Markey Warns of Government Shutdown Effects on Massachusetts



Contact: Eben BurnhamSnyder, Senator Ed Markey, 2022242742

Giselle Barry, Senator Ed Markey, 2022242742


Releases analysis showing impacts on military, seniors, children, businesses


Washington (September 26, 2013) - With a potential shutdown of the U.S. government looming, Senator Edward J. Markey (DMass.) today warned that a government shutdown could harm Massachusetts families, businesses, and services. Republicans in Congress are threatening to shut down the government by midnight on Monday unless President Obama's health care law is defunded.


According to Senator Markey's analysis, nearly 200,000 seniors could be denied Social Security services, 25,000 military members and their families could have their pay delayed, and college students could be without their loans as long as the government is closed.


"If the government shuts down, hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents would have services and benefits shut off," said Senator Markey. "Tea Party Republicans in Congress apparently are so worried that health care reform will work that they are willing to punish millions of Americans to win another partisan battle. I say let the health care reform law work, let the government work, and let's get back to work creating jobs."


According to the analysis by Senator Markey's office, below are some of the major impacts that could occur in Massachusetts from a government shutdown:


Social Security Checks: The nearly 1.2 million recipients of Social Security in Massachusetts could be denied services because of the shutdown. And applications for new benefits would be delayed.


United States Armed Forces:A shutdown could delay military pay and hurt military families . In Massachusetts , there are more than 3,000 active duty personnel, more than 15,000 Reserve and National Guard members and almost 7,000 civilians who would be affected by a shutdown. The Department of Defense estimates that during a shutdown nearly half of the civilian workforce would be sent home without pay, while the rest would continue to work for delayed pay. Service members would also stay on duty without pay.


LowIncome Energy Assistance For those receiving energy assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the timing of federal funding is critical due to the upcoming winter.  Any extended shutdown of the government this year could affect funding availability for the approximately 198,000 Massachusetts residents who receive this assistance. 


Head Start: A government shutdown could force Head Start Centers around the country to close. During 2012, 29 Head Start programs throughout Massachusetts served approximately 16,500 children and families. Massachusetts Head Start programs were already reeling from funding reductions due to sequestration , with more than 2,000 kids estimated to have been removed from the program.


Small Business Loans: During the past 11 months, Massachusetts banks made more than 2,000 SBA loans worth more than $602 million to small businesses. A shutdown would put a stop to this critical source of small business credit until the government resumes operation.


Veterans benefits: The processing of new educational, pay, and pension benefits for the 394,000 Massachusetts veterans could be delayed. During the 199596 shutdowns, more than 400,000 veterans nationwide saw their disability benefits and pension claims delayed, while educational benefits were delayed for 170,000 veterans.


College: Colleges could be unable to draw down and disburse to students any campusbased program awards such as workstudy or the Federal Perkins Loan Program if the government shuts down on Tuesday. Last school year, 42,000 students in Massachusetts utilized workstudy while Perkins impacted over 24,000 students in the Commonwealth.  


National Parks and Historic Sites: In a shutdown, the more than 400 National Park Service sites nationwide could close. This includes 18 sites in Massachusetts, including Faneuil Hall, John F. Kennedy's birthplace, the Adams National Historical Park, Salt Pond Visitor Center on Cape Cod, and Minute Man National Historical Park. 


Federal Contractors After the Fiscal Year 1996 shutdown, a survey showed that over 20 percent federal contractors were affected and many employees of federal contractors reportedly were furloughed without pay. In Fiscal Year 2011, 5,430 Massachusetts businesses received approximately $16.7 billion in federal contracts. A shutdown similar to the one in 1996 could affect more than 1,000 Massachusetts businesses and their employees, delaying contract awards and furloughing employees.