Congress near agreement on CR; Becker notes need for contingencies

Sept. 27, 2011 – The Senate last night approved a "clean" continuing resolution to keep federal government operations open through Nov. 18 and passed a one-week stopgap bill that funds operations through Oct. 4, giving the House time to clear a package that can be sent to the president for signature.

The Senate's action last night represents forward action, but it doesn't guarantee the government, which is still waiting for congressional action on fiscal 2012 appropriations, will avert a shutdown midnight Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. NAFCU expects the House, currently in pro forma session, to approve the stopgap measure by unanimous consent later this week and to act on the six-week package early next week.

NAFCU President Fred Becker, anticipating work yet to be done, wrote members Monday urging them to be prepared. He noted a growing possibility earlier in the day that Congress wouldn't be able to agree on a funding package. “If a shutdown were to occur, service members and federal employees may face a gap in their pay,” he said.

“Closure of federal government offices could bring additional challenges to your credit union and members, depending on your field of membership,” said Becker. “If you have not already done so, NAFCU encourages your credit union to put measures in place and be prepared should a shutdown occur.”

The last threat of a shutdown came this summer as the government was running out of ways to keep up payments after hitting the federal debt ceiling. Congress passed, and the president signed, a package allowing a phased-in debt limit increase of $2.4 trillion.

With the fiscal year near its end and final action pending on a CR, NAFCU is again asking members to send information about their contingencies for dealing with a shutdown (fee waivers, delayed loan payment dates, etc.). NAFCU will pull the information together and make it available to military support groups and federal employee organizations so they can pass it on as needed.

That information should be sent to Quincy Enoch, NAFCU’s associate director of legislative affairs and military liaison, at qenoch@nafcu.org.

The Senate's action represents forward action, but it doesn't guarantee the government, which is still waiting for congressional action on fiscal 2012 appropriations, will avert a shutdown midnight Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. NAFCU expects the House, currently in pro forma session, to approve the stopgap measure by unanimous consent later this week, and act on the six-week package early next week.