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Issue: Shutdown Prevention and Economic Impact

Issue

Government shutdowns occur with some frequency; there have been 20 of them since 1976. During the 16-day shutdown in October 2013, hundreds of museums nationwide—as well as national parks, forests, monuments, and historic sites—were forced to close their doors. This prevented the public from enjoying artworks, historic treasures, and lands that are intended to be held in the public trust. The economic impact of these closures was devastating, not just for the entities themselves, but for many businesses that rely on the tourism they generate. The damage from the 35-day 2018-2019 partial government shutdown—the longest in U.S. history—was enormous and cost the government a total of $5 billion. The Smithsonian lost an estimated $3.4 million in revenue and the National parks lost more than $10 million in revenue.

  • We urge Congress to amend the Anti-Deficiency Act to allow for the continuity of operations and public access to our nation’s public lands and federally operated museums in the event of a funding gap.

Download the Shutdown Prevention and Economic Impact Issue Brief (PDF)

Supporting Letters and Testimony

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