AASHTO Journal, 27 September 2013
With the House and Senate still worlds apart on what they want in a Continuing Resolution to fund the government after the current fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, agencies are bracing for a possible government shutdown.
Last week, the House passed a CR (see related AASHTO Journal story here) that would fund the government from Oct. 1 (the start of the new fiscal year) through Dec. 15 at current funding levels. The point of contention for the Senate, however, is that the House’s CR included language that would eliminate funds for the Affordable Care Act.
The Senate ended debate on the House CR this afternoon and is expected to vote to strike the language from the CR addressing ACA defunding, then passing the bill without that provision today. Since it is different from what the House previously passed, the measure will then head back to the House for its consideration as the Senate passed it. If no deal is reached between the two chambers, the government will face a shutdown Oct. 1.
It should be noted that many of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s main operations would not be affected directly by the shutdown, as major elements of USDOT programs are funded by Trust Funds, have some multi-year funding available, or are considered safety critical. Some aspects of US DOT operations may experience delays, such as permitting and other paperwork.
The AASHTO Journal will continue to monitor and report any progress regarding the CR to fund the government past Monday night.