A looming federal government shutdown at 12:01 a.m. Friday could have devastating impacts on the economy and leave federal workers including the tens of thousands of Colorado military personnel and civilian Department of Defense workers without their paychecks.
Congress has until the end of Thursday — the last day of the fiscal year — to pass a funding bill or shut down many of its services. The Senate on Wednesday presented a short-term government funding bill to keep federal agencies operating through December 3 after GOP senators on Monday blocked a bill approved by the House that would have funded the government and raised the debt ceiling.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced the resolution.
“With so many critical issues to address, the last thing the American people need right now is a government shutdown,” Schumer said. “This proposal will prevent one from happening, and I want to thank my colleagues who are working quickly to prepare this legislation.”
Schumer said he believes the measure will be quickly approved by congress and signed by the president ahead of the deadline.
The resolution also provides “long-sought emergency funding to help Americans still reeling from natural disasters from this summer, as well as funding to help re-settle Afghan refugees,” Schumer said.
With more than 2.1 million federal civilian workers including more than 38,700 in Colorado, the potential impacts of a government shutdown would be widespread. Colorado also has more than 40,000 active-duty troops who would continue on the job in a shutdown, but could miss paychecks.
The last partial government shutdown lasted a record 35 days, ending in January 2019 and temporarily costing the economy $11 billion, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Military installations throughout the state would be hard hit.
Fort Carson has nearly 6,400 civilian employees. Cheyenne Mountain Space Force Station along with Peterson and Schriever Space Force Bases have nearly 3,900 civilian workers while Buckley Space Force Base in Aurora has approximately 2,400 workers.
Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) said he is confident a shutdown won’t occur.
"I can foresee no circumstances under which a shutdown will happen,” Hickenlooper said. “Congress will fund the government and ensure that our military servicemembers continue getting paid for the selfless work they do to protect our country.”