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Search Tags: sequestration
Guidance from the administration on what steps federal agencies should take to prepare for potential across-the-board budget cuts has set off a war of words between federal-employee unions and industry groups. The American Federation of Government Employees says guidance exempts contractors at the expense of federal employees, but industry groups say the criticism is misguided.
The Defense Finance and Accounting Service will implement significant cost-cutting measures next week to prepare for the possibility of automatic spending cuts due to hit government in March. DFAS plans to freeze most hiring, reduce travel and overtime, and temporarily halt new employee performance awards, according to DFAS Director Terri McKay.
DoD's operations and maintenance accounts will likely be hit first if sequestration goes into effect. Unlike its procurement and research and development activities, which can continue to function on funds obligated in prior years, O&M dollars generally get spent right away. In preparation for sequestration, the Pentagon has already let go of tens of thousands of temporary hires and is drawing up a contingency plan for one-day-a-week furloughs. Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter says the unpaid furloughs would begin in April and continue through the remainder of the fiscal year if sequestration is not avoided.
Much of the media is treating the threat of a 22-day federal furlough as if it were a sporting event, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says. But this is big-time, heavy economic stuff. A revenue-choker for struggling state and local governments and a possible threat to economic recovery.
Republicans on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees have proposed an alternative to the automatic budget cuts set to go into effect next month that includes reducing the size of the federal workforce by 10 percent through attrition.
DoD's 2014 budget will ask Congress for a 1 percent increase in military pay, down slightly from previous projections.
In the past, when federal workers were furloughed they were told to stop working and go home until further notice. If you were out of town, you were to return ASAP, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says. But what happens if the furlough is one day per week and you are on an assignment to Atlanta or Antarctica?
Politicians who are beating up on federal workers are doing a pretty good job of it. Friends of feds are few and far between, maybe even on the endangered species list, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says. So what's next?