Government shutdown is harming American people, the economy: US Chamber to Congress

By Neil L. BradleyOpinionFOXBusiness

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The following is a reprint of a letter the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent this week to members of Congress calling for an end to the partial government shutdown. According to the Chamber, the letter highlights the numerous issues the shutdown is causing for the American people, businesses and the economy. 

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce urges Congress and the administration to restore full operation of the federal government. The shutdown is harming the American people, the business community and the economy. The Chamber strongly urges Congress and the administration to resolve this impasse and reopen the government.

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As we are hearing every day from businesses across the country, the adverse consequences of the shutdown are wide and growing. Small businesses are unable to receive assistance from the Small Business Administration. Companies are delayed in their ability to 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. Travelers are delayed. Processing of imports is hindered, and tariff exclusion requests are unprocessed.

Safety inspectors are sidelined, mortgage approvals are delayed, and research is halted. National Parks are closed and trash at the parks is not being collected.

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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. With each passing day, the situation will only get worse. Our broken immigration system is at the heart of the current impasse. While we are unlikely to solve all of our immigration problems at this point in time, there is a clear compromise that Republicans and Democrats can and should seize without delay.

The Chamber supports a deal that combines increasing border security with protection and legal status for Dreamers and long-term beneficiaries of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. These are important policy objectives that would improve the near-term and long-term health of our economy while also demonstrating that it is indeed possible for policymakers to make progress on a politically fraught issue.

We urge members of Congress and the administration to expeditiously complete legislation to re-open the federal government and seize the opportunity to both improve border security and provide protection for Dreamers and long-term TPS beneficiaries. Sincerely, Neil L. Bradley

Neil Bradley is the U.S. Chamber's executive vice president and chief policy officer.