Published: September 30, 2015
Congress is set to finalize later today (September 30) a bill to lift the threat of a partial government shutdown starting tomorrow that has been hanging over the federal workforce for weeks, although the move will only put off resolution of the funding and policy issues that have brought the government to the brink of a funding lapse. The measure would last only through December 11, by which time other issues likely will have been pulled into the mix as well, including the need to raise the federal debt ceiling–which itself has been used as an occasion for budgetary brinksmanship many times over the years. Agencies have been going through the process of preparing for a partial shutdown, including by issuing updated contingency plans and deciding which employees would stay on the job unpaid and which would be furloughed without pay. Those plans apparently will not be needed tomorrow but agencies will need to keep them handy since they may be needed in just a matter of two months.