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Government shutdown’s potential impact: The Morning Rundown, Sept. 29, 2023

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With just hours to go for Congress to act, we look at what could be affected if a government shutdown begins this weekend. And it’s the end of an era as Netflix ships out its final DVDs. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Friday, Sept. 29, 2023.

Congress has only hours to act before government shutdown begins

Congress has only hours left to come to an agreement to prevent a government shutdown from starting Sunday, Oct. 1 at 12:01 a.m. Both chambers are working on different methods to avert the first shutdown since 2018.

The Democratic-led Senate is looking to pass a bipartisan stopgap bill that would continue to fund the government until Nov. 17. The bill includes $6 billion in funding for Ukraine and another $6 billion for domestic disaster relief.  

House Republicans, who have already rejected the Senate’s measure, are focusing their attention on the dozen of annual spending bills — passing three which fund the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and State Department.

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Speaker Kevin McCarthy suggested on Thursday, Sept. 28, that a shutdown could be avoided if the Senate adds border provisions to their stopgap bill. McCarthy said the House would vote on its own version of a stopgap bill on Friday which would fund the government through October.

So what could happen if a government shutdown does in fact occur this weekend?   

  • All federal agencies except those deemed essential would stop working. This means Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security would continue. However, hundreds of thousands of other federal workers would be furloughed.
  • Those essential employees, including air traffic controllers, TSA screeners, and military personnel on active duty would work without pay until the shutdown ends then they’d receive back pay.
  • The shutdown would stop food safety inspections by the FDA, EPA inspections and FEMA disaster relief.
  • Programs like Head Start for preschoolers would lose funding and national parks and certain museums could close.
  • Officials say Americans who receive benefits from SNAP would still get assistance through October, but if the shutdown drags on that could change.
  • You would still be getting mail — as the U.S. Postal Service isn’t funded by taxpayer dollars.

House Republicans issue subpoena for Hunter Biden’s bank records

A House impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden got underway with a hearing on Thursday. During the six-hour hearing on Capitol Hill, House Republicans said they would be issuing subpoenas for additional person and business banking records from Hunter Biden and the president’s brother James Biden.

According to Fox News, the House Oversight Committee believes they have a trace of $24 million brought in by the Biden family by “selling Joe Biden as the brand.” The White House called the hearing a “baseless wild goose chase” and a distraction from the shutdown.

Elon Musk visits U.S.-Mexico border

X owner Elon Musk visited the U.S.-Mexico border on Thursday to livestream areas of Eagle Pass, Texas. The tech billionaire was seen talking with officials and using his camera to show what he was seeing at the border.

The month of September is on pace to surpass records of migrants crossing the border with more than 142,000 in the first half of the month. In a four-minute clip of his visit, Musk shared his take on the border crisis, which is an issue he has been vocal about on social media. 

“We should let anyone in the country who is hardworking and honest and who will be a contributor to the U.S.,” Musk said. “By the same token, we should not be allowing people in the country if they are breaking the law. The law is there for a reason.”

United to make changes for passengers in wheelchairs after investigation

United Airlines has made changes to its online booking to better accommodate passengers in wheelchairs. Now passengers will be able to add a filter to the booking tool that will allow them to find flights better equipped to fit a motorized wheelchair in the storage portion of the plane. Currently some cargo doors on planes are too small to easily get a wheelchair to fit among the other luggage and belongings being stored below.

United will also pay the fare difference for passengers who need to upgrade their flight in order to be better accommodated.

This change came about after a government-led investigation into the airline’s policies. The investigation found that all airlines cumulatively had mishandled more than 30,000 wheelchairs and scooters in a three-year span.

Cantaloupe recall due to potential salmonella contamination

Thousands of cantaloupes in 19 states could potentially be contaminated with salmonella, according to the FDA. Eagle Produce, based out of Scottsdale, Arizona, has issued a voluntary recall of more than 6,000 cases of whole cantaloupes.

The impacted melons have the brand name Kandy on them with the number code 4-0-5-0 printed on the bottom of the sticker. While there have been no reported illnesses, the FDA recommends customers not eat the fruit.

The FDA says the cantaloupes were distributed between Sept. 5 and Sept. 16 in California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington D.C. 

Netflix ends DVD-by-mail service after 25 years

Netflix is shipping out its final DVDs on Friday as it closes out the part of its business that put the company on the map after 25 years. Netflix announced in April it would be shutting down its DVD-by-mail service citing the decrease in DVD releases in recent years as the company focuses on its streaming offerings.

In 2011, Netflix decided to separate video streaming from its DVD business which at the time had more than 16 million subscribers. Fast forward to today, there are now just under one million DVD subscribers. In comparison, Netflix’s streaming service boasts 238 million subscribers worldwide.

Netflix is telling its DVD devotees they can keep any discs they receive by mail. Netflix started shipping out DVDs in 1998 with the first one being the 1988 movie “Beetlejuice.”

Our business correspondent Simone Del Rosario has a Five for Friday looking back at the most rented DVDs in Netflix history.

