We’re Still Open for Business

By: Kurt Fuchs, Government Affairs Officer

The federal government is officially closed for business.  The House and Senate adjourned in the wee hours of yesterday morning failing to reach a compromise on a short-term spending measure, resulting in the shut-down of the vast majority of federal agencies.

Federal agencies and institutions nationwide spent Tuesday morning reacting to the news that the two chambers of Congress were unable to agree on a temporary spending measure – closing offices, turning off phones and email, and even limiting website availability in some instances.

In all, nearly 800,000 federal workers were furloughed yesterday while certain essential workers (those charged with the public health, safety, and security), the Postal Service, and military personnel remain largely unfazed.  This current shutdown will be the 17th – each of varying lengths and severities – since the late 1970’s, with the most recent occurring in 1996 lasting 26 days.

The longer this spending deadlock lingers, the greater the chances of it entangling future talks on raising the government’s debt ceiling limit. The Treasury Department has predicted that it will begin running short of cash to pay the nation’s bills by as soon as October 17th.

An additional twist to the situation, and one quite relevant for our customer-members, is the expiration of the current Farm Bill’s one-year extension which also occurred yesterday.  This was not unexpected, but as with the debt ceiling negotiations, the longer the budget stalemate lasts, the greater its gravitational pull will become ensnaring more policy debates.

While Congress works to sort through this spending impasse, Farm Credit remains open for business continuing to serve the credit needs of farmers and rural America.  As a self-funded, member-owned cooperative we are constantly striving to ensure our customers have the financial tools available to them to meet the demands of farming during good times and bad.  So while the federal government is at a standstill, MidAtlantic Farm Credit and its members are continuing to move forward.

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