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Shutdown Scaries

Shutdown Scaries

This fall, the battle over funding the federal government will dominate the Washington news cycle. All eyes are on the September 30th deadline and whether Speaker McCarthy will be able to find enough votes to pass a Continuing Resolution to keep the government open on a short-term basis, giving lawmakers more time to negotiate a comprehensive deal to fund the government.  

Senators Schumer and McConnell are urging bipartisan cooperation. But the truth is even with cooperation and valiant effort, there isn’t enough time to negotiate, write and pass a deal with the House before the deadline. 

Speaker McCarthy has even worse problems on his side of the Capitol. He needs to thread the needle to get enough Democrats to vote with him to pass a deal and fend off threats to his speakership. 

A Continuing Resolution is the only option to avoid a government shutdown in three weeks. Even if a shutdown is avoided this month, the threat remains until a broader deal is reached.

Businesses should consider the impact of a shutdown on their operations as non-essential government services may be delayed or stopped altogether. Economic data may not be available on time. Grant applications may be delayed. Expect major delays in the security line at the airport, customs, passport applications and fewer food safety inspections. 

A government shutdown isn’t just inconvenient, it can delay the flow of business, lower GDP and cost the government money.

By the Numbers

How to Pop at COP

We’re counting down to the annual United Nations climate conference (COP28) on the heels of a summer of unprecedented heat. Hosted by the United Arab Emirates in Dubai from November 30 to December 12, the event will convene more than 70,000 participants including dozens of heads of state and leaders from the private, nonprofit and public sectors. The talks will look to reset global climate action and address a crisis that is spiraling out of control.

The two-week long COP program offers a platform for business, civil society, and subnational leaders to contribute to critical dialogue, accelerate clean-energy technology deployment and reinforce government commitments with supportive investments.

There are numerous ways for stakeholders at all stages of their climate journey to take an active role at COP28. These include:

  • Identifying speaking opportunities on the most important stages

  • Hosting or sponsoring side-events that cater to relevant audiences

  • Engaging priority international and domestic stakeholders in the leadup to and during COP28 to drive your priorities

  • Leveraging key moments before and during COP28 to secure smart media engagement.

Building upon decades of advising clients on their environmental, social and corporate governance strategies around the world, FGS Global can help clients maximize their presence at COP28 and stand out in a crowded field. 

Learn more and stay informed on the road to COP28.

It’s An AI Autumn

As Congress comes back from recess, AI is geared to become a major topic of discussion among policymakers this fall. 

Besides several committee-level AI hearings this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will hold the first of a series of bipartisan AI Insight Forums tomorrow. The first forum will feature attendance from a slew of major tech founders and CEOs—like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk—alongside civil rights leaders, union and trade association heads and tech researchers.

In addition, the New York Times reported the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law plan to announce a sweeping framework to regulate artificial intelligence. 

The two senators say their framework will include requirements for the licensing and auditing of AI, the creation of an independent federal office to oversee the technology, liability for companies for privacy and civil rights violations and requirements for data transparency and safety standards.

On the regulatory side, the U.S. Copyright Office is undertaking a study of the copyright law and policy issues raised by generative AI and is assessing whether legislative or regulatory steps are warranted. 

And in administration moves, the Defense Department plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to develop a vast network of AI-powered technology, drones and autonomous systems within the next two years to counter threats from China and other adversaries.

September 12, 2023
By Nedra Pickler and Irene Moskowitz
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