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WITH JUST HOURS TO GO FOR CONGRESS TO ACT, WE LOOK AT WHAT COULD BE AFFECTED IF A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN BEGINS THIS WEEKEND

AND — IT’S THE END OF AN ERA — AS NETFLIX SHIPS OUT ITS FINAL DVDS. 

THE MORNING RUNDOWN STARTS NOW.

KARAH NAME SUPER

THIS IS STRAIGHT-ARROW NEWS. 

BRINGING YOU UNBIASED, STRAIGHT FACTS.

TODAY IS FRIDAY — SEPTEMBER 29TH

THANKS FOR JOINING US.

I’M KARAH RUCKER.

CONGRESS HAS ONLY HOURS LEFT TO COME TO AN AGREEMENT IN ORDER TO PREVENT A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN THIS WEEKEND.

RIGHT NOW BOTH CHAMBERS ARE WORKING ON DIFFERENT METHODS TO AVERT THE FIRST SHUTDOWN SINCE 2018.

THE DEMOCRATIC-LED US SENATE IS LOOKING TO PASS A BIPARTISAN STOPGAP BILL – THAT WOULD CONTINUE TO FUND THE GOVERNMENT UNTIL NOVEMBER 17TH.

THE BILL INCLUDES 6 BILLION DOLLARS IN FUNDING FOR UKRAINE AND ANOTHER 6 BILLION FOR DOMESTIC DISASTER RELIEF.

MEANWHILE – THE REPUBLICANS IN THE HOUSE – WHO HAVE ALREADY REJECTED THE SENATE’S MEASURE – ARE FOCUSING THEIR ATTENTION ON THE DOZEN OF ANNUAL SPENDING BILLS – PASSING THREE — FUNDING THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND STATE DEPARTMENT.

SPEAKER KEVIN MCCARTHY SUGGESTED ON THURSDAY THAT A SHUTDOWN COULD BE AVOIDED IF THE SENATE ADDS BORDER PROVISIONS INTO THEIR STOPGAP BILL.

MCCARTHY SAID THE HOUSE WOULD VOTE ON ITS OWN VERSION OF A STOPGAP BILL TODAY WHICH WOULD FUND THE GOVERNMENT THROUGH OCTOBER.

SO WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN DOES IN FACT OCCUR THIS WEEKEND?   

ALL FEDERAL AGENCIES EXCEPT THOSE DEEMED ESSENTIAL WOULD STOP WORKING – THIS MEANS MEDICARE, MEDICAID AND SOCIAL SECURITY WOULD CONTINUE – WHILE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF OTHER FEDERAL WORKERS WOULD BE FURLOUGHED. THOSE ESSENTIAL EMPLOYEES – INCLUDING AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS, TSA SCREENERS, AND MILITARY PERSONNEL ON ACTIVE DUTY – WOULD WORK WITHOUT PAY UNTIL THE SHUTDOWN ENDS — THEN THEY’D RECEIVE BACK-PAY.

THE SHUTDOWN WOULD STOP FOOD SAFETY INSPECTIONS BY THE FDA — EPA INSPECTIONS – AND FEMA DISASTER RELIEF

PROGRAMS LIKE HEAD START FOR PRESCHOOLERS WOULD LOSE FUNDING – AND NATIONAL PARKS AND CERTAIN MUSEUMS COULD CLOSE. OFFICIALS SAY AMERICANS WHO RECEIVE BENEFITS FROM SNAP WOULD STILL GET ASSISTANCE THROUGH OCTOBER – BUT IF THE SHUTDOWN DRAGS ON THAT COULD CHANGE.

AND YOU WOULD STILL BE GETTING MAIL — AS THE US POSTAL SERVICE ISN’T FUNDED BY TAXPAYER DOLLARS.  

AS THE GOVERNMENT FACES A MAJOR DISRUPTION IN A LOOMING SHUTDOWN —

A HOUSE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY INTO PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN GOT UNDERWAY WITH A HEARING ON THURSDAY.

DURING THE SIX HOUR HEARING ON CAPITOL HILL —

HOUSE REPUBLICANS SAID THEY WOULD BE ISSUING SUBPOENAS FOR **ADDITIONAL BANKING RECORDS FROM HUNTER BIDEN AND THE PRESIDENT’S BROTHER JAMES BIDEN

INCLUDING PERSONAL AND BUSINESS ACCOUNTS.

ACCORDING TO FOX NEWS DIGITAL — THE HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE BELIEVES THEY HAVE A TRACE OF 24 MILLION DOLLARS BROUGHT IN BY THE BIDEN FAMILY BY QUOTE “SELLING JOE BIDEN AS THE BRAND.”

THE WHITE HOUSE CALLED THE HEARING A QUOTE “BASELESS WILD GOOSE CHASE” AND A DISTRACTION FROM THE SHUTDOWN.

“X” OWNER ELON MUSK HAD ON HIS “CITIZEN JOURNALIST HAT” — AND COWBOY HAT — AS HE VISITED THE U.S. MEXICO BORDER TO LIVESTREAM AREAS OF EAGLE PASS TEXAS ON THURSDAY.

