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Entries in Government Shutdown (5)

Wednesday
Jul132011

MillerCoors to Pull Beer from Minnesota Shelves

PRNewsFoto/Ball Corporation(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Got beer? Maybe not someday soon if you're looking for MillerCoors products in Minnesota.

MillerCoors LLC. will likely pull 39 brands of beer including Coors Lite and Miller Genuine Draft from restaurants, bars and stores in Minnesota after the company failed to renew its brand label registration before the the state's government shutdown on July 1.

MillerCoors' registration expired in June and due to an error in which the company sent a check in excess of the required $30 per brand label renewal, the company may have to recall all of its beer from stores and bars in the state. Minnesota's government shut down a few days after they received a check from MillerCoors for the correct amount.

What's worse, the issue may not be resolved quickly since more than 23,000 of the state's employees are laid off during the stalemate over a $5 billion deficit in the state budget.

Minnesota Department of Public Safety says MillerCoors cannot sell or distribute their brands without the registration and have asked for their plan to pull their beer from the state. Facing a beer recall within a matter of days, MillerCoors says they are attempting to resolve the issue.

While mouths run dry, state legislators have made no visible attempt to break the budget impasse.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr082011

US Chamber of Commerce President on Shutdown: 'Pain in the Neck'

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- What does the business community think of a possible federal government shutdown?

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue said Friday it would be a “pain in the neck” but only severely effect businesses and the economy if it were to last “several weeks.”

“I’ve been telling people, let’s do this. Push it right up to the line, do whatever you have to do, but let’s not shut down the government,” Donohue told reporters at a breakfast meeting in Washington.

“It’s happened many, many times, but we’ve got a million things on our plate all around the world. It would be helpful not to do it,” he said. “If it happens and it’s in a short period of time, it’s a little bit of a mental exercise and we go out and do it and get on with it.”

Donohue, who declined to assign blame for the budget gridlock, said he believes the looming debate over the debt limit and long-term entitlement spending has more serious implications for the business community and economy as a whole.

The Obama administration has warned of dire consequences unless the $14.3 trillion ceiling is raised before the debt limit is reached, likely sometime before May 31.  But Congressional Republicans have threatened to block an increase unless the administration commits to curtailing entitlement spending.

The Chamber’s top lobbyist, Bruce Josten, said the he expects Republican lawmakers will ultimately agree to raise the debt limit, but not without concessions from the administration.

Donohue described relations between the business community and the White House as cordial, saying he appreciates steps President Obama has taken to “change his song.” But he suggested that on matters of substance, little has changed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr082011

Meat Institute Urges Lawmakers to Deem Inspectors 'Essential'

Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/ Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The American Meat Institute sent a letter to the Obama administration Thursday, urging officials to deem meat and poultry inspectors as "essential personnel," allowing them to continue working should the government shut down.

According to the institute, close to 8,000 inspectors oversee 6,200 plants across the U.S., ensuring that products are "safe, wholesome and properly labeled and that livestock are treated humanely."  Should they be classified as "non-essential," plants will have to cease operations.

Although a work stoppage seems unlikely, being that meat inspectors were deemed "essential" in past shutdowns, the institute said it has yet to receive assurance from the government.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr062011

Filmmaker Ken Burns: Cuts to Public Broadcasting Would Do 'Irrevocable Damage'

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As budget negotiations continue in an effort to avert a looming government shutdown, award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns warned Wednesday that proposed cuts to federal funding for public broadcasting would be “devastating,” not just for filmmakers, but for all Americans.

“[CPB and the National Endowment for the Humanities] are five-decades-old institutions that have a way of stitching the country together in ways that people may not immediately perceive if they are just arguing in the rhetoric of hot politics,” Burns told ABC News.

Democrats have accused Republicans of demanding cuts to very small portions of the federal budget, including slashing funding for public broadcasting. In February, the House passed a resolution prohibiting any federal funding for CPB, which received $430 million from Congress this year.

“This has consequences. There are lots of things that public broadcasting, public media does, that can’t be done anywhere else. And you can begin with my films,” explained Burns, whose documentaries include The Civil War, The National Parks and Baseball.

“Every single film that I’ve made would not have been made in the marketplace. It took the support of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the help of the National Endowment for the Humanities to have them made. I would hope that our legislators would really seriously consider the kind of repercussions this means for education, because we’re so devoted to not just their broadcast, but their afterlife in schools, that they could do irrevocable damage when we’re very concerned about our status in the world.”

Burns was in Washington, D.C., Wednesday to announce the launch of millions of newly digitized Civil War records from the National Archives, which are now available online for the first time through ancestry.com.

In the event that the government does shut down and the National Archives do close, historians may not be totally out of luck. The newly digitized Civil War archives available on ancestry.com will be free for the general public to access for one week beginning Thursday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Wednesday
Apr062011

Government Shutdown Threatens to Delay Tax Refunds; Taxes Still Due April 18

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- They say nothing is certain except death and taxes. The same is true this year, even though the government might be shut down when tax day arrives.

If Republicans and Democrats in Washington can't agree on a way to fund the government for the rest of this year, non-essential government personnel, including most IRS employees, wouldn't be allowed to work.

Even so, Americans still will be expected to file their taxes by this year's deadline of April 18, IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman said in Washington on Tuesday. Whether there's a shutdown or not, he encouraged people to file on time, preferably electronically. Approximately 70 percent of Americans file electronically.

Mail service would not be interrupted by a government shutdown, so an April 18 postmark still would be key to an on-time tax filing by mail.

"However, taxpayers who file paper returns will experience some delays," Shulman said.

People who file electronically and opt to receive their returns electronically "should expect to see refunds quickly," Shulman said.

Shulman didn't want to speculate on whether the shutdown might damage the IRS's ability to carry through with audits and make sure tax filers are complying with the law.

Edward Karl, the vice president of taxation for the American Institute of CPAs, said that the system is so automated with electronic filing and returns that most accountants and filers are not yet paying attention to the possibility of a government shutdown.

Tax filing season is important for the government, but also for tax filers, many of whom get a refund.

"We do know that the majority of taxpayers have refunds and the average refund is significant -- around $3,000. Taxpayers plan to spend that money," said Karl.

For now, tax professionals seem optimistic there won't be a government shutdown.

Mark Steber, chief tax officer for the Jackson Hewitt tax service, said that "any impact will depend on how a long a shutdown lasts."

Liberty Tax Service said it doesn't expect that that there will be a shutdown.

Both tax services said they will encourage their clients to file electronically, when possible, so they can avoid any possible impact.

Most Americans' tax returns won't be affected by a shutdown anyway. Only about 20 to 25 percent of returns are filed in the last two weeks before tax day.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 







ABC News Radio