The deal will fund the government through Jan. 15 and allow the government to incur additional debt until Feb. 7, reports the New York Times. Speaking on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said members had reached "a historic bipartisan agreement." He added, "It's never easy for two sides to reach consensus...This time was really hard."
Research at some Energy Department's national laboratories continues, but will be halted if the government shutdown continues. The DOE runs 18 laboratories that are federally funded, but managed and staffed by private-sector organizations under contract with the agency.
The government shutdown, now in its third week, has had considerable impacts on the world of science, beyond the science activities that federal agencies perform themselves. FierceGovernment spoke with Matt Hourihan of the American Association for the Advancement of Science about the challenges facing scientists and researchers as a result of the shutdown and the overall fiscal climate.
After House Republican leadership made another failed attempt to pass their own bill, Senate leaders on both sides met again to come up with a plan to reopen the government and raise the debt limit. The Senate plan would set funding at $986 billion and reopen the government until Jan. 15, Politico reports. The debt ceiling would be raised until Feb. 7 and a formal bicameral conference committee would have until Dec. 13 to negotiate a larger-scale budget deal.
Arizona, Colorado, New York, South Dakota and Utah agreed to donate funds to the National Park Service so its employees can reopen and manage nationals parks in those states. Utah committed $1.7 million, by far the most of the five states, to reopen eight national parks in the state from Oct. 11 through Oct. 20.
If sequestration cuts continue, they could devastate military readiness and dramatically slow down modernization spending, an Oct. 11 Bipartisan Policy Center report says. The report says the full brunt of sequestration cuts hasn't hit yet, but sequestration cuts will compromise force readiness.
With the government shutdown moves through day 15, the federal workforce is still in flux and Office of Personnel Management guidance says furloughed workers will not accrue sick leave and vacation during the shutdown.
Senate leaders on both sides reached a deal Monday night to raise the debt limit through Feb. 7 and finance the government through Jan. 15, but House Republicans decided Tuesday morning to push their own bill. The Senate agreement would also begin formal discussions on a long-term tax and spending plan that would need to be finished no later than Dec. 13.
The federal strategic sourcing program advanced Oct. 9 with two solicitations from the General Services Administration for bulk purchases, one for janitorial supplies and the other for maintenance equipment. The two solicitations involve products that cost the government more than $1 billion annually, and GSA estimates that strategic sourcing will reduce their cost by 10-20 percent.
The National Transportation Safety Board furloughed 383 of its 405 workers during the shutdown, which caused it to suspend more than 1,000 investigations, said Acting NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman at an Oct. 11 Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing.
With House Republicans sidelined in debt limit and funding talks, Senators from both parties continue to try to hammer out a long term solutions avert a financial crisis and reopen the government. On Saturday, Senate Democrats rejected a proposal by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), which would have raised the debt limit and funded the government for 6 months, but would have also locked in sequestration level funding.
"The documents are not structured for this. Systems have not been set up for this," said Ken Bentsen, president of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. "No one's ever thought that you wouldn't pay Treasurys in the same way you would with a corporate debt offering or a municipal debt offering."
House Republican leadership wants a short-term deal on the debt ceiling so it can start budget talks, but a group of Republican Senators are pushing for a long-term solution on both the debt limit and the government shutdown. House Republican leaders offered President Obama a plan late Thursday that would raise the debt limit for six weeks and start talks about reopening the government.
The government shutdown cost more than a billion dollars to the economy in its first week and that number could reach into the tens of billions if the shutdown lasts more than a few weeks. Market research firm IHS projects the economy lost $1.6 billion in the first week of the shutdown and shaved 0.16 percent from fourth-quarter gross domestic product growth.
With the debt-limit looming, Democrat and Republican leadership turned their attention away from the government shutdown and toward averting a financial crisis. House Republican leadership Thursday pushed a clean short-term increase that would raise the debt ceiling, the Washington Post reports, and it could go to vote late Thursday.
If the shutdown continues in the coming weeks the Veterans Affairs Department will not be able to assure delivery of VA benefit checks to more than 5.18 million beneficiaries on Nov. 1, said VA Secretary Eric Shinseki during an Oct. 9 House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing. That includes pension payments for about 315,000 veterans and for more than 200,000 surviving spouses and dependents, he said.
Federal chief financial officers say declining resources and departing staff keep them from meeting an increased workload, a recently released Association of Government Accountants survey says. In the survey (.pdf), 28 percent of respondents say delivering services at the same rate that they are currently will be their biggest challenge. And over the next five years that challenge will get more difficult.
Nine days into the government shutdown, President Obama reached out to Congress to meet Wednesday about a temporary spending bill and the looming debt limit. Meanwhile, public confidence in the economy has dropped during the last week of the shutdown to its lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis, an Oct. 8 Gallup poll says.
Markets have already begun to suffer the apparent effects of the standoff among lawmakers over whether to raise the debt ceiling. On Oct. 8, the interest rate on 1-month Treasury bills reached 0.27 percent, a level not seen since November 2008 in the depths of a financial crisis that led to a global recession.
Children who had deployed parents experienced more problems in school and conflicts with families and peers than the national average and the longer the parent was deployed, the bigger the impact on the child, said Ron Haskins, Senior Fellow and Co-Director of Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution, at an Oct. 1 event.