LANSING – State Representative Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) demanded today that Congress bring an immediate end to the federal government shutdown by bringing a “clean” continuing resolution to a vote. Because of the government shutdown, now in its 10th day, Michigan is losing $18 million a day that is used to fund vital programs for veterans, children and small business owners.
“Common sense has left the political process in Washington,” said Yanez. “The extremists in Congress need to quit holding kids, families, veterans, and senior citizens hostage in their misguided efforts to score political points. All of this fiscal uncertainty created by the shutdown isn’t helping families or businesses that want to create jobs. Hard-working Michigan families deserve better.”
Earlier this month, Michigan’s State Budget Director, John Nixon, said the state stands to lose $18 million in federal funding each day the government is shut down. As a result, several programs that serve Michiganders stand to lose funding during the shutdown or will have to scale back services. Programs affected include:
Head Start programs: Michigan’s 39 Early Head Start and 67 Head Start programs serve 35,961 children and their families and rely on federal funding to operate.
School lunch programs: The federally funded free and reduced-priced school lunch program serves an average of 360,438 breakfasts and 867,167 lunches daily to students from low-income families in Michigan.
Veterans’ services: New veterans’ educational, compensation and pension benefits have been delayed, and disability payments to veterans may also be slowed. Michigan is home to 660,773 veterans.
Small Business Administration programs: Entrepreneurs who seek federally guaranteed small-business loans to open or expand will see their applications delayed. The SBA typically receives 1,000 applications each week.
New Social Security benefits: Seniors who become eligible for Social Security during the shutdown will likely have to wait for government operations to resume before new claims are processed.
Women, Infants and Children program: The program that ensures that impoverished pregnant women, infants and toddlers could run out of money to operate as early as today.
Real estate delays: Real estate transactions, which require identity and income verification, will likely be delayed as Internal Revenue Service operations are limited during the shutdown.
“The obstructionists in Congress need to do the job taxpayers pay them to do and pass a budget that funds these essential government services,” said Yanez. “This shutdown needs to end today.”