Mayor Bloomberg Discusses Impacts of the Federal Government Shutdown

By - OCT. 06, 2013


“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

“Ensuring that government works for people should be every political leader’s aim – it’s certainly been a guiding principle for our Administration. But government can’t work for anyone if it is shut down, and if the people we elected to lead refuse to work together to solve problems and move our country forward. Right now, Washington’s gridlock is doing real harm to our nation’s economy – and if they don’t get their acts together soon, New York City families, especially those who endured the worst from Hurricane Sandy, will feel real pain.

“Although the vast majority of City government is not immediately affected by the Federal shutdown, our City is home to nearly 27,000 Federal workers – more Federal workers than in any other city outside DC. Many of those men and women are now furloughed, meaning that their families are going without income for every day this shut down lasts.

“It has also become clear – after additional discussions with Federal officials – that the shutdown could cause a meaningful delay in the processing and distribution of Federal aid related to Hurricane Sandy. Since the storm, the City has stopped at nothing to help New Yorkers and their communities recover from the greatest natural disaster in our history. The Federal government must bring the same urgency to this task.

“Because Community Development Block Grants and other types of Federal aid require approvals and constant correspondence with Federal officials, we have been advised that delays in vital and mandatory tasks are inevitable. If, for example, you’re a business owner in the Rockaways, this could mean a longer wait time to get grants and loans – prolonging what has been an already difficult and cumbersome process for so many.

“In addition, critical infrastructure projects that rely on Federal funding – dunes replenishment and coastal protections to help safeguard millions of New Yorkers – may see additional delays. Moreover, despite all approvals being in place, the Federal Government has yet to release the second installment of Sandy recovery funds – and this shutdown should not be used as an excuse to further delay funds that have already been appropriated.

“But Congress’s failure to act will hurt more people than just those families hit so hard by Sandy. Unfortunately, unlike mayors, too many representatives in Washington act as if they can just take positions without considering the real-world consequences for real people.

“Enough is enough. It’s time for Republicans and Democrats in both the Senate and House of Representatives to come together and reach an immediate resolution.

“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”