Signs Point to a Shutdown

Update (September 27, 4:45 p.m.) – 

This afternoon, the Senate passed a 2014 continuing resolution (H J Res 59) to fund the government through November 15, at an annualized post-sequester rate of $986.3 billion (almost level with FY13). The Senate’s CR moved the end date to November 15 from December 15 and removed House language that would defund the Affordable Care Act.  

This weekend, the House will take up the Senate CR. Some predict the House will add another ACA amendment (possibly removing health care contributions for Members and staff) to the CR and send it back to the Senate. That bill could pass in the Senate.   

Media reports the House is considering a one-week CR without anomalies to avoid a partial government shutdown as negotiations continue.

More to come.

Original Post: 

Signs point to a shutdown – how long remains to be seen. House Republican leadership staff are saying their expectation is to receive the CR from the Senate with the ACA funding in place sometime over the weekend. If they receive Sunday, they anticipate taking up the CR Monday, probably attaching an amendment repealing the ACA’s individual mandate and sending it back to the Senate.

Should that occur, the Senate would need two to four days to take up the House’s version, remove the individual mandate repeal, then send back to the House. At that point, its unclear what the House will do with the Senate’s CR, pass it, and send it to the President.

Under that scenario, a shutdown would occur until at least the 3rd. It’s still very fluid, but that’s a real possibility.


As with the last time this came close, passports and visas for sure will not be processed. According to a CRS report, in 1996, “approximately 20,000-30,000 applications by foreigners for visas reportedly went unprocessed each day; 200,000 U.S. applications for passports reportedly went unprocessed; and U.S. tourist industries and airlines reportedly sustained millions of dollars in losses.”

Obviously, travel of non-essential federal employees will be cancelled and, per an OMB shutdown memo, federal employees on temporary travel will be expected to return home. And, of course, federal contractors will cancel travel.