UNC’s Federal Research Funding At Risk During Shutdown

CHAPEL HILL – UNC’s Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Jim Dean, was given the gift of a government shutdown no less than officially three months on the job, which he says has him concerned.

“The biggest area of concern is that we do a tremendous amount of research that’s funded by the federal government,” Dean says. “Our overall research funding in any given year is on the order of $800 million, and roughly 80 percent of that comes from the federal government.”

Tuesday, Dean sent out a letter to students, faculty, and staff saying that the University was well-prepared for a partial government shutdown and that a short-term shutdown would have a minimal impact on the U.S. higher education community.

He says a shutdown lasting a few days, while it would put unnecessary stress on the University in a time of state budget cuts and a slowly recovering economy, it wouldn’t be as harmful as one lasting weeks.

“If you start to talk about a month or longer, you get to sort of a different picture,” Dean says. “But, I do believe that if it goes on for a month or longer, you’ll be running stories on all sorts of problems, it won’t just be us.”

He says apart from the research grant money, the University has not really been affected in other areas. However, he said there have been a handful of employees that UNC was forced to furlough.

“There are a handful of cases where there’s some sort of direct federal funding and the federal government has instructed us to basically—it’s called a stop-work order—to stop working on something,” Dean says. “In those cases, we did have to have a few people laid off.”

Dean says due to personnel issues, he couldn’t divulge in what departments those employees worked.

He says another concern could be for the students receiving federal grant money.

“Of course, a very considerable amount of money—I couldn’t even tell you the total amount—of student aid comes from the federal government,” Dean says. “But, the best information we have right now is that there’s no danger having to do with that. So, that would be the other big one and so far so good.”

In 1995, the federal government performed a similar shutdown that took place in two separate time frames from November 14-19 and from December 16 to January 6, 1996.

Dean says a 28-day shutdown would mean many more problems with local and national implications than federal research funds and financial aid.


Government Shutdown – One Day And Counting

Budget Battle No Sign Of Easing

WASHINGTON – The budget battle shows no signs of easing, with lawmakers from both parties suggesting that the partial government shutdown could last for weeks.

The shutdown was sparked by a fight over Republican efforts to kill or delay the new health care law, by inserting the measure in an emergency spending bill.

Now Republicans are proposing bills to keep open small slices of government, but Democrats are rejecting the idea.


Americans Blast Congress For Partial Shutdown

WASHINGTON – Americans frustrated over the partial government shutdown are taking to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to show their disgust with Congress.

Some people are calling Congress “immature,” “stupid” and “idiots” who need to “grow up.”

But some folks are cheering on the Republican leadership’s unwavering stance against President Barack Obama’s health care plan.


GOP Proposes Reopening Parts Of Gov’t

NEW YORK – Concern is rising across the country that a prolonged government shutdown would cause consumers to lose faith in the U.S. economy, and furloughed employees would stop spending.

That has business owners concerned. Don Davey, who owns 20 Firehouse Subs restaurants in Florida and Wisconsin says with the shutdown, some of his employees could be making less money as soon as next week.


Rep. Price: “Reps. Took Us Over The Cliff”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman David Price mirrored the President’s sentiments saying the Republicans are in complete control of the government shutdown.

“The House Republicans took us over the cliff last night,” Congressman Price says. “They had for days been trying to make the President, make the country, pay a ransom for doing our basic job here: keeping the government open.”

Congressman Price spoke with Aaron Keck Tuesday on the WCHL Evening News.

***Listen to the Intervew***

He says he’s not seeing the other side of the isle work together with his fellow Democrats in Washington.

“These band aides—as I call them—are about the best they’ve been able to manage, and I think that’s pretty pathetic,” Congressman Price says. “This is clearly an attempt at gaining political cover for something that the American people don’t like. I’ve had plenty of evidence for that from the 4th Congressional District. from folks at home who are just appalled, I think, that we’ve reached this point.”


President Obama Blasts Republicans For Shutdown

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama blames Republicans for the government shutdown and says they didn’t even accomplish their goal.

“They’ve shut down a whole bunch of parts of the government, but the Affordable Care Act is still open for business,” President Obama says.

***Listen to the Complete Address***

The President addressed the nation Tuesday afternoon from the Rose Garden.

He says the shutdown is not about deficits.

“After all, our deficits are falling at the fastest pace in 50 years,” President Obama says. “We’ve cut them in half since I took office. In fact, many of the demands the Republicans are now making would actually raise our deficits.”

The Affordable Care Act, or Obama Care, requires all Americans to have health insurance and gives everyone the opportunity to shop for the best policy for them, much like shopping at a store.

In his address, President Obama even took time to share how the American people can access the health care options.

“Just visit healthcare.gov, and there you can compare insurance plans side-by-side the same way you’d shop for a plane ticket on Kayak or a TV on Amazon,” President Obama says. “You enter some basic information and you’ll be presented with a list of quality, affordable plans that are available in your area with clear descriptions of what each plan covers and what it will cost.”


One Week To Go Until Government Shutdown Deadline

WASHINGTON – With a week left to reach a deal needed to avoid a government shutdown, some lawmakers seem resigned – if not rushing – to that end.

Most say they don’t want the first government shutdown since 1996. But if the government happens to shut down, so be it. Republicans say it fulfills their pledge to dismantle Democrats’ health care overhaul, while Democrats defending the law remember that similar standoffs gave them political gains.

Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican tea party favorite from Texas, says a government shutdown is inevitable unless Democrats abandon the Affordable Care Act.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says those who back a defund-or-else strategy are, quote, “legislative arsonists” who want to see the government shuttered.

Discussions are continuing on Capitol Hill.