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Bill Cassidy’s Government Shutdown Will Have Disastrous Consequences For Louisiana’s Small Businesses, Veterans, Seniors, Students & Homeowners

On Saturday Cassidy Voted To Shut Down Federal Government In Order To Delay Same Health Care Reforms He Tried To Pass At State Level in ’07

New Orleans, Louisiana – On Saturday, in order to delay the same health care reforms he tried to pass at the state level just six years ago, Bill Cassidy voted for a budget that will force a shutdown of the federal government at midnight tonight.

Make no mistake. Bill Cassidy’s vote for a bill that stands zero chance of passing the Senate is absolutely a vote to shutdown the government, a shutdown that will have disastrous consequences for Louisiana’s small-business owners, veterans, seniors, students and homeowners.

Cassidy’s government shutdown would devastate Louisiana small-businesses that have received millions in financing to grow their companies across the state. A government shutdown means that the Small Business Administration can’t process loans for the more than 79,000 Louisiana small businesses. During the government shutdown in the 1990s more than $1 million in loans were delayed for over 5,000 small businesses applying for guaranteed financing.

Bill Cassidy’s government shutdown could indefinitely delay veterans’ benefits, and possibly result in military and civilian personnel across Louisiana not being paid until after the shutdown ends.

Bill Cassidy’s government shutdown could affect more than 500,000 Louisiana seniors who rely on Social Security. A shutdown would delay applications for new enrollment in Social Security and increase the backlog of Social Security claims. During four days of the 1995 shutdown, 112,000 claims for Social Security retirement and disability benefits were delayed and 800,000 callers were denied service contacting the SSA’s 1-800 hotline.

Bill Cassidy’s government shutdown would hurt thousands of Louisiana students who rely on work-study programs or rely on federal Perkins loans in order to afford a college education. In 2011 more than 7,800 Louisiana students earned more than $13.3 million through work-study programs; 4,600 students received more than $11.7 million in Perkins loans. In the event of a shutdown, these students will not receive disbursements for their enrollment in the programs.

Bill Cassidy’s government shutdown would mean the Federal Housing Administration can’t process new loans for aspiring homeowners. Just this year the FHA has helped to insure nearly 10,000 mortgages across Louisiana.

“In order to delay the same health care reforms he tried to pass at the state level only six years ago, Bill Cassidy wants to shut down the federal government, a reckless and irresponsible political calculation that will have disastrous consequences for Louisiana’s small-business owners, veterans, seniors, students and homeowners,” said Campaign for Louisiana Communications Director Andrew Zucker. “Bill Cassidy’s government shutdown means that small business loans, home mortgages and Social Security claims won’t process. Students who rely on work-study programs and federal Perkins loans to afford a college education won’t receive funds, and veterans’ benefits could be indefinitely delayed.”

Zucker added, “Cassidy’s support for shutting down the federal government in a last-ditch effort to delay the same health care reforms he introduced as a state senator in 2007 is clear proof to Louisiana families that he can’t be counted on to fight for them.”

BACKGROUND

2007: Cassidy Proposed Louisiana “Create a Statewide Health Insurance Exchange” During State Senate Campaign. During his campaign for the State Senate, Cassidy proposed that Louisiana “create a statewide Health Insurance Exchange to lower insurance premiums, decrease administrative costs and allow flexibility in which benefits workers choose.” [Cassidy for State Senate, Website Archive, 2007]

Cassidy’s Government Shutdown Could Hurt Small Businesses: The Small Business Administration would not be able to process new loans, denying small businesses the credit they need just as the economy is starting to grow again. The Dallas Morning News reported that, during the 1995-96 shutdowns, “More than $ 1 million in loans to small businesses were delayed because the Small Business Administration couldn’t guarantee loans.” In all, approximately 5,200 small businesses were delayed in receiving SBA guaranteed financing during the last shutdowns. Thus far in 2013, SBA has approved more than 37,000 7(a) and ARC loans every, the processing of which could be delayed by a shutdown.  [Christian Science Monitor, 4/8/11; Committee on Appropriations, 4/6/11SBA Weekly Lending Report]

  • According To The SBA, Louisiana Is Home To Over 79,000 Small Businesses. [SBA]

Cassidy’s Government Shutdown Would Impose Financial Hardships on Military and Civilian Personnel. “With military families already facing military deployments and other hardships, a government shutdown could make the situation even worse. While most service members and military personnel would remain on duty through a shutdown, their paychecks could be delayed.” [Committee on Appropriations, 4/6/11; Center for American Progress, 4/11]

  • In 2009, Louisiana Had 17,398 Active Military Personnel And 6,647 Civilian Personnel. [Census, 9/30/11]

Cassidy’s Government Shutdown Could Delay Veterans’ Benefits: Services critical to our veterans, ranging from health and welfare to finance and travel, could be curtailed. “During the 1995-96 shutdowns, more than 400,000 veterans saw their disability benefits and pension claims delayed, while educational benefits were delayed for 170,000 veterans.” [CRS, 4/23/13; Army Times, 2/3/11; Committee on Appropriations, 4/6/11]

  • According To The Most Recent Estimates, 319,349 Veterans Live In Louisiana. [VA, 9/30/12]

Bill Cassidy’s Government Shutdown Could Harm Seniors: “While Social Security checks still go out during a shutdown, applications for new enrollment will be processed more slowly and the huge backlog of applications for Social Security disability benefits would grow even larger.” “In just four days during the 1995 shutdown, 112,000 claims for Social Security retirement and disability benefits were not taken and 800,000 callers were denied service on SSA’s 800 number.” [CRS, 4/23/13; SSA History; Committee on Appropriations, 4/6/11; Center for American Progress, 4/11]

  • 826,385 Louisianians, Over 500,000 Of Them Seniors, Rely On Social Security.  [SSA, 12/12]

Bill Cassidy’s Shutdown Will Harm Students: “Colleges and universities would not be able to draw down and disburse to students any campus-based program awards, such as work-study or the Federal Perkins Loan Program. The impact on the $951 million work-study program would affect about 590,000 students in approximately 3,400 participating institutions. Perkins affects about 673,000 students in some 1,600 participating institutions.” [Center for American Progress, 4/11]

  • For 2011 Through 2012, 7,836 Louisiana Students Earned $13,312,266 Through The Federal Work-Study Program, An Average Of $1,699 Per Student. [ED Data Book 2013]
  • For 2011 Through 2012, 4,615 Louisiana Students Received $11,721,749 Through The Federal Perkins Loan Program, An Average Of $2,540 Per Student. [ED Data Book 2013]

Cassidy’s Government Shutdown Could Damage The Housing Market: The FHA will not be able to process new loans if the government shuts down. In January, the FHA originated 134,461 mortgages, including nearly 60,000 which were new home purchases. “During the 1996-96 shutdowns, the Federal Housing Administration was unable to insure single family home loans for tens of thousands of applicants. According to officials at the time, the FHA normally processed 2,500 mortgage loans a day.” [Committee on Appropriations,4/6/11; FHA Single-Family Outlook,1/13]

  • Thus Far In FY13, FHA Endorsed 9,828 Mortgages In Louisiana. [HUD]

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