Avionics News December 2013 - 19

BELTWAY BRIEFING
BY JAMES A. HUNTER , Government Relations Director, Arent Fox LLP  jamie.hunter@arentfox.com

Shutdown Ends, Default Averted
But will Congress be able to end the brinksmanship?

budgetary offsets to avoid increasing the deficit. Suspending
For the first time in 17 years, the federal government was
sequestration is appealing to members of both parties; many
effectively shut down after Congress failed to agree on the
2014 budget by the Oct. 1 deadline. Leading up to the deadRepublicans want to end cuts to the military, and most Demline, Senate Democrats passed "clean" budget bills, while
ocrats would like to restore funding for domestic priorities.
House Republicans insisted on tying measures to defund and
It also is appealing because it would lock in higher spending
delay Obamacare to the budget, which the presirates through 2015 and, hopefully, give voters a
dent opposed. During the shutdown, only federal
reprieve from the legislative brinksmanship that
employees deemed "essential" (such as air traffic
occurs almost every time Congress has to meet a
controllers) were allowed to come to work, and
budget deadline.
many government services were suspended. At
As we go to press, it is too early to tell whether
the same time, legislators faced an Oct. 17 deadCongressional negotiators will be able to strike
line to increase the debt ceiling so that the Treaa deal of any size. The last bipartisan commitsury Department could pay the nation's bills.
tee to examine these issues, in 2011, which was
Congress acted at the 11th hour and passed a James A. Hunter
dubbed the "supercommittee," failed spectacumeasure Oct. 16 to fund the government through
larly. And even a small deal, such as delaying
Jan. 15 at current funding levels and extend the debt ceiling
sequestration for two years, is difficult because it requires
through Feb. 7. It passed 81-18 in the Senate and 285-144
Democrats and Republicans to agree on methods to achieve
roughly $220 billion in cost savings. Still, it appears that
in the House, with 87 Republicans joining all Democrats to
Congressional leaders in both parties are very interested in
support it. No substantive changes were made to Obamacare
achieving a deal on sequestration. Ironically, this may not
(incidentally, Congress added about $100 million to the
have been a possibility had the government not been shut
FAA's operations budget for 2014). In addition, Congressiodown, since the current negotiations were prompted by the
nal leaders agreed to form a House-Senate conference compolitical fallout associated with the shutdown. In addition,
mittee to draft a formal budget plan by Dec. 13 that could,
the vote to reopen the government on Oct. 16 demonstrated
theoretically, develop a "grand bargain" deal on long-term
there is a bipartisan governing majority on major public polspending and taxes that would provide Americans with cericy issues that is able to break through political stalemates
tainty and end the need to legislate by brinksmanship.
under the right circumstances. The breakdown of the House
Polling showed that voters blamed Republicans for the
vote, for example, is almost exactly the same as votes earshutdown more than Democrats. As a result, it is highly unlier this year to avert the "fiscal cliff" and to reauthorize the
likely that Republican leaders will want to risk another shutViolence Against Women Act.
down in January when the current temporary budget expires,
There is no question the government shutdown angered
especially in an election year. However, at the same time, it
voters and hurt the economy, and it is very easy to be cynical
is almost a foregone conclusion in Washington, D.C., that the
and assume that Congress will find itself at a stalemate again
House and Senate will not be able to strike a "grand bargain"
in January. This could certainly happen, but there also is
deal in December due to the longstanding and intensely pocause to believe that Washington, D.C., has learned its lesson
larizing differences between the parties on taxes and spendregarding government shutdowns and debt ceiling deadlines
ing issues. Republicans do not want to increase revenue
and may finally reach an agreement to bring some relief to
through tax hikes, and Democrats are wary of any changes to
Americans and businesses that have been harmed by sequesSocial Security and other safety-net programs.
tration. It won't end partisanship in Washington, D.C., but it
Rather, House and Senate negotiators are now focused
may restore some faith in the functionality of our political
on finding a way to suspend budget sequestration, perhaps
institutions that has suffered in recent years. 
for up to two years, by piecing together a list of bipartisan

AVIONICS NEWS

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DECEMBER

2013

19



Avionics News December 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News December 2013

Point of Communication
AEA Now
The View From Washington
International News and Regulatory Updates
Beltway Briefing
Want to be Found ... and Legal?
Member Profile
Trig Avionics Ltd.
Avionics News Through the Years
EEDirect
A Conversation With...
Member Profile
Avotek Publishes New AET Study Guide
Civil UAV's
Business Basics
AEA Newsmakers at NBAA Convention
What's New
Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News December 2013 - Intro
Avionics News December 2013 - Cover1
Avionics News December 2013 - Cover2
Avionics News December 2013 - 1
Avionics News December 2013 - 2
Avionics News December 2013 - 3
Avionics News December 2013 - Point of Communication
Avionics News December 2013 - 5
Avionics News December 2013 - AEA Now
Avionics News December 2013 - 7
Avionics News December 2013 - 8
Avionics News December 2013 - 9
Avionics News December 2013 - 10
Avionics News December 2013 - 11
Avionics News December 2013 - 12
Avionics News December 2013 - 13
Avionics News December 2013 - The View From Washington
Avionics News December 2013 - 15
Avionics News December 2013 - International News and Regulatory Updates
Avionics News December 2013 - 17
Avionics News December 2013 - 18
Avionics News December 2013 - Beltway Briefing
Avionics News December 2013 - Want to be Found ... and Legal?
Avionics News December 2013 - 21
Avionics News December 2013 - 22
Avionics News December 2013 - 23
Avionics News December 2013 - Member Profile
Avionics News December 2013 - 25
Avionics News December 2013 - 26
Avionics News December 2013 - 27
Avionics News December 2013 - Trig Avionics Ltd.
Avionics News December 2013 - 29
Avionics News December 2013 - 30
Avionics News December 2013 - 31
Avionics News December 2013 - 32
Avionics News December 2013 - 33
Avionics News December 2013 - Avionics News Through the Years
Avionics News December 2013 - 35
Avionics News December 2013 - EEDirect
Avionics News December 2013 - 37
Avionics News December 2013 - 38
Avionics News December 2013 - 39
Avionics News December 2013 - A Conversation With...
Avionics News December 2013 - 41
Avionics News December 2013 - Member Profile
Avionics News December 2013 - 43
Avionics News December 2013 - 44
Avionics News December 2013 - 45
Avionics News December 2013 - Avotek Publishes New AET Study Guide
Avionics News December 2013 - 47
Avionics News December 2013 - 48
Avionics News December 2013 - 49
Avionics News December 2013 - Civil UAV's
Avionics News December 2013 - 51
Avionics News December 2013 - 52
Avionics News December 2013 - 53
Avionics News December 2013 - Business Basics
Avionics News December 2013 - 55
Avionics News December 2013 - 56
Avionics News December 2013 - 57
Avionics News December 2013 - AEA Newsmakers at NBAA Convention
Avionics News December 2013 - 59
Avionics News December 2013 - 60
Avionics News December 2013 - 61
Avionics News December 2013 - 62
Avionics News December 2013 - 63
Avionics News December 2013 - 64
Avionics News December 2013 - 65
Avionics News December 2013 - What's New
Avionics News December 2013 - 67
Avionics News December 2013 - 68
Avionics News December 2013 - 69
Avionics News December 2013 - Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News December 2013 - 71
Avionics News December 2013 - 72
Avionics News December 2013 - 73
Avionics News December 2013 - 74
Avionics News December 2013 - Cover3
Avionics News December 2013 - Cover4
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