In a surprising show of bi-partisanship, the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce co-wrote an open letter to President Obama wherein the parties implore the President and members of Congress to both reopen the Federal Government and avoid a default. In pertinent part, the letter provides that "the current shutdown is harmful and the risk of default is potentially catastrophic for our fragile economy."
While acknowledging that the parties often disagree on major issues regarding the economy, the parties agree in the letter that, absent a resolution to both the current shutdown and the possible default, "our economy could be driven back into a recession."
The letter closes by reminding the President and members of Congress of the serious dangers of calling the full faith and credit of the United States of America into question. In fact, the letter provides that "everyone will be harmed if the government defaults."
As of today’s date, the Federal Government has been shut down for sixteen days. Most "non-essential" employees, including a majority of the employees of the National Labor Relations Board, are currently on furlough. More dangerous, however, is that the United States Treasury is expected to reach its borrowing limit at some time tomorrow. Treasury officials have indicated that, once the borrowing limit is reached, the Treasury will be forced to pick and choose which bills it pays.