The threat of a government shutdown has become an annual event, it seems, for the month of September. Since 2016, budgetary conflicts in Congress have stretched into the last week of the fiscal year. Last year, a temporary measure kept federal offices open until December when another short-term resolution kept operations functional until January when a shutdown occurred for a couple hours before pushing the deadline to February. There was a brief work stoppage before a relatively long-term agreement was reached on February 9th earlier this year. Now, with an approaching fiscal year that requires funding from Congress, another shutdown of the Federal Government looms. Facing midterm elections in several weeks, neither the Senate nor the House of Representatives appear willing to risk the political turmoil associated with such a Government closure. Regardless, the President has raised concerns over the legislation’s omission of the border wall that was promised during his campaign. Whether or not he would veto the bill is uncertain at the moment.
On September 18th, the Senate finalized approval on their version of the bill, which included $9 billion in funding for Hurricane Florence relief, $5.7 billion for substance abuse and mental health services, a 2.6% raise for military personnel, and a 1.9% salary increase for civilian employees of the Federal Government. The House is scheduled for Friday the 28th to vote on their temporary measure and it is projected to pass. If the President does not exercise his veto power, the House is not expected to reconvene until after the November elections, and a shutdown will once again be staved off, at least until December 7th.
Until Next Time,
**Written by Benjamin Derge, Financial Planner. The information has been obtained from sources considered reliable but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Benjamin Derge and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize, or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors.
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