Federal Relations

October 8, 2013

Shutdown: One-Week Anniversary and Nothing to Celebrate

There is no new progress on Capitol Hill to end the week old government shutdown. Instead of the usual update, I thought you might enjoy reading what we’re reading. The following articles provide some insights into possible paths forward and the impacts of the shutdown outside the beltway.

On Capitol Hill

House Republicans Unlikely to Pass Debt Ceiling Bill this Week – House Republicans have no plans to try to pass a bill to hike the nation’s borrowing limit this week, according to Republican aides. Instead, Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) chamber will use the week to continue to pass targeted spending bills in an attempt to reopen parts of the currently shuttered government. Those bills have been rejected by Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama. 

GOP Senators Weigh Blocking Democrats on Debt Ceiling – Senate Democrats are getting to work on a long-term debt ceiling hike with no strings attached, and Senate Republicans must decide whether or not to block it.

GOP Proposes New Supercommittee to Resolve Impasse – House Republicans will bring to the floor a bill to create a bipartisan, bicameral committee to address the current fiscal impasse that has shut down much of the government and threatens a debt default.

Will a Sidecar Help Avert Debt Limit Disaster? – With both Speaker John A. Boehner and President Barack Obama stuck in their corners on reopening the government, the dispute over the debt ceiling has taken center stage.

Senate Republicans Hesitate On Back Pay For Furloughed Workers – A bill the House passed to guarantee that furloughed federal workers receive back pay after the partial government shutdown is resolved seems to have hit a snag in the Senate. The measure passed the House unanimously on Saturday and has the backing of the White House, so eventual passage through the Senate seems assured. Federal workers have received back pay in previous shutdowns, even as they’re left with unscheduled days off. Unless a worker is deemed essential under agency guidelines, it is illegal for them to work or receive pay during a lapse in federal funding.

Shutdown: ‘A pox on everybody’s house’ Democrats have the advantage in the government shutdown debate, but it’s not the rout that many anticipated. While polls show that more people blame Republicans than Democrats, the margin is not so lopsided that GOP leaders feel compelled to back down.

One-Story Town Gives a Furlough to Nonessential Legislation – And on the seventh day, Congress did not rest. Instead, lawmakers decided for the first time since the shutdown began to take votes on something wholly unrelated to their own budgetary wheel-spinning.

Impacts of Shutdown

Northeastern University President Urges Military to Resume Tuition Aid – Tuition assistance, money for active-duty military to pursue an education, has been suspended in the shutdown and won’t be retroactively issued for classes that began after October 1st. Northeastern University President Joseph Aoun, whose institution is covering the costs for affected students, urged Hagel to restore those benefits, too.

Billionaire Philanthropists Keep Head Start Afloat During Shutdown Head Start doors will remain open through the end of October after philanthropists offered up to $10 million to the embattled institution.

This cancer patient’s treatment is on hold because of the government shutdown

Despite Government Cutbacks, Student Interest in Public Sector Careers Grows Hundreds of thousands of government workers remain furloughed this week as politicians fight another round of the seemingly never-ending battle over the federal budget. At the state and local level, many agencies hit with steep funding cuts in the aftermath of the recession still haven’t recovered, either.

But despite the bleak employment outlook and negative rhetoric, younger Americans don’t appear deterred from pursuing careers in public service.