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Government-wide Shutdown Again Looms

The government is on alert once again as Congress moves toward the new fiscal year without providing for continued operational funding for Federal agencies.  Veto threats, defunding the Affordable Care Act, and the debt ceiling debate all stand in the way of a simple, straightforward continuing resolution.

The House passed its version of a $986 billion continuing resolution today — essentially maintaining FY 13 funding levels through the middle of December.  The catch is that the House measure also includes language to defund the health care law.  The Senate, in recess until Monday, is likely to strip the defunding language from the measure and send it back to the House but it make take them almost a week to do so.  At this point, both parties will have achieved their politically charged polar positions but it remains to be seen whether they actually get something passed by both chambers before the fiscal clock strikes shutdown at midnight on September 30th.  Separately, and to compound the issue, there is also growing interest to ‘up the ante’ and increase funding to pre-sequestration levels of nearly $1.06 trillion.  Please stay tuned…