The United States House and Senate have reached a budget agreement and the Federal Government will remain open. That means Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Pu’uhonua ‘O Honaunau, Kaloho-Honokohau Park, and Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Park all be be open and functioning as normal, with Federal employees as scheduled remaining on the job. There are over 24,000 Federal civilian employees in the State. The agreement was reached about an hour before the Government was to shut down, which would have been at 6:01 p.m. Friday Hawaii Standard Time.
The agreed-upon budget includes around $39 Billion in cuts. But so far, the controversy over women’s health, which became an issue to the Republican Party during the debate, is at bay. The Democrats have agreed to discuss the matter further, and the Republicans agreed to let the Government stay open without stopping federal funding for women’s health. The current agreement is a one-week extension, during which time the legislation to fund Government operations until the end of September, 2011 can be written.