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NRF Demands Congress End Government Shutdown Now

Oct 9, 2013 2:19 PM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... The National Retail Federation (NRF) issued a letter to Congress demanding the immediate end to the federal government's shutdown.

“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,” wrote NRF's president and CEO, Matthew Shay.

He also highlighted mounting economic problems in an already shaky recovery.  Shay claimed the government shutdown has paralyzed retail industry public policy priorities, has already adversely impacted consumer spending and depressed consumer confidence, using the latest Gallup poll as evidence (read Rapaport's Political Brinkmanship Sends Consumer Confidence Into Tailspin.)

“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.”

Shay told Congress that the shutdown has suspended  the release of economic data, delayed employment and retail sales reports and that other government responsibilities and functions, ranging from Customs and Border Protection to the Federal Communications Commission, have ceased.

“Washington can’t keep governing from crisis to crisis and quarter to quarter,” Shay said. “Kicking the can down the road may be the norm these days in Washington, but it is an irresponsible approach to the problems confronting our nation. …We need leadership from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue on the key issues facing our country, particularly policies that put the economy on a firm footing for long-term growth.”

Shay concluded that President Barack Obama and Congress need to address policies that could entice both sides to seek a negotiated end to the government shutdown, including comprehensive tax reform, new trade programs and entitlement reform.

“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,” Shay said.

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Tags: closures, confidence, economic data, government shutdown, Jeff Miller, National Retail Federation, retail
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