The last three government shutdowns, occurring in 2013, 2018, and the end of 2018 through the beginning of 2019, have cost the U.S. federal government and taxpayers a total of more than $4 billion collectively, according to a recent government report.
Importantly, that figure is likely much higher. The report contains data from 26 agencies, the Washington Post reported, but is missing information from some of the federal government’s largest ones, including the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Justice Department, and the Commerce Department.
The total costs are mostly derived from paying back furloughed workers. The federal government has traditionally paid back these workers whenever a shutdown occurs. According to the data, more than $3.7 billion has gone toward paying these workers back during the last three shutdowns.
A little under $340 million has gone toward other costs associated with government shutdowns, the reported noted.
Bipartisan congressional report puts cost to taxpayers of recent government shutdowns at $4 billion https://t.co/Wo17k89x9t
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) September 17, 2019
Overall, productivity suffered a huge hit due to the shutdowns that occurred. The estimated time lost collectively by government workers over the course of the last three shutdowns amounted to just shy of 57,000 years.
In the eyes of the American people, all three shutdowns were mostly blamed on Republicans in Congress, in the case of the 2013 one, and President Donald Trump and the GOP in the latter two.
In 2013, which was during the administration of former President Barack Obama, the GOP-led Congress had much lower approval ratings on their handling of the shutdown than did the president, reporting from ABC News detailed at the time.
In the early 2018 shutdown, which lasted about three days, more Americans blamed Trump and the GOP (48 percent) than did Democrats in Congress (28 percent), per a Washington Post/ABC News poll at that time. Per reporting from Vox, other polls had similar outcomes.
And in the case of the longest government shutdown ever to occur, which happened for 35 days at the end of 2018 through the start of 2019, Trump and Republicans again bore responsibility, HuffPost reported.
A CNN/SSRS poll from that time found that 55 percent of Americans found Trump and the GOP responsible for that shutdown, while just 32 percent blamed Democrats for not acquiescing to demands from the president over providing funds for his proposed border wall.