Timeline: When to Expect a Possible Shutdown, and Other Key Fiscal Deadlines

In late 1995, the Lincoln Memorial was closed due to a government shutdown. In late 1995, the Lincoln Memorial was closed due to a government shutdown. AP file photo

The threat of a government shutdown became a lot more real this week. The House Republican leadership was forced to delay a vote to fund federal agencies after fiscal 2013 ends on Sept. 30 because the party’s most conservative wing refused to support the temporary spending measure. Tea Party Republicans called a concurrent resolution defunding Obamacare and linked to the stopgap measure a gimmick because Senate Democrats could have easily defeated it and kept the government open by passing a clean continuing resolution.

GOP leaders hope to hold a vote on a stopgap spending measure next week, but a feasible plan hasn’t emerged yet. The House is scheduled for another recess the week of Sept. 23, which means lawmakers have five legislative days to pass something to keep the government open. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has said the leadership might cancel the recess if lawmakers fail to accomplish anything next week.

The anxiety -- and déjà vu -- over a possible government shutdown marks the first major fiscal deadline Congress and the Obama administration face during the next few months. Here’s a timeline of upcoming important dates to watch as the latest budget drama unfolds.

2013

  • Sept. 30: The current continuing resolution keeping the government open expires.
  • Oct. 1: Fiscal 2014 begins. If Congress doesn’t pass a measure to fund agencies by the end of Sept. 30, then the government shuts down Oct. 1. Non-essential federal employees immediately would go on furlough until the government reopens.
  • Oct. 18: The date when many believe the government runs out of wiggle room under the debt ceiling and defaults on its debts. It’s possible the government could stave off this fiscal disaster until early November. If the government defaults, then the Treasury Department must decide who gets paid on time, and who doesn’t. This would be unprecedented and could affect military and civilian pay. Over the next month, Congress and the Obama administration will haggle over raising the debt ceiling, and Republicans are threatening to use an increase in the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip in their quest to delay implementation of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
  • Dec. 15: The House Appropriations Committee unveiled a CR on Tuesday that would fund the government from Oct. 1 through Dec. 15. The current measure would give agencies flexibility to avoid furloughs during that time frame. The likelihood of the CR passing is unclear.
  • Dec. 16: Congress begins its holiday recess through the end of the year. During the past few years, both chambers have worked up to the end of December to debate and vote on important budget legislation. So far, history is on track to repeat itself.
  • Dec. 31: Look for news regarding a possible civilian pay increase around this time, or an extension of the pay freeze, now in its third year. President Obama wants to give civilian employees (as well as military personnel) a 1 percent, across-the-board pay boost in 2014. So far, Congress has remained silent on a civilian pay increase. If lawmakers do not pass a measure prohibiting a raise or extending the pay freeze, then the president’s recommendation takes effect. It’s hard to imagine lawmakers in this environment allowing that to happen.

2014

  • Jan. 15: The automatic cuts under sequestration take effect for fiscal 2014 on this date, unless Congress changes the law before then. Agencies likely will start announcing furlough plans soon after, if the sequester remains in place. The FBI has already said it will furlough employees for 10 days if the sequester remains in place.
  • Feb. 3: President Obama must submit his fiscal 2015 budget proposal to Congress by the first Monday in February. But Obama typically has been late delivering his blueprint, blaming sequestration last year. Congress didn’t receive his fiscal 2014 proposal until April 2013.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.