Shutdown Delayed: 10 More Weeks

Shutdown Delayed: 10 More Weeks

September 30, 2015

No Shutdown

Federal employees face 10 more weeks of needless worry and uncertainty thanks to a vote by Congress to keep the government running only until Dec. 11.

Congress this week passed a short-term funding bill, known as a continuing resolution, to fund the government at 2015 levels until Dec. 11. The funding fight will resume right before Christmas again just like the past few years.

“The only thing Congress accomplished by averting a government shutdown was postponing a crisis it created in the first place,” AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. said. “In 10 weeks, we will be back here again unless Congress does its job and fully funds the federal government for the coming year.”

Passing next year’s budget is just one part of the battle facing Congress. The across-the-board budget cuts called for under sequestration will kick in unless Congress lifts those spending caps.

“Congress must repeal sequestration – no ifs, ands, or buts,” Cox said. “These indiscriminate cuts will be catastrophic, not just to federal programs and services but to the American economy.”

Half of the cuts are aimed at the Department of Defense. DoD already is taking drastic measures to cut spending – mainly on the backs of hardworking civilian employees – and military leaders have warned that additional cuts will cripple our nation’s defense capabilities.

The other half of the cuts would hit our domestic agencies – which already are operating with bare-bones budgets.

“If sequestration continues, basic programs and services that Americans count on will be in jeopardy – things like applying for Social Security benefits, getting loans for new houses or small businesses, and ensuring our food and water supply is safe,” Cox said. “Congress needs to end sequestration and provide federal agencies with enough resources to continue to deliver the programs and services that Americans rely on.”

Author: Michael J. Mikulka

President, AFGE Local 704, representing over 900 bargaining unit employees working at the U.S. EPA Region 5 Offices in Chicago, Grosse Ile, MI and Westlake, OH.

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