Day 10 of Government Shutdown Ė Six Week Debt Limit Extension Possible
As the partial government shutdown continues into its tenth
day, there have been signs that a potential, short-term deal to end the
government shutdown and avert a national default by temporarily raising the
debt ceiling may be in the works.
Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner (R-Ohio) and
President Obama had dueling press conferences this week, each detailing their requirements
for ending the shutdown and averting default.
Speaker Boehner insisted on the president sitting down with Republicans
to discuss a path forward, while the president reiterated his position for a
clean continuing resolution and refused to negotiate spending cuts as part of a
debt ceiling increase. These press
conferences did, however, yield some movement, with the president planning to
meet separately with Republicans and Democrats from the House and Senate. These talks and the potential ramifications
of not raising the debt ceiling have injected a very small bit of optimism that,
at the very least, an agreement can be reached on averting a government
At a meeting this morning, House Republican leadership pitched
a new plan to their members to increase the debt ceiling for six weeks –
ensuring the United States meets all of its obligations – while keeping the
government shut down. This plan may just
be a bargaining tool due to the Democrats’ insistence of reopening the
government and raising the debt ceiling without any strings attached and the
potential opposition from some of House Republicans. Any agreement on a path forward will likely
depend on the meeting this afternoon with House Republicans and President
Obama. The looming question is whether
the president is willing to forego opening the government in return for a clean
extension of the debt ceiling with assurances from Republicans that they will
negotiate over the budget with Democrats.
White House officials have indicated that the president is open to the
Republican debt limit proposal.
The situation is extremely fluid. There seems to be
consensus that the debt limit will be extended, but under what conditions
remains to be seen. AGC continues to
urge for an end to the government shutdown and an increase in the debt limit
followed by serious negotiations on dealing with the debt and deficit in
information, please contact Sean O’Neill at (202) 547-8892 or email@example.com.
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The Government Shutdown: How does it impact Your Company?
Due to the shutdown, the U.S. government closed a number of
its non-essential services as of Oct. 1, 2013. As a result of [the]
congressional stalemate over a spending plan, many key government agencies,
upon which employers regularly rely, are also closed and will remain closed for
the duration of the shutdown.
What should employers do if they need to contact these
agencies or have matters pending in federal courts? The following are some of
the key agencies and government divisions—including their plans for operating
during the shutdown—that might affect your business.
- NLRB. The
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a statement on its website
stating that it is “currently closed due to a lapse in appropriated
funds.” The Board issued a 12-page contingency plan covering how it plans to
operate during the shutdown.
- EEOC. According
to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) website, a limited
number of agency services will still be available during the shutdown. The
EEOC’s shutdown notice specifies the procedure the agency
will follow for pending charges, federal sector hearings, federal sector
appeals, and litigation.
Judiciary. The federal courts will remain open for at least some
time. According to an official statement, “the federal Judiciary will
remain open for business for approximately 10 business days. On or around Oct.
15, 2013, the Judiciary will reassess its situation and provide further
guidance. All proceedings and deadlines remain in effect as scheduled,
unless otherwise advised. Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF)
will remain in operation for the electronic filing of documents with
courts.” In addition, the Supreme Court of the United States has stated
that it will continue to conduct its normal operations through Oct. 4 in
the event of a lapse of appropriations.
- USCIS. Ogletree
Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group members reported on the
effects of the shutdown in their recent article, “Immigration Consequences of a Possible Federal
Government Shutdown.” [Since], the U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services (USCIS) reports that all of its offices worldwide are
open and that individuals should report to interviews and appointments as
scheduled. Importantly, USCIS also reports that E-Verify will not be
available during the federal government shutdown. As a result, individuals
will not be able to access their E-Verify accounts. More information on
the availability of E-Verify is available on the USCIS
- DOL. As
a result of the shutdown, some 800,000 federal employees are currently furloughed without pay (However, the House
has passed a bill that would pay federal workers for the time they were
furloughed). The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) website features
President Obama’s letter to
these employees. In addition, on Sept. 25, the DOL updated its 63-page plan for activity during a lapse
in appropriations, which details which of its employees will be on-the-job
for the duration of the shutdown.
