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Update on the Government Shutdown

Wednesday, October 16, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Traci Bannon
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Update on the Government Shutdown


Today, Senate leadership reached an agreement on legislation that will end the current government shutdown and mandate retroactive pay to furloughed federal workers.  Although it is not clear how long it will take for all agencies to return to full operations, we expect that this legislation will be passed by the House and Senate no later than tomorrow morning (and likely tonight), and will be signed into law by the President soon thereafter.


A more thorough summary of the legislation and recent events is below, but the FBIAA wants members to know that this is only the beginning of the fight over 2014 funding for the Bureau.  Although this agreement will reopen the government, it will not provide the levels of funding necessary to adequately supports Agents and our work. 


Over the next several months, the FBIAA will redouble our efforts to persuade Congress to listen to the concerns of Agents, take the actions necessary to fund the Bureau, and avoid another round of sequestration and potential furloughs.  We will continue to update and publicize the Voices from the Field, working directly with policymakers and the media.  As we do this, our efforts will be strengthened by the continuing willingness of Agents to share their experiences with the FBIAA.   Please do not hesitate to reach out to your chapter representative, or any other FBIAA contacts, with your accounts of how you are feeling the impact of budget cuts.


Summary of the Legislation to End the Shutdown


·         The agreement reached by Senators Reid and McConnell would:

o   Fund the government through January 15th

o   Extend the debt ceiling through February 7th

o   Mandate that retroactive pay be paid to all furloughed federal employees "as soon as practicable”

o   Enhance the income verification provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

o   Change the debt ceiling process to create presumptive increases in the debt limit triggered by a Presidential certification, which can be reversed by Congress  through a joint resolution capable of surviving a Presidential veto.


·         The Reid-McConnell legislation is significant in several aspects.  First, it will allow the government to reopen (although it is not clear how quickly all agencies will up and running).  Second, it avoids the current debt default crisis, and potentially removes the threat of debt default from future political fights by creating a presumptive increase in the debt limit.  Third, the legislation includes none of the ACA changes that the House and Senate Republicans were calling for when the shutdown began two weeks ago.


·         The Senate plans on voting on the legislation tonight (Senator Cruz has committed to not delaying the legislation), and Speaker Boehner will have the House vote on the legislation as soon possible after the Senate vote.  The legislation is expected to pass both the House and Senate by comfortable margins (although many conservative Republicans have expressed displeasure with the agreement), clearing the legislation for Presidential approval as early as late tonight.





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