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Microsoft's top lawyer says the government shutdown is 'not good for business'

Key Points
  • Microsoft does business with many U.S. government agencies.
  • Smith said Microsoft does work for parts of the U.S. government that are still open.
Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft, speaks at the 2017 Cambridge Cyber Summit on October 4, 2017.
David A. Grogan | CNBC

The current U.S. government shutdown is not good for business, Microsoft president and chief legal officer, Brad Smith said on CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Thursday.

"It is not good for business," he said. "The sooner we can come together, the better off we'll all be."

The shutdown, which is approaching one month in length, could affect technology companies like Microsoft that depend on parts of the government for revenue.

Smith said it's too early to say if the shutdown is currently hurting Microsoft, and that the company does work with some agencies that continue to operate through the shutdown.

"But I think we worry as well," Smith said. "You have people who are responsible for the security of our airports that are not getting a paycheck. We're involved in the philanthropic community here in Seattle to help them get food stamps."

Smith said it's not helping that companies aren't able to be approved to go public during the shutdown.

"We can debate forever how much damage a closed government will cause to the economy, but there is one thing that is indisputable: it doesn't help," Smith said.

In recent months Smith has advocated for immigration reform and has suggested that governments begin regulating face recognition. On Thursday, in addition to addressing the government shutdown, Smith talked about how Microsoft has a sense of responsibility in pledging $500 million for affordable housing in the Puget Sound.

"We have a strong balance sheet, and we can put it to work," Smith said.

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