The United States Government is on the verge of a partial shutdown and default on debt payments.
As of Sunday afternoon, September 29th, the Congress has been unable to agree to raise the nation's debt limit to avoid default on payments and a shutdown of all but essential federal government services.
Last week Republicans in the House voted to support raising the debt limit only if the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) implementation is delayed.
The Democratic controlled Senate voted to raise the debt limit without the ACA restrictions.
Yesterday (Saturday) the Republican controlled house again voted to raise the debt ceiling only with restrictions and delays to ACA.
The Democratic controlled Senate will take up the same bill they rejected previously on Monday at 2PM.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and many other business and trade groups, including the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, have urged the Congress to increase teh debt limit and avoid a government shutdown and default. We are all engouraging Congress and the President to worki together to create a comprehensive tax and spending reform plan that leads to a balanced Federal budget.
Here is an analysis of the Affordable Care Act from POLITICO:
Here is the Wall Street Journal's Sunday story on the issue:
Senate Doesn't Reconvene Until Monday Afternoon, Hours Before Deadline
By JANET HOOK and KRISTINA PETERSON
WASHINGTON—The nation braced for a partial shutdown of the federal government, as time for Congress to pass a budget before a Monday midnight deadline grew perilously short and lawmakers gave no signs Sunday they were moving toward a resolution.
Leaders of both parties said they wanted to avoid the first federal closure since 1996, but their public appearances seemed aimed more at affixing blame for the impasse.
House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) urged Senate leaders to pass legislation that the Republican-controlled House had approved early Sunday morning, which would fund the government through mid-December. But that prospect was remote, as the House legislation included a one-year delay of the new federal health law that Democrats have vowed to reject, as well as a repeal of the new law's tax on medical devices.
Democrats say Mr. Boehner himself could end the stalemate quickly by asking the House to pass the Senate plan for extending federal funding, which includes no provisions aimed at the health law.
Such a move would anger conservatives in Mr. Boehner's ranks and likely materialize only at the last minute, after keeping up the fight against the health law to the end. But it would bring relief to the many Republicans who fear that the public would hand their party the largest share of blame for a shutdown.
The tense maneuvering surrounded a bill that otherwise might be uncontroversial: an extension of current funding for the government for the early months of the new fiscal year, which begins Tuesday. But a determined faction of conservative Republicans has argued that the deadline gives the party its best opportunity for derailing the new health law before one of its central elements, health-insurance marketplaces for individuals, are launched Tuesday.
Some Republicans held out hope that the prospect of a government shutdown would pressure Senate Democrats to make even a symbolic concession to their demand for changes in the Affordable Care Act, perhaps by agreeing to the repeal of the medical-device tax intended to help fund the law.
"We will not shut the government down," said House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.), speaking Sunday on Fox News. "If we have to negotiate a little longer, we will continue to negotiate."
But other Republicans are troubled that their party's most conservative flank is forcing the confrontation to the brink in their attempt to delay or defund President Barack Obama's prized legislative accomplishment.
"We're pretty much out of options at this point,'' said Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), criticizing the faction of the party most unwilling to compromise. "They're all giddy about it. You know who benefits the most here from a shutdown? The Democrats benefit and they know that."
A shutdown would prompt federal agencies to suspend a large range of activities and furlough at least 825,000 of the U.S. government's more than two million workers, according to plans filed with the White House. However, much of the public would be unaffected, as services deemed essential would continue, among them those related to national security, mail delivery, air traffic and law enforcement.
Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican whip, center, walked to the House floor for a series of late-night votes on Saturday.
Published: September 29, 2013
WASHINGTON — The Senate is expected to reject decisively a House bill that would delay the full effect of President Obama’s health care law as a condition for keeping the government running past Monday, as Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader, expressed confidence that he had public opinion on his side.
Angering Republicans who lead the House, Mr. Reid kept the Senate shuttered on Sunday, in a calculated move to stall action on the House measure until Monday afternoon, just hours before the government’s spending authority runs out at midnight.
Without a complete capitulation by House Republicans, large sections of the government would close, hundreds of thousands of workers would be furloughed without pay, and millions more would be asked to work for no pay.
