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O’Halleran Pushes Bills to Curtail Shutdown Impacts

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/File

The ripple effects of the three-week government shutdown are being felt throughout the country and many economic sectors. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, an Arizona congressman is backing a number of bills to limit the negative effects of future shutdowns including employee pay. 

Democrat Tom O’Halleran is cosponsoring legislation that would guarantee federal workers receive pay during government shutdowns. There are 800,000 federal employees who’ll miss paychecks in the coming days, and thousands of government contractors are also going without compensation.

"We should never be in this position. I myself would never even think that we would use hurting our employees and hurting America as a way to leverage. Our job is to come together, it’s not to separate people and just have our own way—either side," he says.

Last week O’Halleran also introduced a House measure that would require the Congressional Budget Office to submit daily reports during future shutdowns highlighting the economic impacts. According to Standard and Poor’s ratings agency, the 16-day shutdown in 2013 cost the U-S $24 billion dollars in lost economic output.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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