No Christmas Eve Off for Federal Employees

No Christmas Eve Off for Federal Employees

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Federal employees will report for a full day of work Tuesday, with the Obama administration opting not to give any extra time off for Christmas Eve.

The decision does not come as a surprise. It is “consistent with historical precedent when Christmas has fallen on a Wednesday,” an official at the Office of Personnel Management told Government Executive. “The government has remained open on Christmas Eve for six of the last nine times since 1946 that Christmas Day has fallen on a Wednesday.”

One of the recent exceptions was 2002, when President George W. Bush gave feds a half day off on Tuesday, Dec. 24. Continue reading “No Christmas Eve Off for Federal Employees”

G.O.P. Elders See Liabilities in Shutdown

G.O.P. Elders See Liabilities in Shutdown

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Published: October 3, 2013 17 Comments

WASHINGTON — The hard-line stance of Republican House members on the government shutdown is generating increasing anger among senior Republican officials, who say the small bloc of conservatives is undermining the party and helping President Obama just as the American people appeared to be losing confidence in him.

From statehouses to Capitol Hill, frustration is building and spilling out during closed-door meetings as Republicans press leaders of the effort to block funding for the health care law to explain where their strategy is ultimately leading.

“Fighting with the president is one thing,” said Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri. “Fighting with the president and losing is another thing. When you’re in the minority you need to look really hard to find the fights you can win.” Continue reading “G.O.P. Elders See Liabilities in Shutdown”

AFL-CIO Executive Council Passes Statements on Energy, Jobs and Immigration

02/26/2013 Jackie Tortora

 AFL-CIO officers at the annual Executive Council meeting.

At its February meeting, the AFL-CIO Executive Council, representing 57 affiliate unions, adopted several statements that covered energy and jobs, workers’ rights and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and immigration, among other things.

The AFL-CIO supports a comprehensive energy policy focused on investing in our nation’s future, creating jobs and addressing the threat of climate change. It is clear that for the foreseeable future our nation will continue to use a wide range of energy sources—including both traditional sources like coal, oil and natural gas, and newer sources like wind, solar and nuclear. Any serious effort to tackle climate change must begin with ensuring we use a range of tools, including policy incentives and technology, to make our economy more energy efficient and by doing so to minimize greenhouse gas emissions from all of these sources. Continue reading “AFL-CIO Executive Council Passes Statements on Energy, Jobs and Immigration”

After a ‘fiscal cliff’ deal, what next?

After a ‘fiscal cliff’ deal, what next?

By , Published: December 31 | Updated: Wednesday, January 2, 1:16 PM

The “fiscal cliff” was designed by Washington for Washington — it was intended to set up a scenario so severe that the president and Congress would, at last, have to take on the nation’s major tax and spending problems. Instead, lawmakers again found a way to sidestep many of the prickliest issues and in the process set up other, potentially more severe, showdowns in the new year.

The Senate approved a deal with the White House early Tuesday morning that would spare the middle class from an income tax increase, extending tax breaks first enacted under President George W. Bush for individuals making less than $400,000 and couples making less than $450,000.

Study: Sequestration won’t necessarily mean immediate furloughs, layoffs

The report said the White House and federal agencies have several tools they could use to temporarily mitigate the harm.
The report said the White House and federal agencies have several tools they could use to temporarily mitigate the harm. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The odds that a lame-duck session of Congress will produce a breakthrough in Washington’s fiscal stalemate are slim, according to a study released Friday. But the White House and federal agencies have several tools they could use to temporarily mitigate the harm from across-the-board budget cuts scheduled for Jan. 2, 2013, the nonprofit OMB Watch found.

“Most analyses of the impact of sequestration are based on an assumption that it will be fully implemented for the remainder of the federal fiscal year,” said the report written by Patrick Lester, director of fiscal policy at OMB Watch. “However, it is possible that sequestration might be triggered but later retroactively canceled as part of a broader budget agreement between Congress and the president in early 2013” with minimal or no damage to most federal defense and nondefense programs.

Tools to control the damage include delaying the announcement of new contracts and grants, redirecting funds to more urgent activities early in the year and using spending options to prevent agency layoffs.

“The administration still has significant flexibility to avoid furloughs and [reductions in force],” the analysis stated. “First, the Budget Control Act gave the president authority to exempt spending on military personnel, which he has chosen to do. Second, for civilian personnel, Section 112 of the continuing resolution that funds federal programs through March 27 (H.J. Res. 117) provides the administration power to accelerate spending as necessary to avoid furloughs.” Continue reading