Polls show that the public is already deeply unhappy with its leaders in Congress, and the prospect of the first government shutdown in 17 years would be the latest dispiriting development. With a temporary shutdown appearing inevitable without a last-ditch compromise, the battle on Sunday became as much about blaming the other side as searching for a solution.
House Republicans, who insisted that they had passed a compromise over the weekend that would avoid a shutdown if only the Senate would act, blamed Mr. Reid for purposely running out the clock.
“Unlock those doors, I say to Harry Reid,” said Representative Ann Wagner, a Missouri Republican who stood on the steps of the empty Senate on Sunday with a dozen of her House colleagues. “Come out and do your job.”
But Mr. Reid sees little incentive or political advantage in bowing to those demands. He has held his 54-member caucus together so far. And because of support from some Senate Republicans who have called it a mistake for House Republicans to try to force changes to the health care law in an unrelated fight over the budget, Mr. Reid’s hand has been strengthened.
Senator Susan Collins of Maine became the latest Republican to criticize her House colleagues, saying on Sunday that an effort to link the health care amendments to the budget was “a strategy that cannot possibly work.”
Mr. Reid’s plan, which exploits the bypasses and delays available to him in Senate procedure, leaves little time for the House to act before the Tuesday deadline. The Senate on Monday is expected to send back to the House a plain budget bill, stripped of its provisions to delay the full effect of the health care law, repeal a tax on medical devices and allow businesses to opt out of contraception coverage for their employees.
All Mr. Reid needs are 51 Democrats to vote with him — not the usual 60-vote threshold required for most Senate business — and the spending bill will go back to the House in a matter of minutes. Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat, said that he had been canvassing Senate Democrats from Republican states and that the party remained unified.
Senate Democrats plan to emphasize a message that the blame for any shutdown rests squarely with Republicans. “They can decide at that point whether they’ll shut down the government or not,” Mr. Durbin said.
Republicans would then face a difficult choice. Speaker John A. Boehner could risk the ire of his more conservative members and put the Senate bill on the floor for a straight up or down vote, a route that his more moderate members have begun urging him to take.
Representative Charlie Dent, Republican of Pennsylvania, said on Sunday that he was actively courting Republicans and Democrats to get behind a temporary spending bill to avert a shutdown, even if it contained none of the additional measures the House passed over the weekend.
Pasadena City Council
On September 16th, the Pasadena City Council chose not to approve a contract with Pasadena Chamber member Gonzalez Goodale Architects for improvements to Pasadena's Robinson Park. Citing insufficient community input, the Council voted not to approve the contract, despite the fact that members of the park oversight committee and city staff experienced in park renovation and rehabilitation were part of the selection process. At the same meeting, the Council deferred a decision on renewing a contract with the 80 year-old Pasadena Roving Archers for continued use of the historic archery range in the Lower Arroyo.
On September 9th, the Pasadena City Council voted to locate the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial in downtown's Memorial Park.
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
On September 24th, the Board of Supervisors recognized Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the one-year anniversary of the NASA Mars Curiosity Rovers’ landing on the Red Planet.
On September 17th, the Board voted to oppose creation of an independent Public Health Department for the City of Los Angeles.
Metro Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority
Construction Updates on Pasadena to Azusa; Next Steps for Azusa to Montclair: Construction is in full gear along the 11.5-mile light rail corridor from Pasadena to Azusa. The freight track realignment between San Gabriel Ave, in Azusa and the Azusa boundary with the city of Glendora is now complete. This includes improvements at all of the at-grade crossings within this section of the project, as well as completion of three freight bridges.
In addition to the three freight bridges just discussed, work on all of the 24 bridges being built or modified for the project is going well. Seventeen are either completed or underway, including the longest bridge - the 700-foot-long San Gabriel River Bridge. It will be complete in the coming weeks, in time for the start of the rainy season.
Additionally, work is underway on three of the six stations (under construction station platforms at the future Monrovia and Duarte stations shown below). Now that Alameda Ave is permanently closed in Azusa, the Downtown Azusa station will also break ground soon.