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The Obama Administration and Congress are currently in budget negotiations on a Continuing Resolution to keep the federal government fully funded and open for FY 2011. The current Continuing Resolution ends this Friday, April 8 at midnight, and unless Congress and the Administration reach a compromise by then the federal government will shutdown. With time running short, a government shutdown of at least some length is becoming more likely with each passing hour. Even if there is a shutdown, it could be resolved through negotiations over the weekend or early next week.
Big “I” staff has received many questions about the effect that a shutdown would have on our Legislative Conference & Convention and in particular the Hill visits for Thursday. In the event that the federal government is shut-down next Thursday, the Big “I” Legislative Conference & Convention will still occur as planned. Per guidance from Congress, in a shutdown, each Member of Congress will be left to his/her own discretion to determine which activities are deemed “essential” services and which staff are necessary to carry out those duties. Essential personnel must continue to report to work. While Members of Congress and senior staff are just now attempting to make these determinations, at this time we are hearing from many Congressional offices that their intention is to operate as close to a normal schedule as possible. What this means for the Big “I” Legislative Conference & Convention is that the show will go on. In many ways, we could be a part of history (and make even more of an impression than normal!) by walking the halls of Congress advocating for independent agents during this historic time.
IBA West deeply appreciates the members who made the committment weeks ago to attend the Legislative Conference and represent IBA West and the state of California. If a shutdown occurs this weekend and continues into Monday, IBA West will receive more information at that time.