The National Retail Federation (NRF) sent a letter to congressional leaders Oct. 9 urging the government to end its ongoing shutdown with a continuing resolution.
“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,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said in the letter.
In the letter, Shay stressed that the government shutdown has already taken its toll on consumer spending and consumer confidence, highlighting a recent Gallup poll demonstrating that consumer confidence is at its lowest since the 2008 collapse. In addition, he pointed to the lack of economic data, as well as absence of the FCC and Customs and Border Protection.
“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.”
“Washington can’t keep governing from crisis to crisis and quarter to quarter. 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.”
“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," he concluded.
The NRF plans to continue coordinating efforts to pressure the government to reopen, and will be working closely with retailers, small business owners and grassroots advocates.