National Retail Federation, Business Groups Urge Congress to End Government Shutdown

Business groups – including the National Retail Federation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Manufacturers – urged Congress on Wednesday, October 9, to reopen the government or severely damage the U.S. economy.

"We strongly support passage of both a continuing resolution to provide for funding of the federal government into the next fiscal year and a measure to raise the nation's debt ceiling. It's time for Congress to get our government back to work – and time for Congress itself to get back to work on building a strong, stable national economy that will restore the United States to its rightful place as the leader of the global economy," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay wrote in a letter to Congress and the Obama Administration.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President for Government Affairs Bruce Josten agreed with Shay in a statement issued on October 9. "The debt ceiling, specifically, must pass on a timely basis to avoid inflicting substantial and enduring damage on the U.S. economy," he said.

Already, the government shutdown and Congress's battles on the debt ceiling have adversely impacted consumer spending and depressed consumer confidence, according to the NRF. Consumer confidence has fallen to the similar low levels of the 2008 economic collapse, Shay said.

"For retailers – who represent the sector of the American economy most closely tied to consumer attitudes – these numbers are deeply disturbing," Shay said. "Moreover, since the very modest growth the U.S. economy has experienced following the 2008 recession has been attributed to the willingness of the American consumer to keep shopping, a lasting decline in consumer confidence is likely to translate into increased unemployment and slower growth in coming months."

For more, see:

This New York Times article
This National Retail Federation statement
This U.S. Chamber of Commerce statement

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