Congress Works Weekend; Stalemate Remains, Agencies Brace for ShutdownImage Banner

Congress Works Weekend; Stalemate Remains, Agencies Brace for Shutdown

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Congress Works Weekend; Stalemate Remains, Agencies Brace for Shutdown

September 30, 2013

Over the weekend, the House passed a continuing resolution that would keep the government funded through mid-December but would delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and repeal the medical devices tax within the law which helps fund it. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), in a joint statement with other House Republican leaders, on Saturday said, “We will do our job and sent this bill over, and then it’s up to the Senate to pass it and stop a government shutdown.” Senate Democrats expressed weariness and frustration at the House-passed bill. “The House position, which is basically the same one that they sent us the last time, is going to be rejected again,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said in a Sunday interview. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) also made clear the Senate would reject any attempt by House Republicans to defund the ACA, saying, “To be absolutely clear, the Senate will reject both the one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act and the repeal of the medical device tax.” He put the onus on House Republicans, saying they “must decide whether to pass the Senate’s clean CR, or force a Republican government shutdown.” Senator Tom Harkin was more blunt, saying on Friday in reference to the proposals contained in the House CR, “That’s bullshit.”

With the Senate poised to reject the House proposal today, a government shutdown beginning at midnight Monday becomes increasingly likely. The shutdown would affect an estimated 800,000 federal employees. Those employees who are designated “essential” would still report to work, but non-essential workers would be furloughed through the shutdown. Many agencies have already notified their employees of the process within the agency if a shutdown happens. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said that the “extraordinary measures” available to the Treasury to continue to pay debt absent borrowing additional money will be exhausted by October 17. At that point, the United States will start defaulting on its loans.

For more information about specific impacts of a shutdown on federal agencies, click here.