And $3 billion can't ever be recovered — all to withhold federal workers' pay and endanger lives for a useless wall.
In addition to the pain and hardship the Trump shutdown cost countless families, a new nonpartisan report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows the U.S. economy lost a total of $11 billion, thanks to Trump's decision to shut down the government for the wall he wants along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Some of the damage can be reversed now that federal workers will be paid and back at work, but $3 billion is permanently lost.
"It is clear as day that the president's temper tantrum caused serious and lasting damage to our nation’s economy," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a statement.
While $3 billion is a steep price to pay for Trump's hissy fits, the cold numbers should not overshadow the pain and suffering endured by thousands of families across the country.
An estimated 800,000 federal workers were forced to go weeks without pay. Some workers worried about homelessness while others could not provide asthma medication for their children. Celebrity chef Jose Andres tried to feed thousands of federal workers while others relied on food banks and soup kitchens.
While families suffered, FBI agents warned about the national security threats caused by the shutdown, as well as noting decreased enforcement efforts against criminals such as sex traffickers and gang members. As the economy was on it's way to losing $3 billion, airline workers warned of unprecedented risks to air travel.
The Trump shutdown "inflicted needless pain and chaos in the lives of millions of Americans, and stole billions of dollars from the economy," Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in a statement. "Workers' financial security, families' well-being and America's economic strength all were senselessly sacrificed because of President Trump's callousness," she added.
Trump initiated the government shutdown after demanding $5.6 billion for a border wall. He told Democratic leaders he would be proud to "own" the shutdown, and led the country into the longest government shutdown in history, lasting 35 days. In the end, Trump caved and signed a bill to reopen the government without receiving a single penny for the wall.
In a shocking statement, Trump's chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, told "Face the Nation" that Trump was prepared to shut the government down again in mid-February if he doesn't get his way.
Trump doesn't care who he hurts — or how much it costs — as he barrels forward with a singular obsession with a wall most Americans don't want.
Published with permission of The American Independent.