WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett (TX-30) sent an open letter to banking institutions, utility providers, loan servicers, and other billing entities to inquire as to preparations being made for a potential Republican-led government shutdown on Friday.
This ‘Thanksgiving Shutdown’ could leave millions of federal workers furloughed for the duration of the shutdown, with other forced to work without pay. Such a disruption would likely leave millions of families unable to make loan payments, pay their utility bills, or cover mortgage payments.
“There are over two million federal civilian employees who will have their paychecks deferred, and around five million federal contractors who will receive no pay at all in the event of a government shutdown,” writes Crockett. “More than one in three Americans do not have enough savings to cover an emergency expense of $400. Without deferral options, millions of federal workers could be forced to go without essential services in the event of a government shutdown.”
Crockett asks, “In hopes that understanding the impact a shutdown would have on the economy impels my colleagues to impress the importance of averting it on leadership, I am requesting answers to the following questions:
- What was the impact of the 2018-2019 government shutdown on delinquency rates?
- What was the impact of the 2018-2019 government shutdown on the spending of federal workers interacting with your institution?
- How did the 2018-2019 shutdown impact your volume of customer service inquiries?
Crockett continues, “In addition, I am requesting information on what mechanisms your company has to defer payment in the event of a customer experiencing a no-fault temporary payment interruption. In addition, what public information strategies does your company have to make sure government employees are aware of any options you already provide? Finally, if you do not already have a plan in place, do you share my commitment to supporting our federal workers in these difficult times?”
Crockett concludes, “Ultimately, as Members of Congress we have the power to avert this catastrophe. I sincerely hope that none of this planning is necessary, and that my Republican colleagues will come to the negotiating table and pass a Continuing Resolution in a bipartisan way. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we cannot throw millions of families out in the cold. The power is now in the hands of responsible House Republicans to call on their leadership to put people over politics, and I can only hope they heed this call. If not, I look forward to hearing how firms across the country will step up for our patriotic federal workforce.”