- OSHA. The
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will reportedly be
furloughing most of its employees, except for two senior compliance
officers in each area office. According to OSHA’s website, workplace
fatalities, hospitalizations, or imminent danger situations may still be
reported to the agency during the shutdown.
Editor’s Note: This article was
drafted by Ogletree Deakins, a labor and employment law firm that represents
management. This information should not be relied upon as legal advice.
For more information, please contact Tamika Carter at (703) 837-5382 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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AGC Submits Testimony to House Panel on Federal Contract Bundling
AGC Calls for Agency Economic Justification for Bundling & Increased Oversight
On Oct. 10, AGC submitted testimony to the House Small Business
Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce, which held
a hearing on the impact of federal contract bundling on small
businesses. While not opposed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) use
of Multiple Award Task Order Contracts (MATOCs) or the Naval Facilities
Engineering Command’s (NAVFAC) use of Multiple Award Construction Contracts
(MACCs), AGC noted federal agencies increasing use of these contracting
vehicles and those contracts’ ability to shut out many contractors from federal
work for long periods of time.
To remedy federal over-reliance on bundled contracts, AGC
recommended that construction services contracts be included in the definition
of “contract bundling.” As a result, federal agencies would be required to
economically justify bundling construction contracts. In addition, AGC
recommended increased oversight of federal agency utilization of these multiple
award contracting vehicles to help ensure their appropriate use for procuring
construction services in the best interest of taxpayers. In its testimony, AGC
also included a task force report drafted by both small and large construction
businesses detailing the association’s positions and recommendations on agency
utilization of MATOCs/MACCs.
For more information, please contact Jimmy Christianson
at 703-837-5325 or email@example.com.
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AGC Submits Comments on Past Performance Evaluation Proposed Rule
Proposed Rule Would Limit Federal Contractor Response Time to Evaluations
On Oct. 7, AGC submitted comments
objecting to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council’s proposed
rule that would shorten the minimum 30-day past performance
evaluation (PPE) review period for federal contractors to just 14 days. Under
the proposed rule, a federal agency must post the PPE to the Past Performance
Information Retrieval System (PPIRS) after the 14-day contractor review period
expires, whether the contractor objects to the PPE or not. Contractors,
however, would be able to submit comments for inclusion in the PPE on PPIRS if
they fail to meet the 14-day requirement. The proposed rule does not require
the government to make those changes in a defined amount of time, which AGC
indicates in its comments.
Additionally, in its comments, AGC strongly objected to this
proposal, as such a measure would sacrifice the quality of PPEs for quantity;
is not necessary given agency successes with submitting PPEs in PPIRS; and
would over-burden small business construction contractors. For more information, please contact Jimmy
Christianson at 703-837-5325 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Last Chance to Attend the AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference
Oct. 23-25, 2013 | Las Vegas, Nev.
Jointly sponsored by AGC and the Construction Financial Management
Association (CFMA), the 17th Annual AGC/CFMA Construction Financial
Management Conference offers
programs and workshops designed specifically
for financial professionals in the construction industry.
by Friday, Sept. 6 for special “Early Bird” discounts. Additional
discounts are available for subsequent registrations from the same firm.
Register now and save up to $210 – or 25 percent – off the standard
three-day conference features 36 interactive sessions covering the latest
industry issues and their financial implications. Participants may earn
up to 19.5 continuing professional education (CPE) credits.
session will feature a panel of financial experts and a construction industry
CFO who will provide real-world examples of the options available for
transferring ownership of a construction business to employees or family
members. Specifics covered will include: stock transfer techniques including
ESOP and transfer to select managers, deal structuring, planning tips for
undertaking an internal transfer, and lessons learned. This session will provide an introduction to
plan mechanics but, more importantly, offer perspectives from seasoned stock
transfer veterans on the pluses and minuses of the various stock tranfer
techniques, including ESOPs, which can be utilized by construction companies of
all sizes. Speakers of this panel include Larry Mackiowak & Hugh Reynolds
from Crowe Horwath LLP, Tim Sznewajs from FMI Capital Advisors, and Dan Murphy
from Shiel Sexton.
register online, please visit www.agc.org/AGC_CFMA.
