayers have to pay for this additional debt, they have to pay interest on the funds borrowed to pay the debt."[The Hill, 11/18/13] 


  • New York Times Headline: “Pulling Aid Away, Shutdown Deepens Indians’ Distress.” [NY Times, 10/13/13]
  • AP Headline: “Government Shutdown’s Hit Magnified for Tribes.” “American Indian tribes have more than access to national parks on the line with the government shutdown, as federal funding has been cut off for crucial services including foster care payments, nutrition programs and financial assistance for the needy.” [AP, 10/02/13]
  • “Crow Have Been Battered by Shutdown;” More than a Third of Crow Tribe’s Work Force was Furloughed. “Like other largely impoverished Indian tribes that lean heavily on federal dollars, the Crow have been battered by the shutdown. Some 364 Crow members, more than a third of the tribe’s work force, have been furloughed. A bus service, the only way some Crow are able to travel across the 2.3 million acre reservation, has been shuttered. A home health care program for sick tribal members has been suspended.” [NY Times, 10/13/13]
  • “Crow Home Health Care for Elderly, Major Irrigation Project Suspended.” “For the 13,000 members of southeast Montana’s Crow Tribe, the budget impasse had immediate and far-reaching effects: Tribal leaders furloughed more than 300 workers…citing shutdown and earlier federal budget cuts. As a result, tribal programs including home health care for the elderly and disabled, bus service for rural areas, and a major irrigation project were suspended indefinitely.” [AP, 10/02/13]
  • Crow Tribal Chairman Darrin Old Coyote: Shutdown “Is Hurting a lot of People” “They don’t have a clue what’s going on out here,” the tribal chairman, Darrin Old Coyote, said of politicians in Washington from his office in Crow Agency, which sits in the shadows of the Little Bighorn battlefield, itself closed because of the shutdown. “It is hurting a lot of people.” [NY Times, 10/13/13] 
  • Mother of Three in Crowe “Wondered Aloud About Keeping Her Family Warm.” “Worlds away from Washington, Audrey Costa wondered aloud about keeping her family warm. A mother of three, she relies on lease payments from the Bureau of Indian Affairs on land owned by her family, which can run p to a hundred dollars a year, to pay for food and electricity. But since the partial shutdown of the federal government began on Oct. 1, Ms. Costa 41, had not received a check. ‘We’re having such a hard time,” she said outside her tattered clapboard home on this poor prairie town deep in the heart of the Crow reservation. ‘I don’t know what I’ll do. Just tough it out, I guess.’” [NY Times, 10/13/13]
  • AP: “Chippewa Cree Tribe Declares Financial Disaster Because of Federal Shutdown.” “The Chippewa Cree Tribe declared a financial disaster Tuesday due to the federal government shutdown, warning that nearly all tribal offices will be closed and programs halted if the budget stalemate in Congress isn’t resolved by Thursday. The Central Montana tribe already has cut back hours, furloughed staff and limited services after federal money for tribal programs was cut off following the Oct. 1 shutdown, spokesman Wade Colliflower said.” [AP, 10/15/13] 


  • Closed Down All 49 USDA Farm Service Agencies Across Montana.The shutdown resulted in all 49 USDA Farm Service Agencies across Montana to Close. According to the Billings Gazette: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture is Montana’s largest federal government agency, with more than 3,000 employees. FSA issues more than $300 million a year to Montanans for everything from farm loans to conservation payments. Those payments won’t go out during the shutdown, according to FSA, and will be delayed afterward.” [Billings Gazette, 10/01/13]
  • “Government Shutdown Affects Montana Farms and Ranches.”Montana farmers and ranchers are feeling the effects of the federal government shutdown…Montana Farmers Union president Alan Merrill said farm loans, disaster assistance, conservation program payments and beginning farmer help all have been put on hold. "When they delay things like that, it takes at least three weeks to a month to restart up the whole big engine again of the government to get those payments out," Merrill said. All state and county Farm Service Agency offices are closed, and the website has been frozen. The Natural Resources Conservation Service, which handles some farm payment programs, is mostly closed. Not only is crop insurance underwriting not available, but crop insurance payments are in limbo, Merrill said.” [Public News Services, 10/03/14] 
  • “USDA Shutdown Affects Local Farmers.” Farmers across the United States are feeling the pinch from a shuttered Department of Agriculture. With a lack of essential information, farmers are struggling to make critical crop decisions and for some up-and-coming farmers future planning has ground to a halt. Tuesday afternoon NBC Montana went to St. Ignatius to talk with farmer Laura Ginsburg.  Ginsburg tells NBC Montana with local farm service offices closed and a Farm Bill that never passed she's wondering how she and her partner can get a loan to purchase the farmland they are currently leasing.” [NBC Montana, 10/08/13


  • Shutdown Stopped Montana Student Veterans from Receiving Education Benefits. According the KPAX news: “The checks have simply stopped coming to help student veterans pay for things. That could be money for books, rent, or even electricity….The government shutdown has created a whole mess of problems and on campus at the University of Montana, it’s affecting everything from the ROTC program to service veterans continuing their education.” [Missoulian, 10/26/13; KPAX, 10/16/13]

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