Centrist Dems endorse bill to require daily economic impact reports during shutdowns

The Blue Dog Coalition of centrist Democrats on Wednesday announced that it is endorsing a bill that would require the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to prepare daily economic impact reports during government shutdowns.

“As Blue Dogs, we will do everything we can to ensure we never see another government shutdown again. That starts with creating incentives to prevent leaders from even considering shutting down the government,” said Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.), who introduced the bill earlier this month and is the Blue Dogs’ policy co-chair. 

“One of the best deterrents for this is transparency,” O’Halleran added. “The American people deserve to know exactly how this partisan gridlock damages our country, and they deserve to be updated on a daily basis should anyone decide to do this again.”

The Blue Dogs’ endorsement of the legislation comes after the longest shutdown in U.S. history ended on Friday, when President Trump signed legislation reopening the agencies that had been closed until Feb. 15. 

The CBO released a report earlier this week estimating that the shutdown cost the U.S. economy $3 billion.

Under the bill the Blue Dogs are backing, the CBO would be required to provide Congress with daily reports during shutdowns containing estimates of the economic output lost on that given day, any quarterly decrease in gross domestic product that’s expected due to the shutdown, the value of any assistance that the Small Business Administration was not able to provide due to the shutdown, the amount of National Park Service revenue lost on that day, and the amount of revenue lost on that day due to the shutdown’s impact on tourism and travel.

The Blue Dogs consist of 27 House Democrats, including 10 freshmen. Forty-four percent of the coalition’s members represent districts that voted for President Trump in 2016.

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