For more information, please contact Brynn Tupper at (703) 837-5376 or email@example.com.
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Donít Miss the Highway and Utilities Contractors Issues Conference
The 2013 Highway and Utilities Contractors
Issues Conference will be held Nov. 7-9, 2013, at the Arizona Biltmore
in Phoenix, Ariz. Industry professionals from companies involved in
building highway, bridge, utility and underground construction, transit,
airport runway and rail projects will benefit from this conference.
Presentation and discussions on major trends in highway and utility
construction will be featured, including:
Risk Analysis: Evaluating the Costs and Coverage
Maxfield, Walsh Construction Company
- Technology Solutions for
- A Commitment to Worker
- Jim Lastowka, U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Review
- Use of Tablet Technology
for Project Management and Inspection
- John Obr, Construction Division, TXDOT
- Clark Prothero, Raba Kistner Infrastructure
- Getting Cooperation on
Sharing Electronic Design Files
- Washington Update:
Immigration Reform, Infrastructure Funding, Sequestration, Grand Bargain,
- Stephen Sandherr, AGC of America
- Equipment Valuation in
the World Market
- Peter Blake, Ritchie Brothers
- High-Tech and Low-Tech
Project Management Solutions
- Jason Dennis, Griffith Company
- Dragan Stojanovic, Norair Engineering Corp.
- Legal Developments that
Will Impact the Construction Industry
- Doug Hibshman, Fox
To register for the conference, please visit www.agc.org/highway_utilities.
For more information, please contact Brian Deery at (703) 837-5319 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Scott
Berry at (703) 837-5321 or email@example.com.
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Most Senior Republican Retiring from the House
Twenty-two term Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.-13), the most senior
Republican in the House (4th overall), announced that he will not seek
re-election next year in his marginal Tampa Bay district.
The veteran congressman is one of sixteen Republicans who represent a district
in which President Obama outpolled GOP nominee Mitt Romney in 2012. Last
November, the President carried the 13th district with a 50.1-48.6 percent margin.
As an open seat, this district will host one of the most hotly contested
campaigns in the country. Democrats have long waited for a chance to convert
this seat, realistically understanding that their best chance would come when
Mr. Young retired. In November, the congressman defeated former legislative
aide Jessica Ehrlich 58-42 percent. He outspent his opponent $1.04 million to
$530,000. Ms. Ehrlich has already announced her intention to run again.
Despite the district trending more Democratic, Republicans still maintain the
vast majority of the region's key political positions. Freshman state Rep. Carl
Zimmerman appears to be the Democrat holding the highest position in the
district. There is no word as to whether or not he will jump into the now-open
congressional race. One name that will undoubtedly pop up as a potential
Democratic candidate, though his political aspirations appear pointed in a
different direction, is Republican-turned-Independent-turned Democrat former
Gov. Charlie Crist. It is more likely, however, that the former state chief
executive will attempt to regain his old job by challenging Republican Gov.
On the Republican side, Pinellas County Commissioners Karen Seel and John
Morroni, former Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard and ex-St. Petersburg Mayor Rick
Baker have already been mentioned as potential candidates. State Senators Jeff
Brandes and Jack Latvala are also possibilities to run, as are several GOP
Mr. Young, now 82, was first elected to the House in 1970, after spending ten
years in the Florida Senate. At the end of this current term, he will retire
holding elective office for 54 consecutive years. His is a former
Appropriations Committee chairman, and currently serves as the Defense
Sub-Committee chairman of the full Appropriations Committee. His is the 19th
open seat for the coming cycle. Mr. Young is the fourth member to retire
outright. The others are running for a different office or have accepted
federal or state appointed positions.
For more information, please contact David Ashinoff at (202) 547-5013
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