Shows & Panels
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- The Big Data Dilemma
- Carrying On with Continuity of Operations
- Connected Government
- Constituent Servicing
- Continuous Monitoring: Tools and Techniques for Trustworthy Government IT
- The Cyber Imperative
- Cyber Solutions for 2013 and Beyond
- Expert Voices
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal IT Challenge
- Federal Tech Talk
- Mission-critical Apps in the Cloud
- The Path from Legacy Systems
- The Real Deal on Digital Government
- The Reality of Continuous Monitoring... Is Your Agency Secure?
- Veterans in Private Sector: Making the Transition
Shows & Panels
Just when you thought it couldn't get worse...
Thursday - 2/28/2013, 2:00am EST
And if you work for the government — or use or depend on any of its many services — the threat of sequestration, horrible as it has been advertised, may merely be the speed bump that precedes a really nasty jolt. Instead of 7-9 percent cuts as required by the sequestration package, Uncle Sam faces the prospect of writing checks without any money in the bank later this month.
Whether sequestration hits or not, many people say it is a relative piece of cake, a speed bump compared to what's just a little further down the road. That monster is the expiration of the current continuing resolution. While sequestration would be slow to start, despite all the dire predictions, expiration of the CR could bring lots of things to a screeching halt. Instead of maybe being furloughed one day per week starting in April under sequestration, failure of Congress to fund government operations could mean massive federal furloughs lasting days or even weeks. Like in the standoff of 1995-96. Except worse this time.
Following the 1990s shutdown, all government workers who were furloughed got back pay. Many have said that while it was unnerving at the time, in hindsight it was a mid-winter paid vacation.
But that was then. Now is now. Like starting tomorrow.
Unless there is an 11th-hour settlement, feds furloughed this time around aren't likely to get back pay. The same is true for tens of thousands of contractors.
Uncertainty is the name of the game. Although the Pentagon has spoken of furloughing 700,000-plus civilian employees, the White House says it still doesn't have a number. Although the Federal Aviation Administration has warned of major delays and canceled fights, would it really be stupid enough to furlough air traffic controllers? Who would be at fault if there was a major airplane disaster — like a mid-air collision — while control towers were understaffed? Multiply that across the government and what have we got?
And the bad part is that the worst may be yet to come.
The good news for feds, if sequestered, is that the furloughs probably wouldn't begin until mid-March. Plenty of time for both sides to work out an agreement or, once again, delay the sequestration start date. Then everything would be okay until...
March 27 when the CR runs out. Unless it is extended, again, sequestration would seem like a mere speed bump.
NEARLY USELESS FACTOID
Compiled by Jack Moore
Each year, Americans eat on average about 13 gallons of popcorn, much of it in movie theaters. And the theaters are getting rich off your gluttony. A typical $5 bucket of the salty, buttery treat only costs the theater about 50 cents to make.
(Source: CBS News)
MORE FROM FEDERAL NEWS RADIO
Before furloughs, agencies must negotiate terms with unions
Before agencies can issue furlough notices, senior management must negotiate with employee unions over the implementation of the time off. Colleen Kelley, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), said Tuesday only one of the 31 agencies her union represents employees at has contacted them to begin negotiations
Top Leaders in Federal Service
During tough times, great leadership is key. In our special report, Top Leaders in Federal Service, Federal News Radio profiles five of the greatest leaders in government today to find out what their secrets are to success. We also reveal the results of our survey examining federal employees' morale.
House Democrat to offer bill ending automatic cuts
A senior House Democrat is proposing to eliminate the pending automatic spending cuts while also trimming the government's budget by more than $300 billion in hopes of paving the way for a broader agreement over how to tame the federal deficit.