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Countdown to shutdown: Some federal programs on Guam likely to pause

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

The House of Representatives today threw cold water on a stopgap spending bill, thus failing to avert a federal shutdown that will disrupt federal programs nationwide.

According to the Office of Guam Del. James Moylan, there "is no one-size-fits-all" answer to the question as to how the shutdown will affect Guam.

"When it comes to services, federal agencies will be issuing their respective lists-- some have already done so-- of what services shall remain in place and which ones will be scaled back," Moylan's office said.

"Our office has been in discussion with several agencies, such as the FAA and

USPS, and has been advised that while services will continue, with the furloughing of what are deemed “non-essential” employees, one should anticipate potential delays or lags in service," Moylan's office said.

The House failed to pass HR 5525, also known as the "Continuing Appropriations and Border Security Enhancement Act," with a vote of 198 yes votes versus 232 no votes.

"While leadership in the House is working toward compromises to garner additional votes to try and pass a CR on Saturday, the Senate version, which

should be sent over does not have adequate support in the House," according to Moylan's office. "Unfortunately, this almost ensures that a federal government shutdown is inevitable on Oct. 1, 2023."

The shutdown will impact salaries of federal government employees, including congressional staff. Military personnel will also be affected, as will vendors of the federal government.


How long will this shutdown take place?

Once again, there is no “one size fits all” answer to this question. Congress is committed to ending this shutdown at the earliest possible, preferably in the

next few weeks. Leadership in the House has required all Members to remain in D.C. throughout this weekend to make last-minute attempts to avoid a shutdown. They have also canceled district weeks for all members in October until a resolution is met. This will include late night votes on amendments, as we experienced this past week, where discussions ended past 2am each weeknight.

What is needed to end this shutdown?

The short-term answer is that a CR needs to be passed. This, however, requires compromises from not just both parties in the House but also with the

Senate. The long-term answer is that twelve Appropriation Measures need to be enacted, and this is where serious negotiations on what the priorities shall be for 2024’s spending. Republicans want to reduce spending by eliminating what are deemed as “non-essential’ programs or services while ensuring that the border, defense, and public safety are fully funded. Democrats have their wish

list, and the only way to ensure these appropriation bills succeed is that both sides need to come to an understanding of where to draw the line.

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