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Congressional Leaders Fail to Agree
Much has been written over the past few weeks about the almost inevitability of a government shutdown however, the reality is here. Love it, hate it, support it, or oppose it…the bottom line – at 12 a.m. Oct. 1, the government partially closed its doors. More accurately, Congress failed to authorize expenditures to keep parts of the government open. Whether you believe this is a failure of our elected officials or a defining moment in history, or both, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t have an opinion on the shutdown.
As most Americans know, at the heat of the shutdown was a debate on an initiative to defund and or delay the new Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was tied to a Continuing Resolution (CR) – a continuing resolution is a type of appropriations legislation used by the United States Congress to fund government agencies if a formal appropriations bill has not been signed into law by the end of the Congressional fiscal year (September 30). The legislation takes the form of a joint resolution, and provides funding for existing federal programs at current, reduced, or expanded levels. Essential government services are not impacted – and the House and Senate were able to pass legislation to keep paying military personnel.
The following are three components of the shutdown that will impact small business…
- LOANS: Home-buyers and small businesses will notice. The government programs that guarantee about 30% of new home loans (remember, housing is driving the economy!) and provide capital to small businesses will be shut down.
- WORK SAFETY: Federal occupational safety and health inspectors will stop workplace inspections except in cases of imminent danger.
- TAXES: Americans will still have to pay their taxes and file federal tax returns, but the Internal Revenue Service says it will suspend all audits. Got questions? Sorry, the IRS says taxpayer services, including toll-free help lines, will be shut as well.