How the shutdown will inflict lasting damage

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The feds will struggle to dig out of a backlog of hiring and training that’s essential to pushing out tax refunds, protecting U.S. borders and guiding air traffic.

The longest government shutdown in U.S. history will scar the federal bureaucracy and U.S. economy long after the doors are unlocked and workers return.

The feds will struggle to dig out of a backlog of hiring and training that’s essential to pushing out tax refunds, protecting U.S. borders and guiding air traffic. Government contractors are expected to jack up prices on everything from helicopters to IT support, growing wise to an administration that doesn’t pay its bills for weeks on end.

And the agriculture industry, real estate sector, oil drillers and global investors are all bracing for years of cascading setbacks spurred by the pause in government loans, permitting and deal-making approval. The enduring pain will extend across the quarter of the U.S. government now largely shuttered.

“Even if the shutdown were resolved tomorrow, the fallout is going to last months, if not years,” said former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

The department Johnson led from 2013 to 2017 under President Barack Obama is just one of nine that have been closed for more than three weeks with no end in sight. President Donald Trump is holding the line on his threat to veto any spending bill that doesn’t include at least $5 billion to fulfill his campaign promise of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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