WAMU 88.5 : News

As States Assess Shutdown Fallout, Lawmakers Want A Plan

Play associated audio
Sens. Warner and Cardin are calling for a budget agreement well ahead of the January deadline.
Matt Laslo
Sens. Warner and Cardin are calling for a budget agreement well ahead of the January deadline.

The government’s lights were only recently flipped back on, and the damage is being assessed, but lawmakers in the region are already warning about the possibilities of another showdown.

Calculating the shutdown effects

Government workers garnered a lot of attention during the 16-day partial shutdown. But Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) says they were only part of the story.

"They got their back pay, but I can assure you the motel owner on the Skyline Drive in Virginia who lost peak weekends in the Fall foliage because of concerns about the park being closed, the restaurant owner outside of NASA Langley who lost weeks of revenues, the government contractor who's still uncertain about whether they're going to get reimbursed," Warner says.

It's still unclear how much the shutdown cost the region, but analysts say it took about $24 billion out of the U.S. economy. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) says that sets the region back.

"We got hurt bad by this shutdown and it's going to take us awhile to get back to where we need to be as a result of this self-inflicted wound to our country," Cardin says.

Preventing a shutdown repeat

Warner has been calling for a grand budget bargain for years now, but after the last stalemate on Capitol Hill, he’s now ready to settle for even a one-year bill to fund the government.

"While we’re a week later and moving on to other issues I think it’s important to reinforce the enormous damage that has been done to our economy by this lurching from one crisis to another," Warner says.

This week a bipartisan group of lawmakers from both chambers of Congress held their first public meeting to try and resolve differences over spending priorities. Cardin says it’s vital they come up with a blueprint that averts another battle on Capitol Hill.

"It’s critically important that we get a budget and we don’t go towards another potential shutdown or another potential default on our debt," Cardin says.

Lawmakers only have until Jan. 15 to figure out their differences on the budget and the House is scheduled to be out of town next week.

WAMU 88.5

Colson Whitehead On The Importance Of Historical Fiction In Tumultuous Times

Kojo talks with author Colson Whitehead about his new novel "The Underground Railroad" and its resonance at this particular moment in history.

NPR

Whales, Sea Turtles, Seals: The Unintended Catch Of Abandoned Fishing Gear

An endangered whale was found dead over the weekend, entangled in derelict fishing gear. Such incidents have been on the rise in recent years. A new California law aims to combat the problem.
WAMU 88.5

Rating The United States On Child Care

A majority of parents in the U.S. work outside the home. That means about 12 million children across the country require care. A new report ranks states on cost, quality and availability of child care - and says nobody is getting it right.

NPR

Tech Giants Team Up To Tackle The Ethics Of Artificial Intelligence

Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and IBM form a group to set the first industrywide best practices for the technology already powering many applications, such as voice and image recognition.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.