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Business Leaders Prepare For Federal Shutdown

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The House of Representatives will debate a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution July 19.
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The House of Representatives will debate a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution July 19.

Organizers at Tuesday's meeting say the timing couldn't be worse if the federal government shuts down for any extended period of time.

They list a couple of reasons: One, the local economy is just starting to turn around –- businesses are beginning to hire people and they say a shutdown could slow all of this down. They also mention the fact that this is the beginning of the fiscal year for many companies and a shutdown would affect how companies plan and budget for the rest of the year.

Also, March and early April is the beginning of spring, when the Cherry Blossom Festival is, and it's really the high season for tourism in the area. That would take a hit as well.

AP UPDATE:

WASHINGTON (AP) The GOP-controlled House handily passed legislation Tuesday to cut the federal budget by $4 billion and avert a partial shutdown of the government for two weeks. The measure was approved by a bipartisan 335-91 vote that came shortly after Democrats in the Senate said they would go along. The White House had sought a four-week or longer stopgap bill but that effort fizzled shortly after it began.

The measure the House passed buys time for more difficult talks on a longer-term measure. House Republicans last month approved a measure to cut $61 billion from agency operating budgets over the second half of the fiscal year that expires Sept. 30. That bill is strongly opposed by Democrats, and the White House promises a veto.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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