Transcript: Press briefing remarks by Rep. Jim Moran on the government shutdown & debt ceiling – Oct. 8, 2013

Partial transcript of press briefing remarks by Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) on the government shutdown and debt ceiling on Oct. 8, 2013:

…Now that the House has agreed unanimously to pay federal employees for the time that they’ve been unfairly laid off from Day 1 of the shutdown ’til whenever it concludes, the justification for preventing them from going to work is even weaker than it has ever been.

There is such compelling argument when you are paying anyway to enable them to do their work on behalf of the American people.

It really blows the mind to think that a supposed majority in the House of Representatives would want the federal workforce not be able to go to work and the economic consequences – and that’s what we want to discuss – are enormous.

In fact, the Washington region is going to take a very deep cut in its economy as a result of this inexplicable action on the part of the House majority.

It’s not just the federal employees, obviously, that have been directly affected by this. We have a contract workforce that is even larger than the federal workforce. Everyday, thousands of those contractors are being put on leave or, in many cases, having their jobs terminated. Many of them work alongside federal employees, and of course, if those federal employees are not on the job, they can’t be either. The agencies that they work for have been shuttered, and so their contracts are no longer reimbursable in many cases. Some of them have ongoing contracts; they continue to get paid, but many of them do not.

That’s why we saw Lockheed lay off 3,000 people. It was announced yesterday.

This is going to get worse if it does not end.

And in fact, it is worse than we can calculate right now. We’re going to see these numbers after the fact and realize what a horrible hit on the economy that this action took.

Many small contractors can’t get the financing that they need. Lines of credit are drying up. Working capital is drying up.

And in fact, the loss of confidence on the part of investors for federal contractors has been of course significantly reduced.

But beyond the federal employees and the contractors, there’s the rest of the economy, and particularly in a region like this, that is dependent upon that federal activity.

Gerry [Connolly] and I refer to the fact that there’s 30% to 40% of our economy directly impacted but more is impacted indirectly. It’s all the grocery stores, the retail stores, the restaurants, the services. If people don’t have a check coming in, don’t know when it’s going to come, they’re not going to spend. That’s just human nature, and they’re not spending. We’re seeing a significant reduction in our economic activity in the Washington region and I know that that’s happening throughout the country.

This was a self-inflicted crisis done by the Congress at a time when we could have a robust economy. Yet, we’re not taking advantage of the economic potential in this country. In fact, we’re pulling it back.

And I do think when the account is written of the economic costs of this inexplicable, unjustifiable action on the part of the House majority, we’re going to see that it’s far costlier than anyone could have imagined.

That’s why we need a clean vote on the floor of the House of Representatives. Give us a clean CR. We know the votes are there. It would pass by a majority, probably by a significant majority in the House. The Senate would pass it. The President could it sign it the same day, and we could open up the government and end this shutdown. Not to do so is almost criminal given what the effect it’s having on so many hundreds of thousands of people’s lives.


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2 Comments on “Transcript: Press briefing remarks by Rep. Jim Moran on the government shutdown & debt ceiling – Oct. 8, 2013

  1. Pingback: Transcript: Press briefing Q&A with House Democratic Caucus leaders on the government shutdown & debt ceiling - Oct. 8, 2013 | What The Folly?!

  2. Pingback: Transcript: Press briefing remarks by Rep. Gerry Connolly on the government shutdown & debt ceiling - Oct. 8, 2013 | What The Folly?!

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