Chamber of Commerce calls for end to shutdown

The U.S. Chamber of Congress, the influential business advocacy group, called on Tuesday for an end to the partial government shutdown.

"As we are hearing every day from businesses across the country, the adverse consequences of the shutdown are wide and growing," the Chamber's Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley wrote in a letter to Congress.


For 18 days, roughly a quarter of the federal government has been shut down due to a political dispute between President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Biden campaign ad jabs at Trump's reported 0 income tax payments Ocasio-Cortez: Trump contributed less in taxes 'than waitresses and undocumented immigrants' Third judge orders Postal Service to halt delivery cuts MORE, who wants $5.6 billion to fund his proposed border wall, and Congressional Democrats who are offering $1.6 billion in funds to cover both fencing and border security.

The Chamber said it favors a solution that would combine border security and protections for immigrant groups such as Dreamers, who were brought into the country illegally as children, and long-term beneficiaries of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program, which allows some foreign nationals to stay in the U.S., usually for humanitarian reasons.

Democrats agreed to a similar deal last year, but Trump pulled his support for it. Now, both Democrats and Republicans are indicating that such a deal is unlikely.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi preparing for House to decide presidency if neither Trump or Biden win electoral college: report Trump seeks boost from seniors with 0 drug discount coupons GOP senators confident Trump pick to be confirmed by November MORE (D-Calif.) said the issues are separate and Trump said he wants to wait for the Supreme Court to rule on Dreamers.

The Chamber said that the prolonged shutdown was starting to take a bite out of a wide array of businesses.

"Small businesses are unable to receive assistance from the Small Business Administration. Companies are delayed in their ability raise additional capital or complete the process of going public. The review of mergers and acquisitions is suspended. Companies ranging from manufacturers to brewers are unable to receive the approvals required by law to sell their products," Bradley wrote.

Bradley also pointed to travel delays, delays in processing imports and requests for tariff exclusions, sidelined safety inspectors, delayed mortgage approvals and frozen research.

"National Parks are closed and trash at the parks is not being collected. Grants, contracts, and payments for goods and services already provided are delayed. Federal rulemakings are halted, and hundreds of thousands of federal employees and contractors go without pay," he added.

Trump and Congressional leaders are set to meet and discuss the shutdown on Wednesday.