Friday, February 25, 2011

What if there's a shutdown?

Been poking around at federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and others whose work is pertinent to ag to find out what would happen if the government shuts down next week because of a budget impasse.

Either the government doesn't know yet, or they're not telling.

Pete Lucero, spokesman for the Bureau of Reclamation in Sacramento, said the Interior Department is still evaluating what a shutdown might do.

"We're awaiting guidance from the department on how to conduct operations during a shutdown," Lucero said.

These discussions are ongoing, he said. But agency officials are trying to remain optimistic.

"We're actually expecting there will be some kind of agreement prior to March 4," he said, "but in the event there isn't, we're in discussions on how we might proceed through a shutdown."

Interior spokeswoman Kate Kelly had nothing to tell me about shutdown plans as of yesterday, and I have yet to hear back from the USDA, whose spokeswoman is checking with the Forest Service, the Farm Service Agency and other arms of the department on my behalf.

More on this as we get closer, I'm sure.

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