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Embassy open despite shutdown

2013 Oct 01

The US Embassy in Colombo will remain open despite the US government shutdown today, an Embassy spokesman said.

The spokesman said that the Embassy will be open for normal public business including the visa and the American citizens services.

“With no new fiscal year appropriations by October 1 as required by law, only certain multi-year State Department and USAID accounts have residual funds that will be available after September 30. These funds will allow the Department and USAID to continue to operate for a period of time and the Embassy will remain open,” the spokesman said.

The White House directed federal agencies late Monday evening to implement their plans to partially shut down operations, after lengthy political maneuvers on Capitol Hill failed to produce an agreement to fund government services.

“Unfortunately, we do not have a clear indication that Congress will act in time for the President to sign a Continuing Resolution before the end of the day” Tuesday, White House Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia M. Burwell wrote to agencies in a message released by the White House at 11:46 p.m.

“Therefore, agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations. We urge Congress to act quickly to pass a Continuing Resolution to provide a short-term bridge that ensures sufficient time to pass a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, and to restore the operation of critical public services and programs that will be impacted by a lapse in appropriations.”

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