With no ‘fiscal cliff’ deal in sight, sequestration seems all but certain

With no ‘fiscal cliff’ deal in sight, sequestration seems all but certain

 
It was designed to be the budget cut so painful, so indiscriminate, so downright mindless that even a gridlocked Congress wouldn’t allow it to happen.

Now, it looks like it’s going to happen.

What going over the 'fiscal cliff' would mean.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) spent Saturday working on a last-ditch deal to spare the vast majority of Americans a dramatic tax increase on Jan. 1. Continue reading “With no ‘fiscal cliff’ deal in sight, sequestration seems all but certain”

Federal workers feel unease over potential layoffs, furloughs unleashed by ‘fiscal cliff’

 Federal workers feel unease over potential layoffs, furloughs unleashed by ‘fiscal cliff’

 

By , Published: December 24

Federal employees have been skeptical for months that the biggest cuts to government spending in history could really happen. But with the “fiscal cliff” a week away, workers are now growing increasingly alarmed that their jobs and their missions could be on the line.

President Obama and members of Congress headed out of town late last week for a Christmas break without reaching a deal to avoid $110 billion in automatic across-the-board spending cuts, which would hamstring operations ranging from weather forecasting and air traffic control to the purchase of spare parts for weapons systems. So civil servants are bracing for the blow, wondering whether their work will be upended — and whether they may be forced to take unpaid days off.

Fed groups blast possible fiscal cliff switch to less generous COLA formula

Fed groups blast possible fiscal cliff switch to less generous COLA formula

  • By Kellie Lunney ; December 18, 2012

Advocates for federal employees and retirees urged lawmakers Monday to oppose a switch to a less generous formula for determining cost-of-living adjustments as part of a fiscal cliff deal.

Moving to the chained CPI would be “unfair” and “reduce significantly earned retirement benefits,” according to a Dec. 17 letter from the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association to members of Congress. President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, both reportedly have offered proposals that include switching from the current formula to what’s known as the chained CPI to calculate annual cost-of-living adjustments for federal retirees and Social Security recipients. Continue reading “Fed groups blast possible fiscal cliff switch to less generous COLA formula”

Senator: Congress can deal with ‘fiscal cliff’

Senator: Congress can deal with ‘fiscal cliff’

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said on Sunday that while he is confident Congress can reach a deal to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff,” it will likely take several months to hammer out the details.

“If President Obama is re-elected, I believe we can avoid the fiscal cliff,” Durbin said during an appearance on Bloomberg’s new Capitol Gains Sunday show.

However, Durbin said he believed “only the broadest outlines” of a deal can be achieved when Congress returns for a lame-duck session following the November election. Continue reading “Senator: Congress can deal with ‘fiscal cliff’”

Congress faces continuing resolution, sequestration and postal reform

Congress faces continuing resolution, sequestration and postal reform

Monday – 9/10/2012, 6:47pm EDT; By Jolie Lee, Amanda Iacone &
Jack Moore

Lawmakers returned to Washington, D.C., this week with a packed agenda. Topping the list of priorities is hammering out final details of a stopgap spending measure to keep the government running beyond the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30.

Amid the election-year politicking, the list of unfinished business also includes legislation to restructure the financially ailing U.S. Postal Service and a cybersecurity bill that aims to safeguard the nation’s critical infrastructure.

Perhaps looming largest of all is what Congress plans to do about automatic, across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, set to take effect Jan. 2. Failure to avert the cuts could send the country over a “fiscal cliff,” budget experts warn. Continue reading “Congress faces continuing resolution, sequestration and postal reform”