(Hartford, Connecticut) — While the Tea Party-fueled government shutdown continues to negatively impact Connecticut — including the state’s women, children, seniors, and veterans — State GOP Chairman Jerry Labriola continues to be dismissive, calling the impacts “more of a slowdown.”“Jerry Labriola and Connecticut Republicans need a reality check. This shutdown has the potential to hurt our economy far into the future, and is already significantly impacting the people of Connecticut,” said Connecticut Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo.
“Connecticut families and businesses are feeling the effects. The doors of the Small Business Administration are shut. In Bridgeport, 1,200 Head Start children felt the impact. Their parents had to choose between leaving kids home alone and working, or staying home and losing pay — until the governor stepped in to save the program with state funding. In a few weeks, Connecticut’s veterans will see their benefits delayed or canceled when the Veterans Administration runs out of money at the end of October.
“This isn’t a ‘slowdown’ for the people who depend on these vital services. This is a complete and total failure of leadership and a sign that the Republican Party in Connecticut is completely out of touch with reality.”
State GOP Chair Labriola: “At Worst, It’s Been A Slowdown, Considering That Much Of The Government Is Still Being Funded.” According to the Greenwich Time, “‘Connecticut is shortchanged by being only represented by one party in Washington, and we are denied a voice in the Republican majority, which really could come in handy,’ said Jerry Labriola Jr., the state GOP chairman. Labriola downplayed the direness of the shutdown. ‘At worst, it’s been a slowdown, considering that much of the government is still being funded, such as Social Security, entitlements — and even the furloughed workers will now be paid in full,’ Labriola said.” [Greenwich Time, 10/9/13]
A shutdown could delay financial support for Connecticut’ small businesses. In FY12, the SBA’s flagship 7(a) and 504 loans programs supported 571,383 jobs and approved 53,847 applications over the
course of 12 months, including 576 in Connecticut for a total of $184,570,300 in loans. On average, $534,986 in loans was approved for small businesses in Connecticut each day. [Small Business Administration
FY14 Budget Justification; SBA]
A shutdown endangers benefits owed to our nation’s veterans. The VA will run out of money to pay mandatory benefits for existing beneficiaries by the end of October. This would affect disabled veterans, poor wartime veterans, survivors, and students. Many veterans call centers, regional offices, and business centers will be closed to the public. During the 1995-96 shutdowns, more than 400,000 veterans saw their disability benefits and pension claims delayed, while educational benefits were delayed for 170,000 veterans. Connecticut is home to 207,759 veterans. [Army Times, 2/3/11; CNN, 1/4/96; VA; Army Times, 9/28/13; Washington Post, 9/27/13; VA, 2013]
A government shutdown compromises young children’s school readiness. A government shutdown could delay funding for 22 Head Start providers across the country, jeopardizing early childhood education and care for the 18,000 children and families those programs serve. Ongoing grants to these 22 organizations were scheduled to be renewed in October. During FY12, an estimated 1,600 Head Start agencies served over 950,000 children, including 7,357 children in Connecticut. [CAP, 4/11; HHS; CRS, 1/9/13]
A shutdown stops support for small businesses to grow and sell their products abroad. During a shutdown, the Export-Import Bank stops all new financing for U.S. exporters. In FY12, the Bank helped support an estimated 255,000 American jobs at 3,400 companies throughout the United States. 88% (3,313) of all the Bank’s transactions were for small businesses totaling $6.1 billion. In 2012, 63% of the exporters in Connecticut assisted by the Bank were small businesses. [Ex-Im; Ex-IM, 2012]