2013-10-10 National Governors Association

Federal Government Shutdown and Reimbursement to States

The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Minority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Majority Leader Reid, Senator McConnell, Speaker Boehner, and Representative Pelosi:

The nation’s governors urge Congress and the Administration to quickly reopen the federal government.

The fiscal health of states is inextricably linked to the fiscal stability of the federal government, and while state economies have improved, a failure by our national government to secure a solution to the current budget issues undermines our states’ recovery and endangers the U.S. economy.

States have thus far managed to avoid closing or suspending most programs and services by using carry-over funds or, in some cases, by using state spending to fill in for missing federal dollars. However, states are not in a position to be the bank for the federal government.  As this impasse continues, we call on Congress and the Administration to commit to fully reimbursing states and territories for the federal expenses they absorb during the shutdown. These expenses include funding for programs, state employees who are paid through federal funds and any other outlays that would normally have been supported by federal funds.

As governors, our citizens expect us to work together to balance our budgets and make government work.  We will do whatever we can to serve our citizens and deliver the core services they need and expect during this uncertain time. In return, we ask our federal partners to quickly find a path forward that reimburses states for incurred federal expenses; restores certainty in the federal budget process; creates long-term stability; and strengthens the fiscal condition of the nation for the benefit of all citizens.

Sincerely,

Governor Mary Fallin

Governor John Hickenlooper

cc: President Barack Obama, President of the United States