USA — Deal Averts Shutdown, Normal Government Operations to Continue

WASHINGTON, April 9, 2011 — Gov­ern­ment agen­cies are con­tin­u­ing nor­mal oper­a­tions after the admin­is­tra­tion, the Sen­ate and the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives agreed to a fis­cal 2011 bud­get.
The con­tin­u­ing res­o­lu­tion expired last night at mid­night, but the Sen­ate and House passed a short-term fund­ing bill that will allow both hous­es to final­ize the full-year spend­ing bill. Offi­cials expect that bill to be passed and signed by mid-week.

President Barack Obama
Speak­ing at the White House at 11:04 p.m. EDT, April 8, 2011, Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma announces reach­ing a bud­get agree­ment that averts a gov­ern­ment shut­down.
DOD screen grab
Click to enlarge

“This agree­ment between Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans on behalf of all Amer­i­cans is on a bud­get that invests in our future while mak­ing the largest annu­al spend­ing cut in our his­to­ry,” Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma said last night from the White House. “Like any worth­while com­pro­mise, both sides had to make tough deci­sions and give ground on issues that were impor­tant to them. And I cer­tain­ly did that.”

There will be no inter­rup­tion in oper­a­tions for the Defense Depart­ment, DOD offi­cials said last night. Ser­vice mem­bers and civil­ian employ­ees will receive their pays as nor­mal, and no oper­a­tions will be cur­tailed or elim­i­nat­ed.

“This is good news for the Amer­i­can peo­ple,” Oba­ma said dur­ing an address from the White House last night. “It means that small busi­ness­es can get the loans they need, our fam­i­lies can get the mort­gages they applied for, folks can vis­it our nation­al parks and muse­ums, and hun­dreds of thou­sands of Amer­i­cans will get their pay­checks on time, includ­ing our brave men and women in uni­form.”

The agree­ment calls for $38.5 bil­lion in cuts from the gov­ern­ment bud­get. This is $79 bil­lion less than what the pres­i­dent pro­posed orig­i­nal­ly in Feb­ru­ary 2010.

“Some of the cuts we agreed to will be painful,” the pres­i­dent said. “Pro­grams peo­ple rely on will be cut back. Need­ed infra­struc­ture projects will be delayed. And I would not have made these cuts in bet­ter cir­cum­stances. But begin­ning to live with­in our means is the only way to pro­tect those invest­ments that will help Amer­i­ca com­pete for new jobs – invest­ments in our kids’ edu­ca­tion and stu­dent loans, in clean ener­gy and life-sav­ing med­ical research. We pro­tect­ed the invest­ments we need to win the future.”

Oba­ma thanked House Speak­er John Boehn­er and Sen­ate Major­i­ty Leader Har­ry Reid for their lead­er­ship in the process. “It’s my sin­cere hope that we can con­tin­ue to come togeth­er as we face the many dif­fi­cult chal­lenges that lie ahead, from cre­at­ing jobs and grow­ing our econ­o­my to edu­cat­ing our chil­dren and reduc­ing our deficit,” Oba­ma said. “That’s what the Amer­i­can peo­ple expect us to do. That’s why they send us here.”

Had the gov­ern­ment shut down, offi­cials expect­ed around 400,000 DOD employ­ees to be fur­loughed and prob­lems with pay and oth­er fis­cal oblig­a­tions. The pres­i­dent announced the deal less than an hour before the con­tin­u­ing res­o­lu­tion would have run out and oper­a­tions would have ceased. The last gov­ern­ment shut­down occurred in 1996.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter