Government shutdown could get postponed

GOP members propose short-term spending measure to fund government until March 18

It now appears unlikely that the government will shut down at the end of this week as Senate Democrats have reportedly accepted a Republican measure to immediately slash $4 billion in federal spending by cutting programs that President Barack Obama targeted for elimination in his latest budget proposal.

However, the measure only delays the possible shutdown. The House Appropriations Committee unveiled the short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) Feb. 25 to keep the government operating until March 18, which would give lawmakers two more weeks to reach a compromise on a funding bill. The current CR expires March 4. If Congress can't agree on a  longer-term funding bill or another stopgap, the shutdown chances will return.

The short-term measure proposed by House Republicans last week would permit federal agencies to continue operating at current funding levels, except for eight programs that were marked for significant cuts or termination in Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget request. The new CR is expected to be taken up by the House March 1.


Related stories:

Government shutdown could leave many in limbo

Readers fret about shutdown risk


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said there is now a “clear path” to averting a government shutdown this Friday. “By supporting the House bill, our friends on the other side of the aisle will have the chance to ensure that the government remains operational while we work with them to identify additional ways to shrink Washington spending this year,” McConnell said, according to the Washington Post.

The House passed an earlier continuing resolution Feb. 19 that would cut a total of $61 billion from almost every federal agency over the seven remaining months of fiscal 2011. But the bill was widely criticized by Senate Democrats and had little to no chance of passing that chamber. The Obama administration also came out in opposition to the deep cuts included in the first continuing resolution.

Democrats appeared cautiously optimistic that the compromise could signal a change that will avert more shutdown worries.

“We are encouraged to hear that Republicans are abandoning their demands for extreme measures like cuts to border security, cancer research and food safety inspectors and instead moving closer to Democrats’ position that we should cut government spending in a smart, responsible way that targets waste and excess while keeping our economy growing,” said, Jon Summers, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry (D-Nev.), the Post reported.

The possibility of a shutdown had raised concerns among federal employees, as well as contractors, about how their work and pay would be affected.

 

 

 

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Tue, Mar 1, 2011

“By supporting the House bill, our friends on the other side of the aisle will have the chance to ensure that the government remains operational while we work with them to identify additional ways to shrink Washington spending this year,” ---- Why does it have to be them and us 'other side of the aisle' why can't it just be WE as in We the people?

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group