What happens during a shutdown; FTC and 17 States File Suit Against Amazon; Lauren Williams joins NAW; Labor Webinar

September 29, 2023

It’s Friday, September 29th, and we have been waiting to send this update in hopes a last-minute deal on a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the Federal government comes through.  That window of opportunity was never large and is now all but closed.  Without a vote in the next 24 hours (unlikely), the Federal government will shut down for the 4th time in 10 years and the 6th time since 1995.  For weeks this has felt both inevitable and silly to most people inside-the-beltway.  The politics of this shutdown are perplexing, considering that topline spending numbers were decided in a bipartisan agreement to lift the debt ceiling just 3 months ago.  Yet a group of Republican House members want to revisit that agreement despite only controlling ½ of 1 of the 3 bodies needed to get legislation signed into law. 

A concern we have should the government shut down, is what is the trigger to reopen it?  While only a small band of 8-20 House Republicans are holdouts, there is no unanimity on what they are holding out for.  Their preferred policy outcomes include eliminating further aid to Ukraine, further cutting the topline budget numbers, insisting on first having a border security bill signed into law, and/or passing each of the 12 appropriations bills individually, among others.  None of those seem achievable given the current Democratic control of the Senate and having President Joe Biden in the White House.  Of note, in 25 years, no group has ever successfully shutdown government and achieved a policy change, instead each shutdown ended when the obstinate group of voters caved to the will of the majority. The last government shutdown began on December 22, 2018, lasted 35 days, and was the third shutdown to occur during the Trump Administration.  In fact, since 1995 every shutdown has happened during Republican control of the House, and twice it happened when Republicans controlled the House, Senate, and the Presidency.

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