OMB Director: Shutdown Consequences Have Been ‘Blown Out of Proportion’

Government Executive – Lawmakers have a little more than two weeks to reach an agreement on how to fund government and avoid a shutdown, though President Trump’s budget director is shrugging off such an outcome as inconsequential.

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney advocated for a government shutdown as “good policy” during his time in Congress. Even during his confirmation process, Mulvaney said in written testimony he still believed that to be the case. The former congressman has changed his tune to some degree, but still argues that an appropriations lapse would be inconsequential.

“Shutdown is never a desired end,” Mulvaney told CNBC on Wednesday. He said he thought the odds of one happening were “very low.” Agencies have not yet begun preparing for a shutdown and the budget director said he sees no need for them to do so. The most recent OMB guidance mandates the agency hold a teleconference with government leaders to instruct them to review and update their shutdown plans one week prior to a potential appropriations lapse.

Mulvaney added that if a shutdown were to occur, about 83 percent of government dollars would still go out the door.

“Social Security checks go out, military still exists,” he said. “The FBI still chases bad guys. I think the consequences have been blown out of proportion.”

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