Are We on the Brink of Another Government Shutdown?

Sep 28, 2016

govt-shutdown-2

**This shutdown post has been updated. Congress passed a short-term funding bill Wednesday (September 28) afternoon which will keep the government open until December 9th. The bill was amended to include funding for the water crisis in Flint, MI. It passed in the House with a vote of 72-26 and in the Senate with a vote of 342-85.

Another Government Shutdown?

Is the government on the brink of another shutdown; this time in an election year? If Congress does not approve a spending budget for FY17, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

The Senate voted on a bill yesterday (September 27) that would provide aid to flooding victims in Louisiana, Maryland, and West Virginia. This bill would also fund the government through December 9th. Democrats voted ‘nay’ on the bill, 45-55, adding that they also wanted aid for the water crisis in Flint, MI.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) moved for a reconsideration. The second vote was 40-59, one vote shy to pass.

Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Barbara Mikulski (D-Md) said the continuing resolution (CR) should do four things:

  1. Keep the government open until December 9th.
  2. It should respond to urgent needs including funding for the Zika virus, flooding in multiple states, and the Flint water crisis.
  3. Be free of “poison pill riders, like the rider preventing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from requiring companies to tell investors where their political contributions are going.”
  4. Provide a full year of funding for veterans and military construction, including $3.5 billion for veteran’s medical care.

Implications for Federal Retirees?

What would this mean for federal retirees? OPM is not funded by government funds. They remain open in the event of a shutdown. There is no delay in OPM processing your application provided you submit it before the furlough beings and it is a complete application. However, if there are still forms that need to be completed by your agency, and your agency is affected by the shutdown, expect delays. There is also no delay in annuity payments during a shutdown.

A government shutdown will happen on October 1st provided no agreement is met.

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