CUNA Legislative Update 
September 30, 2013

It’s new fiscal year’s eve here in Washington, but don’t expect to find any big parties. The House and the Senate remain in stalemate over the funding resolution for the first few months of fiscal year 2014. Over the weekend, the House sent the Senate another continuing resolution (CR) funding the government until December 15 and postponing the Affordable Care Act for one year. The Senate stayed in recess throughout the weekend and will reconvene at 2pm. When the upper chamber reconvenes this afternoon, it is expected to quickly amend the House-passed CR, replacing it with a “clean” CR, funding the government through November 15, and to send the amended legislation back to the House. This will leave the House leadership with a decision to make about how to move forward. Funding for most of the government expires at midnight.

Except for a handful of suspension bills that the House will consider today, no legislative business related to matters other than the CR has been announced in either chamber for this week. It would be reasonable to assume that both chambers will stay at this until they figure it out. However, as the clock winds down on the fiscal year and shutdown seems more certain, the clock is also ticking down on the debt ceiling. Last week, Treasury Secretary Lew notified Congress that the government will reach the debt ceiling no later than October 17. So, if you’re fan of government operating in crisis mode, this is your time; if you’re like the rest of us, hold on tight. It could get a little bumpy.

Impact of the Shutdown

Since it has been nearly 20 years since the last significant government shutdown, there are understandably a number of questions about what will happen and how it will affect us. For those of you coming to Washington this week for Hike the Hill or other meetings, my advice to you is this: check with the Congressional offices with which you’re meeting today to see what they’re going to do about meetings for the remainder of the week. Congressional staff deemed “essential” will continue to work throughout the shutdown, but others will not. Each office is going to handle this differently, so touch base today before the shutdown when all staff should be there.

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