Economists Say Shutdown Will Hurt, But Hard To Add It Up

by Marilyn Geewax

October 01, 2013 5:14 AM

Government workers protest the possibility of a federal shutdown in Chicago. Nearly 100 employees from federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development rallied in a downtown plaza Monday.

Government workers protest the possibility of a federal shutdown in Chicago. Nearly 100 employees from federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development rallied in a downtown plaza Monday.M. Spencer Green/AP

After weeks of wondering what would happen, Americans now know:

1. Congress missed the midnight funding deadline for the new fiscal year, triggering disruptions in government operations.

2. That will slow economic growth, at least in the short term.

But just how far the damage will go is far from clear. Economists say they can’t refine their predictions because they have no idea how long the shutdown might last or how many federal workers may be furloughed. Continue reading “Economists Say Shutdown Will Hurt, But Hard To Add It Up”

U.S. Government Shuts Down in Budget Impasse

U.S. Government Shuts Down in Budget Impasse

Doug Mills/The New York Times

A National Park Service police guarded The Lincoln Memorial as signs were put up explaining government shutdown, on Tuesday.

By

Published: October 1, 2013 WASHINGTON — The vast machinery of the federal government began grinding to a halt Tuesday morning just hours after weary lawmakers gave up hope of passing a budget in the face of Republican attacks on President Obama’s health care law.

House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio headed to vote on the latest bill to link further government financing to a weakening of President Obama‘s health care law.

President Obama met with his cabinet on Monday to discuss how to deal with a possible government shutdown. Continue reading “U.S. Government Shuts Down in Budget Impasse”

Most Defense Civilians Begin Forced 3-Day Furlough Weekends

Most Defense Civilians Begin Forced 3-Day Furlough Weekends

Flickr user Michael Baird

Each Defense Department entity has set its own guidelines for implementing the across-the-board furloughs scheduled to begin Monday, according to a Pentagon spokesman, though most of the department’s civilians face forced three-day weekends.

“There’s no one set of rules,” said Mark Wright, a Defense spokesman. “Every office has been doing it a little differently.”

A majority of Defense agencies, he added, will allow employees to take unpaid leave on Mondays or Fridays. Continue reading “Most Defense Civilians Begin Forced 3-Day Furlough Weekends”

Deal To Avert ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Appears Likely

December 31, 2012 7:20 PM

The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the “fiscal cliff” tonight, as 2013 begins.

The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the "fiscal cliff" tonight, as 2013 begins.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

NPR’s coverage of President Obama’s comments on the “fiscal cliff” talks

Update at 9:45 p.m. Deal Reached

Vice President Joe Biden was meeting late Monday with Senate Democrats to brief them on a proposed deal to stop sharp tax increases and spending cuts. A source told NPR the deal with congressional Democratic and Republican leaders includes a mix of both.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have signed off on the agreement, which calls for a two-month deferral of the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester. The source says the cuts will be paid for half with revenue and half with more targeted spending cuts.

President Obama during his appearance this afternoon. Continue reading “Deal To Avert ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Appears Likely”

Biden, McConnell continue ‘cliff’ talks as clock winds down


Biden, McConnell continue ‘cliff’ talks as clock winds down

By and , Updated: Monday, December 31, 10:25 AM

Video: After saying he was “gratified” Republicans dropped a proposal to slash Social Security benefits as part of a “fiscal cliff” deal, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said there was still “significant distance” between the two parties, and adjourned debate for the evening on Sunday, saying the Senate will return at 11 a.m. EST tomorrow to continue negotiations.

Vice President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) continued urgent talks Monday over a deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff” after Democrats offered several significant concessions on taxes, including a proposal to raise rates only on earnings over $450,000 a year.

With a New Year’s Eve deadline hours away, Democrats abandoned their earlier demand to raise tax rates on household income over $250,000 a year. President Obama had vowed repeatedly during his reelection campaign to allow tax cuts to expire for incomes over that level.

Democrats also relented on the politically sensitive issue of the estate tax, according to a detailed account of the Democratic offer obtained by The Washington Post. They promised instead to hold a vote in the Senate that would guarantee that taxes on inherited estates remain at their current low levels, a key GOP demand. Continue reading “Biden, McConnell continue ‘cliff’ talks as clock winds down”