HERE WE GO...
If the US Congress doesn't figure things out before then, I get to be sent home on Leave Without Pay indefinitely as there won't be legal authority under Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 of the federal constitution to pay most anybody. The Department of Veterans Affairs and military construction projects are exempt from this as they already have full appropriations passed for the entirety of Fiscal Year 2017. The rest of the federal government does not.
Yes, this will indirectly impact @Stephen Sekula as grant disbursements may stop if not already made to his employing institution. In my case, I lose my job for a period of time. Unlike the rest of the government which basically spends money, my job is part of the agency that brings in 92% of the gross so the other agencies have something to spend.
Circumstances are a bit different this time as we basically have a madman in the White House. Riding 4 casinos into bankruptcy takes a special kind of person. He's already trying to wheel and deal on the budget for the remaining months of FY2017 and the last words from congressional negotiations being reported is that the bill being developed is kinda sorta a bit of a steaming pile of diseased goat turds. While there is happy talk of a shutdown not being expected by anybody, that's merely happy talk.
In the end, only one thing matters. A bill being based by both the House of Representatives and the Senate in the same form that is presented to the President that is signed by him into law. You can be as positive as you want about negotiations, give happy talk to the media, and say all is well publicly. None of that meets the requirement of Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 of the federal constitution to pay the bills, dang it.
Thanks for your perspectives on all this, Stephen.
Indeed, I can confirm that the entirety of US particle physics will grind to something of a halt if the Congress fails to ocntinue funding this year, or if the President vetos the funding and the Congress cannot override the veto. However, the money for our present grant year has already been dispersed to SMU (that happened just ahead of the start of our grant cycle, which is currently April 1, 2017 - March 30, 2018. So we can continue to pay people, etc.
But the national laboratories, on which we depend for nearly ALL infrastructure (engineering, construction, testing, design, fabrication, and yes, even physics analysis tools like supercomputer clusters, and scientists who do research) will suffer. They will shutdown, or furlough people, or both, until the budget is resolved. So SMU will soldier on because the US DOE has already provided the funds for our "base grant" (basic spending on student, post-doc, scientist, and faculty summer salaries, as well as some travel) to spend for our grant cycle; but nearly everything else will grind to a halt. And, to add to this, any institution that HASN'T obtained its grant dispersement for the year will have no money if their fiscal year begins during the shutdown.
So.... yeah... this is all very scary.
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