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Shutdown Comes to an End


October 17, 2013


Shutdown Comes to an End

With only hours to go before the deadline to raise the federal debt ceiling and after 16 days of a government shutdown, Congress finally voted to end the protracted budget standoff last night. President Obama signed the legislation (H.R.2775) following passage by the House (285-144) and Senate (81-18). The bill was unanimously supported by congressional Democrats and received mixed support from Republicans in both chambers. The federal government will reopen today and 800,000 furloughed federal workers, including over 3,000 employees at the U.S. Department of Education, will return to work.

The bill is a short-term measure that will fund the government though January 15, 2014. Funds for federal programs, including Perkins, will remain at FY 2013 levels for the duration. For Perkins specifically, federal funding was cut by 5.2 percent in FY 2013 due to sequestration. This resulted in a $58 million reduction in the federal support for CTE in the 2013-14 school year. Some congressional Republicans want to lock in lower funding levels for FY 2014, while Democrats and the White House continue to push to replace sequestration with a balanced approach to deficit reduction.

A conference committee of members of the House and Senate will come together to develop a finalized budget plan for FY 2014 by mid-December. The committee will also attempt to tackle long-term budgetary issues like entitlement spending, tax reform and sequestration. Additionally, the nation’s borrowing limit, known as the debt ceiling, will be suspended until February, which will temporarily remove the threat of a government default. Tell Congress that it is time to stop the cuts and invest in CTE! 

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