Hah, I know essentially nothing about the US, but I get the picture.
Each time a government decided to cut back something, we (the consultants) received a notice that the project was put on hold indefinitely. The firm st one point had 60% of the group literally sitting on their butts all day doing QAQC.
I was laidoff from that firm because NYCDOT reduced the scope of their on-call contract and the PANYNJ was forced to slow down their progress on the raising of the Bayonne Bridge due to a federal review (Army Corp of Engineers, EPA, Coast Guard, NEPA, ect) taking waay to long.
In short, The private sector is directly impacted by every political decision (at least here in NY and NJ). The ARC Tunnel's cancellation caused the layoffs of hundreds of planners working as consultants in the private sector. Every Planning agency outsources work to consultants for the most part (although NYMTC has hired NYCDCP to write the 2035 RTP and TIP) URS, AECOM, PB and Jacobs weren't too happy about that!