Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sounded the alarm on Friday over the looming government shutdown, warning that it risks creating economic headwinds and hurting American families.
In remarks at the Port of Savannah in Georgia, Yellen said it is critical that House Republicans take steps to ensure that the government remains open.
“When I left Washington this morning, it was still unclear whether Congress would pass legislation in time to avoid a dangerous and unnecessary shutdown,” she said. “It is crucial that House Republicans also do their jobs and move quickly to keep the government open and adequately fund key priorities.”
The consequences of a federal shutdown could be far-ranging, according to Yellen.
“A shutdown would impact many key government functions – from loans to farmers and small business, to food and workplace safety inspections, to Head Start programs for children,” she said. It could also delay major infrastructure projects underway that are intended to modernize the economy.
A shutdown appears all but certain after a faction of hard-line Republicans tanked a last-minute bid by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Friday afternoon to keep the government temporarily open.
The White House and Democrats also rejected McCarthy’s bill, which would keep the government open for 30 days in exchange for deep spending cuts to many agencies and the resumption of Trump-era border policies.
Without new funding approved by Congress, the government is poised to shut down early Sunday.
Most federal operations come to a halt during government shutdowns, although services that are essential to national security and health continue to operate. They include Social Security, veterans’ hospitals and the military, although service members will be making do without paychecks.
“The failure of House Republicans to act responsibly would hurt American families and cause economic headwinds that could undermine the progress we’re making,” Yellen said.