Policy Update: Federal Government Shutdown

As of midnight on September 30th, the Federal Government was ‘shutdown’ after Congress was unable to agree upon the terms of a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government past September 30th.

House Republicans fought to delay and defund parts of the Affordable Care Act despite President Obama and Senate Democrats saying they would not support any such bill. Instead, Senate Democrats passed a ‘clean’ CR to fund the government through November 15th. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) on Monday that she would provide votes from House Democrats to pass a multi-month funding resolution. But that didn’t happen.

The ‘shutdown’ will not affect critical government services such as military, air traffic controllers, mail, Social Security and Medicare. However, many programs that are funded through the annual appropriations process will come to a halt until further notice.

The last government shut down occurred 17 years ago when Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House and Bill Clinton was President. That shut down lasted 28 days.


Washington Update: Sequestration in effect, FY13 funding update

Sequester was triggered on March 1st, 2013 and with it brings $85 billion in automatic, across-the-board spending cuts. As a result of sequester, federal agencies must makes cuts of about 9 percent for non-defnse programs and about 13 percent for defense programs. These cuts must be achieved over the remaining seven months of the fiscal year. Agencies have not yet announced the specific cuts to programs they will make as a result of sequestration.

On March 27th, the continuing resolution (CR), that Congress passed last September to fund the federal government for the first six months of the fiscal year, expires. Both chambers are now working on spending packages to carry the federal government through the rest of FY 2013.