Log on to www.whitehouse.gov and a dark screen with a text box opens and reads: “Due to Congress’s failure to pass legislation to fund the government, the information on this website may not be up to date. Some submissions may not be processed, and we may not be able to respond to your inquiries.”
Close the box and the Whitehouse page appears with the same message repeated. To make it simple, the government is shut down and it is all Congress’ fault.
This is the message that President Obama continued to repeat in his weekly address on Oct. 7. He said that Republicans in the House of Representatives chose to shut down the government over a health care law they don’t like. He urged the Congress to pass a budget that funds the government, with no partisan strings attached. The President then stated that he will work with anyone of either party on ways to grow the economy, create new jobs, and get the country’s fiscal house in order; but not under the shadow of threats to the economy.
This is likely not news to most in the HVAC distribution industry. The government shutdown rhetoric is growing and it has many asking, “What is this going to do to my business?”
According to Jon Melchi, HARDI’s director of Government Affairs, so far distributors aren’t seeing much affect.
“I have not heard from any distributors that the government shutdown is in anyway impacting their businesses,” he said. “If this battle is prolonged that certainly could change, but most distributors have seen very little impact.”
At the time of this article, the gridlocked government was beginning to look at the need for a raise in the debt ceiling. This raise needed to be completed by Oct. 17 in order to keep the government from defaulting. For distributor’s, however, this isn’t necessarily the greatest concern to their business.
“The biggest concern for distributors is that many of the regulatory entities who are in the process of developing regulations which may impact their business, are currently not working. So in many cases the pause button has been hit,” explained Melchi. “When you add this delay to a bureaucracy that in many cases is already well behind schedule in the development of regulations, it just compounds an existing problem.”