Government Shutdown
There is a need to pass a bill extending routine government funding after a stopgap bill expires March 27. Without an extension, a partial government shutdown would occur. Congress must pass this spending bill, called a continuing resolution or “CR,” which would continue spending after Sept. 30, 2013, the end of the 2013 fiscal year. As it stands now, the government’s legal authority to borrow more money runs out in mid-October, 2013. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, if that date arrived on October 18, the Treasury “would be about $106 billion short of paying all bills owed between October 18 and November 15. The congressionally mandated limit on federal borrowing is currently set at $16.7 trillion. The debt limit has been raised 13 times since 2001 and has grown from about 55 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2001 to 102 percent of GDP last year.

Starbucks Flexes Its Political Muscle With Petition

10/13/13
from Bloomberg BusinessWeek,
10/11/13:

Starbucks has once again inserted itself into Washington politics. Almost two weeks after the government shutdown shuttered the White House petition site, We the People, Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz declared that “the American people have no platform with which to voice their frustration,” then took matters into his own hands. The politically vocal CEO is now calling on Americans to sign a “Come Together” petition online and at stores.

Here’s the text:

To our leaders in Washington, D.C., now’s the time to come together to:

1. Reopen our government to serve the people.

2. Pay our debts on time to avoid another financial crisis.

3. Pass a bipartisan and comprehensive long-term budget deal by the end of the year.

Starbucks, it seems, has grown increasingly comfortable talking politics and social issues. For the past few days, the chain has been offering customers a free tall brewed coffee if they bought someone else a drink, as a symbolic gesture to show politicians that it’s possible to work together. Last December, as the fiscal cliff approached, baristas wrote “Come Together” on cups to encourage a debt deal. Granted, these broad calls for bipartisanship aren’t particularly controversial. Some 60 percent of Americans say they’d fire all of Congress, so Starbucks probably isn’t alienating any of its customers by pleading for an end to Washington dysfunction.

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