Space Policy Events for the Week of September 30 - October 4, 2013 - UPDATE
UPDATE, October 2, 2013: We have updated the list to reflect the status of these meetings -- mostly cancelled -- because of the government shutdown.
The following events may be of interest in the week ahead. The House and Senate are in session.
During the Week
Sunday, 9:00 pm EDT. In just over 24 hours, FY2013 ends and FY2014 begins. Even now, whether the government will continue operating after midnight Monday is anyone's guess. The chances of a shutdown appear more likely today than yesterday, however. In the very early hours this morning, the House passed another version of a FY2014 Continuing Resolution (CR) that it knows the Senate and the President will reject. It is somewhat different from the version it passed a week ago and that the Senate modified and returned to the House on Friday. The original version would have defunded the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) while this one would delay its implementation for one year. This version adds a provison repealing a tax on medical devices that was intended to pay some of the costs of Obamacare. Apart from that, it is the same -- funding the government through December 15 (instead of November 15 as the Senate prescribed) at a post-sequester level, substantially lower than the Senate-approved pre-sequester level.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and the White House made clear that a delay to Obamacare is unacceptable. In a Statement of Administration Policy, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) made clear that the President would veto the House-passed bill if it included amendments that were, in fact, adopted by the House at 12:17 am Eastern Daylight Time this morning: "If the President was presented with H. J. Res 59, as amended by these amendments, he would veto the bill."
Despite the veto threat, the House passed that version of the CR and the Senate will take it up Monday afternoon. The Senate is expected to strip out those amendments and return to the House the same bill they passed on Friday -- a "clean" CR that simply keeps the government operating until November 15. With time running short, the chances of the House either agreeing to the clean CR or passing something else and getting the Senate to also agree is very small. Several politicians went on the record today to say they think a shutdown is inevitable, but it is perilous to try and guess what Congress will do in such situations. If the government does shutdown, whether it will be for hours, days or weeks is totally unclear.
NASA and DOD posted their plans for what happens in the event of a shutdown. Among the many activities affected, NASA states that there will be no access to the NASA website during a shutdown. What will happen to government participation in the Asteroid Initiative Workshop that begins tomorrow in Houston is unclear. The following events of interest are listed as though no government shutdown takes place. If there is a shutdown, be sure to check with organizers to determine if the meeting will actually occur.
Monday-Wednesday, September 30 - October 2
Tuesday-Wednesday, October 1-2
Thursday, October 3
Thursday-Friday, October 3-4
Friday, October 4
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