Government Shutdown 2013: Cost of government shutdown

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - For government workers, the cost of the shutdown is two-fold: it hurts America, and it hurts them.

With the motto of “We want to work,” workers are insisting they aren’t getting their paychecks, and as a result, it’s beginning to harm their families, mortgages, and children. They cant stand it much longer.

Government employee Clifford Lowery is 25 years old, and knows that for his furloughed colleagues, things will get worse financially before they get better.

And as for Agnes Brook, although she is still getting paid, she sympathizes with those who are not. She believes the shutdown will end up costing America money in the long run.

“I think it's going to cost simply because when the employees go back to work, they're gonna need their back pay for all the money they've lost," she says.

And she may be right. Douglas Holtz-Eakin is the former Director of the Congressional Budget Office and former Chief Economist of the President's Council of Economic Advisors.

“From the budget point-of-view, it costs the government money," she explains. "It's costly to shut down an agency, and it's costly to start an agency back up."

So if the stalemate ended now, Holtz-Eakin, who is now President of the American Action Forum, says forget millions – it’s going to be billions of dollars in losses due to the disagreement on Capitol Hill:

“This one would probably be three to four billion dollars; it's a bigger government than last time, so this will cost us money. There's no way around it...”

It’s a figure that is sure to grow until Congress compromises and workers like Lowery can get back to work.