Despite the partial shutdown of the federal government, NECA 2013 DC remains on track to be one of the largest programs we have ever hosted. All events are on track to proceed as scheduled, including the Opening Reception at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Should the shutdown prevent the museum from opening on Oct. 12, never fear! We have a plan to make sure NECA 2013 DC kicks off in the great style you expect from the Opening Reception.
NECA’s government affairs team posted the following information about the shutdown this morning, if you want to read further about the impact it will have nationwide.
Communication Breakdown: The Federal Government Shutdown
by Marco Giamberardino, NECA Executive Director, Government Affairs
At midnight on October 1, the Federal government effectively shut down for the first time since 1996 because of a protracted battle over attempts to defund or delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the new healthcare reform law signed by President Obama in 2010. The White House Office of Management and Budget sent a memo to federal agencies informing them to “execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations.”
House Republicans pushed on three different series of votes to defund, delay or amend the ACA as part of a continuing resolution (CR) that would fund the government through December 15, 2013. Senate Democrats have in turn voted multiple times to strip those provisions and pass a “clean CR.” During the early hours of the morning, the House passed a resolution appointing members for a proposed conference committee to hash out differences with the Senate. Until an agreement is reached, the federal government will remain closed for business.
NECA called on Congress to make every possible effort to avoid a federal shutdown in order to prevent disruption for NECA contractors nationwide who would not be able to submit bids for federal construction projects or receive payments for contracts performed for the federal government, jeopardizing the finances of many small businesses nationwide. NECA also provided guidance to its members in this memo on what NECA contractors should do to plan for a shutdown.
As for the average American, more than 40 percent of federal workers across the nation will now be furloughed starting immediately. Social Security recipients will in fact receive benefits, mail service will continue and taxes will still be collected. But the impact will be great, and it will spread far beyond Washington. Federal buildings scattered across the nation will be closed, and in Washington, DC other federally funded attractions, including the Smithsonian museums, the National Zoo, and Civil War battlefields are now closed for business.
The federal government has shut down 17 times since 1976, according to an NBC tally. The last time was for 21 days in late 1995 and early 1996, when House Speaker Newt Gingrich and President Clinton clashed over spending. That shutdown left deep political scars, gave President Clinton’s approval ratings a significant boost, and left Republicans shouldering much of the blame. Time will tell what the effects of this shutdown and its impact it will have on the 2014 Congressional elections.
NECA will continue to report on these developments.