THE TECH BILLIONAIRE WAS SEEN TALKING WITH OFFICIALS AND USING HIS CAMERA TO SHOW WHAT HE WAS SEEING AT THE BORDER.

THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER IS ON PACE TO SURPASS RECORDS OF MIGRANTS CROSSING THE BORDER WITH MORE THAN 142 THOUSAND IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE MONTH.

IN THE 4-MINUTE CLIP — MUSK SHARED HIS TAKE ON THE BORDER CRISIS — AN ISSUE HE HAS BEEN VOCAL ABOUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

“we should let anyone in the country who is hardworking and honest and who will be a contributor to the u.s. — by the same token we should not be allowing people in the country if they are breaking the law. the law is there for a reason.”

UNITED AIRLINES HAS MADE CHANGES TO ITS ONLINE BOOKING TO BETTER ACCOMMODATE PASSENGERS IN WHEELCHAIRS.

NOW — PASSENGERS WILL BE ABLE TO  ADD A FILTER TO THE BOOKING TOOL THAT WILL ALLOW THEM TO FIND FLIGHTS BETTER EQUIPPED TO FIT A MOTORIZED WHEELCHAIR IN THE STORAGE PORTION OF THE PLANE.

RIGHT NOW — SOME CARGO DOORS ON PLANES ARE TOO SMALL TO EASILY GET A WHEELCHAIR TO FIT AMONG THE OTHER LUGGAGE AND BELONGINGS BEING STORED BELOW.

UNITED WILL ALSO PAY THE FARE DIFFERENCE FOR PASSENGERS WHO NEED TO UPGRADE THEIR FLIGHT IN ORDER TO BE BETTER ACCOMMODATED.

THIS CHANGE CAME ABOUT AFTER A GOVERNMENT-LED INVESTIGATION INTO THE AIRLINE’S POLICIES.

THE INVESTIGATION FOUND THAT **ALL AIRLINES CUMULATIVELY HAD MISHANDLED MORE THAN 30 THOUSAND WHEELCHAIRS AND SCOOTERS IN A THREE YEAR SPAN.

THERE’S A MAJOR FRUIT RECALL THIS MORNING.
THOUSANDS OF CANTALOUPES IN 19 STATES COULD POTENTIALLY BE CONTAMINATED WITH SALMONELLA.
ACCORDING TO THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION —
EAGLE PRODUCE – BASED OUT OF SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA – HAS ISSUED A **VOLUNTARY RECALL OF MORE THAN 6 THOUSAND **CASES OF WHOLE CANTALOUPES.
THE IMPACTED MELONS HAVE THE BRAND NAME KANDY ON THEM — WITH THE NUMBER CODE 4-0-5-0 PRINTED ON THE BOTTOM OF THE STICKER.
WHILE THERE HAVE BEEN NO REPORTED ILLNESSES — THE FDA RECOMMENDS CUSTOMERS NOT EAT THE FRUIT.

FINALLY THIS MORNING – AFTER 25 YEARS — NETFLIX IS SHIPPING OUT ITS FINAL DVDS TODAY AS IT CLOSES OUT THE PART OF ITS BUSINESS THAT PUT THE COMPANY ON THE MAP.

NETFLIX ANNOUNCED IN APRIL IT WOULD BE SHUTTING DOWN ITS DVD-BY-MAIL SERVICE CITING THE DECREASE IN DVD RELEASES IN RECENT YEARS — AS

IN 2011 – NETFLIX DECIDED TO SEPARATE VIDEO STREAMING FROM ITS DVD BUSINESS – WHICH AT THE TIME HAD MORE THAN 16 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS. FAST FORWARD TO TODAY – THERE ARE NOW JUST UNDER ONE MILLION DVD SUBSCRIBERS. IN COMPARISON – NETFLIX’S STREAMING SERVICE BOASTS 238 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS WORLDWIDE.

NETFLIX IS TELLING ITS DVD DEVOTEES THEY CAN KEEP ANY DISCS THEY RECEIVE BY MAIL – A LITTLE SOMETHING TO REMEMBER THIS FADING ERA.

NETFLIX STARTED SHIPPING OUT DVDS IN 1998 – AT FIRST IN WHITE ENVELOPES BEFORE SWITCHING TO ITS CLASSIC RED ONES. AND WHAT WAS THE FIRST DVD NETFLIX SENT OUT? THE 1988 MOVIE ‘BEETLEJUICE.’

OUR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT SIMONE DEL ROSARIO HAS A FIVE FOR FRIDAY LOOKING BACK AT THE MOST RENTED DVDS IN NETFLIX HISTORY. YOU CAN FIND THAT REPORT NOW ON SAN.COM.

THESE ARE YOUR TOP STORIES FOR THIS FRIDAY.

BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MORNING RUNDOWN PODCAST TO LISTEN TO OUR SHOW EACH WEEKDAY.

AND CHECK OUT MORE OF OUR WORK AT SAN.COM AND ON THE STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS APP.

UNBIASED. STRAIGHT FACTS. THAT’S STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS.

WE’LL SEE YOU BACK HERE ON MONDAY.

UNTIL THEN I’M KARAH RUCKER. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!