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Military pay is exempt from the automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, that went into effect earlier this month. But scores of military programs that impact service members in their everyday lives, such as tuition assistance and family programs, are not protected from the across-the-board budget reductions. Officials from the Defense Department and the military services testified before the House Armed Services Committee's subcommittee on military personnel on the impact of the budget cuts on training, retention and family-assistance programs.
The number of federal employees filing retirement claims last month spiked to more than 20,000 -- nearly four times what the Office of Personnel Management projected, according to new OPM data released Tuesday.
Federal workers are sounding off about how sequestration, the across-the-board budget cuts slated to kick in Friday, will impact their jobs and their families. The Federal Workers Alliance, a conglomeration of 20 federal-employee unions, has launched a message board to allow feds to share their concerns and to put a human face on the cuts.
The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service announced Feb. 19 it has inked a deal with the Cleveland-based Wahconah Group to launch an all-weather line of clothing. The clothing and accessories, to be branded with USPS trademarks, will be available at department and specialty stores beginning in 2014.
Talk of federal-employee furloughs has intensified as the clock winds down to March 1 -- the date automatic, across-the-board spending cuts are set to kick in. But even if agencies are forced to go the furlough route, they will have to ensure the workforce reductions are implemented fairly or face a series of potential pitfalls, said John Mahoney, chairman of Tully Rinckey's labor and employment practice group, in an interview on the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp.
James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, tells Federal News Radio he's concerned about the effects of sequestration on the intelligence community.
Obama administration officials are painting a bleak picture of how federal agencies would fare under sequestration, the automatic budget cuts slated to go into effect in two weeks. The Senate Appropriations Committee heard testimony from several Obama administration officials about the consequences of the cuts, which are set to take effect March 1. However, Danny Werfel, controller of the Office of Management and Budget, emphasized to the committee that employee furloughs would not be immediate.
The Obama administration offered agencies new guidance on sequestration, telling agency leaders and federal-employee unions that sequestration won't have an immediate impact on the federal workforce or government operations even if the automatic budget cuts go into effect Jan. 2.
OPM published a guide providing agency human-resources officials with more information about "administrative furloughs," which are different from those stemming from government shutdowns because agencies typically have more time to plan their spending reductions. The Obama administration has reassured reassured federal agencies that sequestration won't have an immediate impact on the federal workforce or day-to-day government operations.
Agencies across government should intensify their planning for across-the-board sequestration cuts, according to a Jan. 14 memo to the heads of executive department and agencies from Jeff Zients, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget. The memo comes on the heels of similar guidance issued last week by the Defense Department. Meanwhile, the Navy warned of the threat of reduced funding from a short-term spending measure.