October 2013

Federal Government Shutdown ENDS

Co Authored by Omar Franco 

Last night Congress voted to end the first federal government shutdown in seventeen years and avert a default on U.S. debt. The deal brokered between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) provides government funding through Jan. 15, 2014, at almost the same rate as in FY-2013 after automatic spending cuts. The debt limit would be extended through Feb. 7, 2014, if requested by President Obama. The legislation includes a mechanism to allow Congress to block the suspension through action on a resolution of disapproval. The Health and Human Services Department would be required to ensure that health-insurance exchanges verify the eligibility of all individuals applying for tax credits and cost sharing under the Affordable Care Act. Federal employees would be paid for furlough days resulting from the shutdown and members of Congress would be denied their cost-of-living increase in FY-2014.

The Senate passed the bill first with 81 senators voting in favor and 18 voting against the compromise. The House then passed the legislation 285-144, relying mostly on Democratic votes to pass the bill. Alongside the bill, the Senate agreed to a provision that House and Senate leaders would appoint a conference committee to negotiate a budget agreement by Dec. 13.

 

CBP’s 2013 East Coast Trade Symposium in D.C. – HAS BEEN CANCELLED by Government Shutdown

As a result of the prolonged lapse in government funding, CBP’s much-anticipated 2013 East Coast Trade Symposium in D.C. has been postponed.  The lapse in appropriations has significantly impacted CBP’s ability to hold the event as planned.  Although CBP was hopeful that the appropriations issues would have been resolved by now, and were hoping to proceed as planned, unfortunately, that is not possible.  CBP is committed to hosting the event at a later date, and looks forward to announcing the new date as soon as possible.

For those that have registered and paid for their symposium registration, CBP will be refunding your registration fee.  The refunds will be processed once the partial government shutdown is concluded.

As soon as CBP announces the new dates for the Symposium, we will let you know.   

Impact of Government Shutdown

Co Authored by Omar Franco 
The impact of the federal government shutdown, which began October 1, 2013, will be deeply felt by importers and exporters alike. Most government services deemed “essential” by the federal agencies will continue, but “non-essential” services will be discontinued until funding is restored.

This early on, there is no obvious resolution of the budget dispute to tie the FY-2014 government funding to Affordable Care Act (ACA) reforms. Both the House and Senate are entrenched in their positions and they are not scheduled to negotiate any time soon. One side will have to capitulate or bipartisan negotiations will have to lead to a resolution. We feel that negotiations will probably not occur this week as both sides need to assess how the markets and voters will respond to the federal government shutdown. Depending on the public response, we will see movement by one side, probably by Republicans, if the reaction is seen as damaging. As of today, the Dow was up, so the market reaction has been subdued. The reaction from voters is still unknown, but if it is subdued as well, the shutdown will be prolonged. We anticipate the shutdown will last through this week at a minimum.

Some lawmakers are considering broadening the debate by including the debt ceiling. Pressure from resolving the government shutdown could also resolve the debt ceiling issue. The longer the shutdown continues, the more likely the resolution will be tied to the debt ceiling. We […]

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