BOSTON — The ongoing federal government shutdown will carry an “astronomically high” price tag even once a resolution is reached, Rep. Lori Trahan warned local business leaders Tuesday.
Trahan was featured speaker at a New England Council breakfast, an event that brought together more than 100 people from both the public and the private sectors.
In her remarks, she highlighted support for the military and education reform as her top legislative priorities before pivoting to discuss the shutdown, which is now in its 32nd day.
“I would be remiss if we didn’t talk about the economic havoc unleashed by this senseless government shutdown,” she said. “Economists are predicting that for every week the shutdown continues, economic indicators will continue to fall, the number of individuals filing for unemployment will continue rising and the overall economic outlook will increase in uncertainty.”
In a follow-up interview, Trahan cited airports, the Internal Revenue Service and the Food and Drug Administration as areas particularly affected by the impasse.
The Senate passed a bill in December to continue funding the government, but progress came to a halt when President Donald Trump demanded that $5.7 billion be included to fund construction of southern border wall.
Since then, bills have passed in the Democratic-controlled House to reopen the government without wall funding but have not gone to a vote in the Senate.
Trahan said she believes negotiations over the border should be kept separate from efforts to reopen the government.
“I will have a discussion and debate about smarter border security,” she said. “I will have a discussion about anything. But we can’t do that while we’re holding federal employees hostage.”