Shutdown Comes to an End
October 17, 2013
Shutdown Comes to an
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!