Closure looms as Congress faces spending deadlines – FCW


Closure looms as Congress faces spending deadlines

The US government is on the brink of a new fiscal cliff. Congress has about a week to pass a continuing resolution to avoid a partial government shutdown and must also pass a bill to suspend or increase the debt ceiling to avoid default when cash reserves run out – During the month of October, according to Treasury estimates. Department.

House Democrats passed their version of the bill on September 21, by 220-211.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer hopes to introduce the bill on September 27, but prospects for its passage are clouded by overt opposition from Republicans. Senatorial Minority Leader Mitch McConnell opposes the legislation and wants the continued resolution and the debt limit extension to be split into two different bills so his conference can vote for a continuing resolution while demanding that Democrats themselves adopt an extension of the debt limit.

Bureau of Management and Budget spokesperson Abdullah Hassan said on Thursday that while the administration “fully expects[s]”A bill to be adopted before an expiry of credits”, “prudent management obliges the government to provide for the eventuality of an expiry of funding”.

He added: “In accordance with a long-standing practice in several administrations, the OMB is prepared for any eventuality, and decisions on specific programs are actively considered by the agencies”,

Only a handful of agencies have updated their shutdown plans since the start of the Biden administration. These include the Departments of Justice and Treasury, NASA, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. The Department of Health and Human Services last updated its closure guidelines in September 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The HHS “will continue all COVID-19 activities supported by multi-year funding provided for in emergency supplemental appropriation bills,” the document said.

Many Food and Drug Administration activities are funded by fees and will not be affected by a shutdown, and some employees are also protected on time off because their work is deemed necessary for the safety of human life. The Centers for Disease Control would retain 38% of its staff in the event of a shutdown thanks to various exemptions and exceptions.

“Direct public health efforts can usually continue during a shutdown because they’re exempt, and that’s certainly our intention … but large swathes of the federal government coming to a screeching halt certainly won’t be beneficial to the response to the shutdown. pandemic, “White said House press secretary Jen Psaki said in her Sept. 23 briefing.

The federal cybersecurity workforce will also face large-scale time off in the event of a shutdown. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency will only retain about 17% of its workforce due to insufficient funding – 356 of the 2,110 that were on board as of Oct. 24, 2020. The CISA currently employs 2,345 federal staff, according to the reports. June 2021 data from the Bureau of Personnel Management.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is editor-in-chief of FCW.

Prior to joining the editorial team, Mazmanian was a writer at FCW covering Congress, government-wide technology policy, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was a technology correspondent for the National Journal and held various editorial positions at the B2B SmartBrief news service. Mazmanian has written reviews and articles for The Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine, and other publications.

Click here for previous Mazmanian articles. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.

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