Cost of the government shutdown could rival Trump's border wall

The longest government shutdown in U.S. history, which dragged into its 32nd day on Tuesday, could end up costing as much as the wall that President Trump wants to build along the U.S.-Mexico border.

According to a research note from S&P Global Economics, the U.S. economy lost more than $3.6 billion as of Jan. 11 and is projected to lose, in total, $5.7 billion by Jan. 25 -- the same amount of money that Trump is demanding for the border wall that prompted the shutdown in the first place.

“While some indirect costs may be regained once the government reopens, direct costs from the U.S. government closing shop are lost forever,” Beth Ann Bovino, a chief economist for S&P and author of the note, wrote. “Economic activity from lost productivity from furloughed government employees won't be recovered.”

She also predicted the economic toll would worsen the longer the shutdown lasted, warning that the more it ages, the further the average weekly cost will surpass the initial estimate of $1.2 billion.

“How big a jolt a shutdown causes the economy depends on how long the government is closed,” she said.

The 32-day shutdown began on Dec. 22, but with no end in sight, it's unclear how long it could lost.


This week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he intends to bring a floor vote on Trump’s Saturday proposal to Democrats to reopen the government and offer a temporary protection to undocumented immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in exchange for $5.7 billion in funding for the border wall.

It’s unlikely to pass, however; top Democrats dismissed the plan on Saturday, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling it a “non-starter.”