Photo Courtesy of Sen. Schumer’s Office
“You might not realize that this Trump shutdown is affecting all sorts of everyday folks here in New York,” Sen. Schumer said.
By Forum Staff
More than 16,000 federal workers that live in New York are assigned to departments or agencies that are currently closed, while the partial shutdown of the U.S. government, now in its third week, has negatively impacted all taxpayers that call the Empire State home, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Sunday.
In an update on efforts to reopen the government, Schumer detailed how NY is being hurt by the shutdown. He noted that 450,000 people are currently working without pay and another 380,000 workers are furloughed across the U.S. More than 50,000 of these federal workers are in New York. Schumer cited specific agencies that because of the shutdown cannot serve New Yorkers as they should, including the risks at airports, threats to school programs, Internal Revenue Service tax refunds and more.
Airports: Currently, Transportation Security Administration agents are furloughed and working without pay. Schumer said many TSA workers, especially in the five boroughs, cannot afford to go without pay because of the transportation costs to get to work. He also posited that continuing the shutdown risks the safety of airports because agents, already spread thin, will be even more stretched.
The MTA: Every month, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority gets anywhere from $130-$170 million in reimbursements from the Federal Transit Administration, Schumer noted. It’s estimated that they can go 4-6 weeks without those reimbursements, but after that the MTA will have to make hard choices that will potentially hurt commuters.
The Census: The American Community Survey—legally the ongoing part of the decennial census—has been suspended, jeopardizing the socio-economic estimates of New York City which are needed to allocate hundreds of billions of dollars annually in federal assistance to state and local governments for all kinds of things from housing to transportation.
The NTSB: The National Transportation Safety Board sends inspectors to New York any time there is a terrible accident on our roads or railways. Only 27 of their 401 employees are not furloughed. If we were to have a derailment, it is near impossible for 27 employees to be stretched, Schumer said.
The IRS: Without re-opening the government, countless New Yorkers would fail to see their tax refund checks processed. Schumer says this will hurt millions of New York families who depend on the refund checks to meet yearly expenses.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: There are 1.5 million total beneficiaries in the five boroughs. These benefits are jeopardized if the shutdown goes beyond February. Across the state, 400,000 mothers and families rely on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
Tourism: Small hotels and bed-and-breakfast establishments are losing critical business while national historic sites remain shuttered, according to Schumer. People are canceling reservations and leaving their rooms empty, when they would otherwise be filled with tourists. Tourism brings in an estimated $67 billion to NY every year, the senator noted.
“Hopefully, by bringing light to the ways in which our airports, our schools, our water and even our tax refunds are impacted, we can send a strong message to the President to do the right thing and open the government back up,” Schumer added.