O’Halleran Pushes Bills to Curtail Shutdown Impacts

Jan 10, 2019

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. 

Rep. Tom O'Halleran
Credit Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/File

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.