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Update on Status of Negotiations to Fund Government, Prevent Shutdown

Written by FEDagent on . Posted in General News

Last Friday, September 20, 2013, the House of Representatives passed, on a party line vote of 230-189, a continuing resolution (H.J.Res.59) to keep the government funded through December 15, 2013, at a sequestration level budget cap of $986.3 billion. 

Rep. Scott Rigell (VA-2) was the only Republican to vote no, and Reps. Jim Matheson (UT-4) and Mike McIntyre (NC-7) were the only Democrats to vote yes. 

The House legislation includes language to defund the 2010 Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) and directs the Treasury to prioritize payments on public debt and Social Security benefits if the nation’s debt limit is reached. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration, where it will be taken up and likely amended later this week. 

Reports indicate that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will allow the Senate to vote on motions to move the House legislation forward with the Obamacare defunding language intact prior to amending out the defunding language before sending the bill to the floor for a simple majority vote, which would allow the Senate to pass a “clean” continuing resolution that does not defund Obamacare.

Reports also indicate that the Senate bill will fund the government through November 15, 2013, rather than December 15 which was in the House bill, with the intention of providing legislators more time to work on appropriations bills before the end of the calendar year. 

Once the Senate-amended legislation heads back to the House, likely sometime this weekend, it is unclear how that chamber will react to the altered bill. 

Complicating the path forward is the nation’s proximity to the debt limit, which Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says will be reached “no later than October 17,” and House votes that are scheduled on raising the debt limit for later this week. House Republicans may attempt to tie a debt limit deal to passage of the continuing resolution, which Democrats have said is a non-starter, and which could derail the legislative process. 

Also potentially complicating the process are reports that House Republicans may amend a one-year delay of the Obamacare individual mandate onto the Senate-amended bill and send the bill back to the Senate for a vote. If that language is included, the chances of a government shutdown increase because of the limiting time Congress has to pass a continuing resolution. 

Legislative brinksmanship will likely take the Congress to the last moment possible to strike a deal avoiding a government shutdown. Yet given the intractable positions held by both sides, it is possible an agreement will not be reached and the government will be shut down.   

FEDagent will continue to closely monitor this situation as it develops, and will be providing updates on our social media channels. 

Tags: government shutdown Obamacare debt limit Harry Reid government funding

Behind the Blue Line

Event Recap | Witness to History: Darkmarket & The FBI Agent Who Became Master Splyntr

On April 8, the National Law Enforcement Museum held the ninth event in our Witness to History series, sponsored by Target. For the second time, the Museum partnered with the International Spy Museum, our host for a great evening and fascinating program: DarkMarket & the FBI Agent who Became Master Splyntr.

Craig Floyd, Chairman & CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, kicked off the program by welcoming the nearly 150 guests in attendance, and thanking the event’s sponsor, Target, and host, Peter Earnest, Executive Director of the Spy Museum. He then introduced the panel moderator, Shawn Henry, former Assistant Director of the FBI and current President of CrowdStrike Services; and panelists, J. Keith Mularski, FBI Supervisory Special Agent; and Kevin Poulsen, Investigations Editor of WIRED Magazine.

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Contest Corner

Win A Free Full Conference Pass to GovSec 2014

Want to win a FREE ticket to the nation's premiere government security, law enforcement and homeland security expo and conference?

GovSec 2014 is the only event that brings together everything you need to be ready when it counts. This year's conference runs from May 13-15 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC.

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Takedowns

Three Charged with Allegedly Defrauding FCC of $32 Million

The Justice Department announced last week that three individuals have been charged for alleged roles in an approximately $32 million fraud against a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that provides discounted telephone services to low-income customers.

The indictment charged three defendants with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and fifteen substantive counts of wire fraud, false claims, and money laundering.

According to the indictment, the defendants engaged in a scheme to submit false claims with the federal Lifeline Program, which provides affordable, nationwide telephone service to Americans through discounted rates for qualifying low-income customers. The Lifeline Program is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company, a not-for-profit designated and authorized by the FCC.

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Tell Us: Why Do You Heart Public Service?

GEICO’s Good Stuff is a column series highlighting great stuff happening in the federal community.

The Public Employees Roundtable (PER) is collecting testimonials from government employees and members of the public in support of an I “Heart” Public Service whiteboard photo campaign. Images will be posted on the PER on Facebook and Instagram pages.

The group behind Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW), which takes place this year from May 4-10, launched the whiteboard campaign in support of this year’s theme: Proud to Serve.

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Case Law Update

Eleventh Circuit Held Fourth Amendment Violated Where Police Recorded Attorney-Client Conversation Between A Non-incarcerated Suspect and His Attorney

While investigating an alleged misdemeanor violation of a domestic violence injunction, Detective Thomas Marmo and Sergeant Brian Canova monitored, intercepted, and listened to privileged conversations between their non-incarcerated suspect, Joel Studivant, and his attorney, Anne Marie Gennusa, who were in an interview room at the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. The police did so without any notice to Studivant and Gennusa, and without a warrant. Det. Marmo also seized (without a warrant) from Gennusa, on Sgt. Canova’s order, a statement written by Studivant. On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that the surreptitious recording and monitoring of those attorney-client conversations, without notice to Studivant and his attorney, and without a warrant, violated the Fourth Amendment.

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