Partial Federal Government Shutdown Ends

President Obama in the early morning hours of Thursday signed into law H.R. 2775, the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2014, announced the White House. The legislation provides Fiscal 2014 appropriations for the federal government through Jan. 15, 2014, thereby ending—for now—the partial government shutdown that began on Oct. 1 with the start of the new fiscal year. The act also extends the nation’s debt limit through Feb. 7, 2014. The Senate approved H.R. 2775 on Wednesday by a vote of 81 to 18. The House followed suit later that day, passing it with a vote of 285 to 144. As a result of the shutdown ending, federal employees who were still on furlough through Oct. 16 “should expect to return to work in the morning” of Oct. 17, said Sylvia Burwell, Office of Management and Budget director, in a statement. This includes some 4,000 remaining furloughed Defense Department civilian employees, according to a Pentagon release. The legislation funds the federal government at Fiscal 2013 levels, keeping the sequester-level budget in effect, states the release. It also calls for paying all furloughed federal employees for the period of the shutdown. (Includes AFPS report by James Garamone)