October 1, 2013
After the House and Senate failed to agree on a federal funding bill by midnight on September 30, the Federal Government began shutting down non-essential services on Tuesday. In order to avoid a government shutdown, Congress needed to pass and the President needed to sign a fiscal year (FY) 2014 funding bill called a continuing resolution (CR) by midnight on the last day of FY 2013. In the hours before the end of the fiscal year, the Senate passed several CRs to fund the government through November 15. However, the House insisted that the funding bill also delay for one year the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
The House and Senate continued to send their respective versions of the CR back and forth until just before midnight. As expected, the Senate repeatedly rejected the House CR because it included the Affordable Care Act modification. Democrats in the House and Senate, along with moderate Republicans in both chambers, argued that a one- or two-month CR, meant to simply keep the government running at current spending levels, is not the place to attack or reform the Affordable Care Act. Nonetheless, Republican leadership in the House persisted.
Visit our earlier blog post for more detail regarding the appropriations bills and events leading up to the government shutdown.
Late last week, USDA published a detailed breakdown of what the shutdown means for USDA programs. You can download shutdown plans for each USDA sub-agency, such as the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Risk Management Agency, by visiting the website of the White House Office of Management and the Budget. The PDF documents outline which personnel and types of contracts are exempted and which are not, among other important details.
Remember that USDA is currently being hit with a double whammy government shutdown and farm bill expiration. Last year’s nine-month farm bill extension expired last night along with the FY 2013 government funding bill.
We expect that the House and Senate will soon resume negotiations on the FY 2014 appropriations CR, though we cannot say with any certainly how or when the two bodies will reach a deal.
Categories: Budget and Appropriations